Town hall meeting spurs plenty of trash talking all point bulletin

Close to 100 people turned out on a Saturday morning for a townhall discussion of a proposed mandatory solid waste pickup service that would go into effect next January. Held April 14 at the Gulf Road community center under the auspices of the Point Roberts Community Advisory Committee, the meeting was chaired by Whatcom County Health Department staffer Jeff Hegedus.

He also described the process behind the development of the proposal to institute mandatory collection, pointing out that the county had received 314 responses to a community survey that was created to solicit residents’ views. “For two years we’ve done our best to work with the community.


At this point, it’s time for county council to consider our recommendations and we’re about 6-8 weeks away from that step,” he said.

“I am a full-time resident and I own a house in Vancouver and I do pay for my sewer and water whether I live there or not. So what is the difference between here and there? Because I spent two years cleaning up garbage in the forest so my kids could play in it. … Garbage does get taken through the border. I sit on the border committee and that is the number one complaint. People are illegally taking their garbage through to Canada. … I have a neighbor who burns their garbage which is hugely illegal also.”

“I’m a full-time resident here. We love living here and I care about the hygiene and the community and the garbage. I sit here listening to some of you and I’ve got to tell you, when I cross that border going north, I’m a guest in that country. For those of you who live here seasonally, these are part-time homes for you, right? They’re essentially a luxury. You own property in one of the most-effective places on the west coast. You’re complaining about spending a few bucks each month to improve the community to making sure that garbage is cleaned up and not laying around everywhere. Honest to God, we’re talking about $20 a month – how can

“I live here full-time and I get garbage collection once a month. I don’t need twice-monthly pickup but I will happily pay that money. It’s for the greater good for everybody and I’m happy to pitch in. That’s my comment – my question is: if there is going to be more money available, will there be an increase in services?”

“I’m a full-time resident. If you’re a seasonal resident, here’s a way to get your head around it. Think about if you had an exemption, then you got away with it for a long time. If it’s really that hard for you to think about an extra $200 a year, you’re not required to be here, you’re not forced to be here. We all have to pay our fair share to live in a civilized society.”

I like the duel system like we have now. You haul user pay and/or Curbside pick up works best for our diverse community. If a for profit company can’t do it well and clean up their mess, then we could have a community based system that can have more options. We could have a free store and free recycling. We could have a chipper for yard waste and a compost system for free garden soil. Many island communities do this very well. We could contract out a large appliance and couch pick up once a year. Whatcom county could put recycling containers at all the parks and at the community centre with cameras to minimize illegal dumping like they do in other places. These things would help minimize illegal dumping. My reading about other juristriction’s experience, is mandatory curb side does not have much impact on illegal dumping. Positive solutions work better. The extra 390,800 the county is asking us to pay to increase infrastructure for extra curbside that most of us can’t use, does not service the needs we requested in meetings and surveys. But if the county came up with an improved costing detailed comprehensive recycling plan with specific improvements we asked for in the community engagements, I would be happy to contribute my share and 200 to 400 yearly fee to the system. But I think we can do much better with that 390,800 then buying Cando another truck for curbside we can’t use. I want a new truck too, Just not making my neighbours buy it. But I especially don’t want messy waste trucks driving down our peaceful quiet lane where kids and bunnies play. I would rather Uhaul and can pay my fee in advance if that helps and using a punch card for simplicity. If Cando wants us to invest in their system then they need to first clean up their room. No you don’t get paid extra for cleaning your room.