Backyard burning a health hazard

Nanaimo still allows backyard burning of garden waste. This produces some of the smokiest fires imaginable.

To the Editor,

B.C. doesn’t allow coal-fired generating stations. We are required to spend billions of dollars on pollution reduction equipment on the cars we buy. Most people don’t want an incinerator in their neighbourhood. Cigarette smoking is regulated to stop people being affected by other people’s smoke. Yet Nanaimo still allows backyard burning of garden waste. This produces some of the smokiest fires imaginable which envelopes entire neighbourhoods.

Garden waste should be composted – either onsite or offsite. Burning creates large amounts of pollution and threatens the health of the burners and their neighbours. Just because some property owners have disproportionately large lots should not entitle them to destroy the environment for the rest of us. What incentive is there to encourage densification, and reduce urban sprawl, if you reward large property owners with burning rights?

This is not the 19th century in the wilderness. Let’s stop this arcane practice so everybody can breathe easier.

S.I. PetersenNanaimo

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