Time to tear up incinerator plan

Council voted this week to express unanimous opposition to a garbage incinerator at Duke Point.

Nanaimo isn’t about to become another city’s garbage dump.

Council voted this week to express unanimous opposition to a garbage incinerator at Duke Point and ask that Metro Vancouver withdraw the proposal from further consideration.

Councillors could have come to this consensus months ago perhaps, but in the end they made the right decision – really the only decision they could have made. By opposing an incinerator, they are representing overwhelming public opinion.

The term ‘waste-to-energy facility’ was a euphemism that was never going to catch on, and it didn’t. The blueprints could have had rainbows and glitter and it wouldn’t have made a difference. Here in Nanaimo, B.C., Canada, in 2014, it’s simply impossible to make a garbage incinerator sound like a good idea.

Metro Vancouver didn’t help its cause, staying meekly out of the matter and letting the businessmen look like the bad guys. The metropolis could have initiated its own public consultation process sooner, though it’s hard to imagine that the outcome would have been any different.

There are valid arguments for a modern waste-to-energy plant and in Nanaimo, at some point, we will have to figure out a way to get rid of our garbage or leave it to future generations to take out the trash. But this Duke Point facility was more about Metro Vancouver solving its problems, not about us solving ours, and that’s what made the plan even more odoriferous to Nanaimoites.

City council’s motion this week was well-worded and it was clear: we don’t want this incinerator. If that wish isn’t respected, it will be an interesting test of council’s will. But it shouldn’t come to that. Metro Vancouver should remove the Duke Point plan from its short list immediately.

As for those blueprints, they may as well be thrown on the trash heap – somehow, that would seem appropriate.