EDITORIAL: Better have a plan for kitchen scraps

Upcoming CRD deadline may leave some residents in a lurch

As of Jan. 1, residents in Langford, Colwood, Metchosin and Highlands may no longer place kitchen scraps in their regular garbage bags for pickup.

That’s according to the Capital Regional District’s move – poorly publicized of late – toward reducing the amount of material in the Hartland landfill. The CRD announced its long-term plans some time ago, when the City of Victoria was preparing to “go green,” that is, giving homeowners green bins in which to deposit such organic waste as produce, bones, meat, spoiled paper towels and the like.

Letters have gone out to residents reminding them of the timeline for the change and informing them of options available for disposing of kitchen waste. Unlike Victoria and Saanich, which forced taxpayers to pay a little more for municipal dual-bin pickup service of garbage and kitchen scraps, West Shore residents other than those in View Royal will have to fend for themselves.

View Royal contracts out its garbage collection for residents and like the larger municipalities, combines it with kitchen waste pickup.

The strategy to allow residents to choose their pickup option and pay for it separately is not so different from the tack taken on other municipal services, many of which are contracted out by West Shore municipalities. But as with any new system, some people are bound to be caught by surprise when the rules change.

Clearly some householders won’t see much difference, especially those who already compost in the backyard or run their organics through the garburator.

Companies that service condos or townhomes may already be in position to collect the separated waste. With four of our five municipalities leaving it up to residents to find that information out, waste companies will no doubt be inundated with calls and requests this month for details about the options.

Removing material from the landfill is the right thing to do. Having more West Shore residents play a part in that long-term plan was only a matter of time.