EDITORIAL: Organic recycling becomes the norm

Victoria leads the way with full municipal compost pickup

This week marks the beginning of full-time kitchen scraps diversion for residents in the City of Victoria, home to about 24 per cent of the population in the Capital Region.

Many in the city are excited they now have an easy, relatively inexpensive way to divert compostable materials from their trash, and the rest of Greater Victoria should be watching closely and preparing for the day when everyone has to take such actions.

The Capital Regional District has mandated that all organic waste must be diverted from the Hartland landfill by January 2015.

That gives Greater Victoria municipalities a fair bit of time to put together a program for collecting and disposing of kitchen waste – Saanich for one will roll out its program in the spring of 2014.

While residents in some of the region’s smaller rural jurisdictions may argue that the cost of such a program is yet another punitive tax, especially since many already compost, a regional rule needs to be put in place to steer all municipalities in the right direction.

Not so long ago, people bristled at the idea of separating cardboard and paper from the rest of the garbage, and later, plastics. Now, the idea of doing so is second nature, a fact of life that also is helping greatly to keep our landfill from filling up as quickly as it otherwise might.

The culture of recycling is prominent in this province and definitely in the Capital Region. Given that scenario, most of us grimace when we hear that residents in other provinces either don’t bother recycling anything, or are just starting to wake up to the benefits of doing so.

While the Hartland landfill will eventually be full midway through this century, taking actions now to extend its lifespan will become a valuable legacy to leave for our children and grandchildren.

This is a case where it’s simply the right thing to do and a sign of the evolution of our waste cycle.