Letter to the Editor

Another letter on recycling. After I sent the letter,  I actually went through the online poll for myself. And then I did it again. And again. And again. Most of my responses to the question where I would recycle my garbage if such-and-such an option were implemented was Pat Lorje’s backyard.

In other words, online polls are garbage, and for a newspaper which regards blogs and other social media as substandard sources of topical news, this article was sure willing to proclaim the validity of the results. Talk about garbage.

The StarPhoenix tells us that residents “support the creation of a city-wide curbside recycling program” because telephone and online poll surveys received voluntary responses from about 1.5% of the city’s population (“Curbside service backed”, Aug. 16). With such overwhelming statistical authority, it’s a wonder we don’t forgo voting booths altogether and select our officials via telephone or online polls. City councillors, for example, could be chosen according to their number of Facebook friends.

Such a selection process could hardly do any worse than what we have to deal with today. Our city council has a responsibility to provide a full and proper cost-benefit analysis of all options. Unfortunately, they have failed to do so.

While their survey provided some detail as to the expected cost per household per month for each option, it only provided a time estimate as to the extended life of the municipal landfill capacity. There was no mention as to how a landfill time extension might save taxpayers money.

The status quo option is said to add 2 years to the landfill life at a cost of $1 per household per month, while the premium-super-deluxe curb-side option would cost between $7 and $11 (plus an unmentioned—but probable—municipal subsidy) while adding a mere 6.5 years. How much would that extra 4.5 years of landfill life cost each household per month, and is it less than $7?

A truly responsible council would provide to residents the full cost of doing nothing versus the full cost of doing something, and only then should they ask us to decide whether or not it’s worth it.

Rob Huck


The letter was published but they edited out my Facebook friends crack.


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