FVRD applauds decision to reject Bylaw 280

October 17, 2014

Chair Sharon Gaetz today applauded Minister of Environment Mary Polak’s decision to reject Bylaw 280, a bylaw that would have required waste management haulers in Metro Vancouver to only deliver residential and commercial garbage to Metro based facilities. In her decision, Polak cited the significant negative impacts Bylaw 280 would have had on business, the environment, and the economy of British Columbia.

"The FVRD is very pleased to see that Minister Polak sees how Bylaw 280 was not in the public’s interest, and that she is truly committed to pursuing zero waste and helping Metro Vancouver to achieve its waste diversion goals," says Chair Gaetz. "We sincerely hope that Metro Vancouver will now consider abandoning its plans to build a garbage incinerator and move toward more effective, less costly alternatives."

As part of the decision, Minister Polak appointed Marvin Hunt, MLA for Surrey-Panorama to conduct a three month review of Metro Vancouver’s solid waste management plan to find the most appropriate way to achieve waste diversion. "Metro Vancouver’s waste diversion goals are similar and connected to those in the Fraser Valley Regional District. We would be pleased to work with Metro Vancouver and Mr. Hunt to find a solution that will work across both regions. " says Gaetz.

The FVRD has long advocated for Metro Vancouver to consider mixed materials recovery, a facility that separates and processes recyclable materials from the waste stream. "The technology available in mixed material recovery is remarkable. By enabling the private sector to invest in the recycling industry, there is less risk to local government and the taxpayer. It’s the way to go," says Gaetz.

The FVRD’s solid waste management plan is also before the Minister of the Environment awaiting approval. This plan includes strong disposal bans on recyclable material and organics and a proposal to build a mixed material recovery facility with the potential to divert significant recyclable material from the landfill.

"We look forward to redefining our relationship with Metro Vancouver in the months ahead," says Gaetz. "Our goals of minimizing waste and maximizing recycling are the same and I am confident we can work together to find a way we to get there."