Is the Green Cart program enough

 

The Region of Halton recently announced that it was going forward with a Green Cart Program to help reduce the amount of waste that heads to our landfill site. In case people are unaware of where that landfill site is, take a trip down 25 (Bronte Road) south of Derry and you will soon see it.

There was quite the discussion during the last municipal election on what should be done with the landfill, which is quickly approaching capacity. With the hundreds and hundreds of new homes being built in the area there will be a further demand on that landfill and its up to us as residents to do our part.

The Region of Halton currently has the Blue Box program in place. You are to put glass, plastics etc in one box and in the other we place the acceptable paper products, boxes, etc. As of April 2008 it was announced that residents will be able to put all products into one box instead of separating it, given the improvement in the separation technology available.

During that campaign a debate raged on about the EFW (Energy From Waste) proposal that was put before Regional Council and the pros and cons involved. In essence, an incinerator would be built at the landfill and the waste would then be burned using clean technology to produce energy that would be used in the region of Halton and beyond. Coupled with this proposal there was the much maligned Pristine Power Plant issue that seemed to dominate the last half of the campaign.

Recently Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr along with council announced that it was putting the EFW option aside permanently and focusing only on the existing programs and the Green Cart.

Does it go far enough?

With our landfill approaching capacity quickly (some analysts have said that within 25 years Halton will be required to have another landfill or another option in place for our garbage) will simply placing household food scraps and other materials in our Green Box do the job? With the landfill approaching capacity by 2023 according to Halton Region analysis, we need to take sufficient action now. The addition of the Green Cart program will add 7 years to the life of the landfill where the EFW facility would solve our problems for close to 50 years from now.

The EFW program, according to the proposal and the experts would have added at least another 100 years to the life of the Halton landfill. Does the Green Cart program go far enough?

At first glance it would seem that unless I’m mistaken and someone can hopefully provide me with more information, that it would have little affect on the amount of garbage at the landfill. The Region of Halton, and residents in general, need to come up with a longer range plan to solve the landfill issue.

Of course costs will be a major factor in making this decision. Who pays for it, how will we pay for it, etc. But the main question remains, what will it cost if nothing gets done? What if we wait until the landfill is near capacity and decisions have to be made then? The cost to taxpayers will pale in comparison and who knows the effect on our environment.

The amount of available land is decreasing with every new resident that we welcome to the area. What other options are there available to increase the life of our landfill?

It seems that the easier political issue would be to scrap the EFW and go with the easier to sell Green Cart Program. Tough decision are going to have to be made NOW and not 25 years from now when our landfill is overflowing and the residents will be screaming for answers.

Lets look at all the options … now, before its too late. Food scraps and other items just wont cut it.

Community Road Watch

With the new school term beginning and the almost in synch complaints about peoples “bad driving” running rampant throughout the town this article by Halton Region Chair Gary Carr is quite timely.

Many people I spoke with during the last municipal campaign talked very passionately about road safety. In fact it was one of the core parts of my campaign. Unlike some other candidates I ran on issues that were important to Miltonians and had a plan of action for each. For every resident I talked to, I always brought up this organization as the ones to contact and find out more information. Road safety is very important…even more now that we have our kids walking through the streets to the bus stops and along the sidewalks to school.

We have all experienced it. The car speeding down the street at an obviously high rate of speed with what we all assume to be reckless abandon while a number of students are trying to cross the street to get to the school bus. I live on Yates Drive at March Crossing and I seen my share of speeders. Many of them not realizing that they are driving at excessive speeds or if they do notice, they don’t seem to care.

Many people plead from their porches and from the sidewalks to those who feel it necessary to exceed the speed limit on our residential streets and endanger the lives and safety of all of us, but most importantly our children. Those pleas go unheard.

The police cant be at every street corner in every part of town, although at times we would like nothing better than to see those who break the law get punished. The Community Road Watch program is set up for just this reason.

It really shouldn’t have to come to this but here’s what you can do. Thanks to Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr for including this in his recent guest column in the Oakville Beaver.

Participating in Road Watch
Gary Carr, Guest Columnist

Published on Sep 08, 2007

As the Chair of Halton Region, I have the pleasure to sit on the Board of the Halton Region Police Service (HRPS).

As a member of the police service board, I have the opportunity to hear about the community programs HRPS is involved in with the community, as well as their ideas for new projects that would benefit our community.

One very exciting project currently being run in Halton Region is the Community Road Watch program.

This is a community-operated program that gives residents the opportunity to report aggressive and unsafe drivers through a Citizen Report Form to police.

Here’s how the citizen report is processed:

The first time a citizen report is received, an information letter is sent by the police to the registered owner of the vehicle explaining that their vehicle was observed being operated in an unsafe manner at a specific time and location, and asks them to remember to drive safely on Halton roadways.

If the vehicle owner was not driving their vehicle, it is their responsibility to speak with the person who was.

The second time a citizen report is received on the same registered owner, a repeat letter is sent from the police with the potential for personal contact from a police officer to address the problem.

A third report against an owner will result in a third letter and a personal visit from a police officer.

If you observe a dangerous act of aggressive driving on the roads in Halton Region, please consider taking the time to submit a Citizen Report Form.

You can fill out the form online, or place a completed form in one of the secure drop boxes that are located throughout the community at participating police stations, businesses and libraries.

Copies of the form can be faxed to the Halton Region Police Service at 905-845-0381.

The information you provide in the reports is held in strict confidence by Halton Regional Police and you will remain unidentified.

Please fill out the forms as completely as possible to provide the police with the most information possible.

All completed forms are picked up on a regular basis and verified by the police for accuracy. I encourage you to participate in this program and help to keep Halton streets safe from dangerous and aggressive driving.

To fill out a Citizen Report Form, or for more information about the Community Road Watch program, please contact the Halton Regional Police Service at 905-825-4777 — South Halton; 905-878-5511 – North Halton, or visit the website at www.hrps.on.ca.