The RITE plan forum Jan. 14, sponsored by Green Party MLA Andrew Weaver, provoked a lot of questions.
Mr. Weaver’s support for the RITE plan is clear, even supporting a public-private-partnership (P3) approach to funding. His support for a financing model that adds a privatizing element into a public service, that needs to build in profit for shareholders, that time and again has proven to be more expensive – is discouraging to say the least.
One of the features of a centralized system, like that currently proposed by the CRD, is that treatment and containment are centralized. The ‘Distributed Model’ of waste treatment, with the sewage treatment system created by the Dockside Green development as a shining example, implies that mini-waste treatment sites need to be located close to the source.
At the forum I was envisioning ponds and out-buildings (plus those needed for converting bio-solids into energy and fertilizer) taking up part of Windsor Park, the play-ground of Monterey school or Uplands Park, for example.
The financial and social costs, and the radical re-engineering of old neighbourhoods, are not factored into the accounting for the RITE plan.
The support by Andrew Weaver and by extension the B.C. Greens, for a P3 model of funding, is contaminating the discussion of appropriate waste management. Water management will be the defining issue of our future. Waste management is part of the cycle.