Our View: Why isn’t CRD collecting scraps?

On first blush, this would seem to be another obvious example of the zaniness that comes with living in a Balkanized middle city.

On first blush, this would seem to be another obvious example of the zaniness that comes with living in a Balkanized middle city.

Saanich is the latest Greater Victoria municipality to have grown tired of waiting for the Capital Regional District to implement a regional kitchen scraps recycling program.

Two neighbourhoods in Saanich — both strategically located close to the municipal public works yard – will test the effectiveness of a plan to collect the scraps. The goal is to divert as much waste as possible from Hartland Landfill, thus allowing it to extend its lifespan before reaching capacity. Treated kitchen scraps are also reusable as a natural fertilizer, which is also an effective way to reduce our population’s impact on the environment.

By going it alone, Saanich joins the City of Victoria (which starts its program next year) and the municipalities of Oak Bay and View Royal – all of which are diverting kitchen scraps outside of the auspices of the CRD. It’s worth noting that the View Royal and Oak Bay programs started as a single CRD pilot project before being taken over by their respective municipalities.

With three independent kitchen scraps programs running within the core of Greater Victoria (plus one pilot program), why doesn’t the CRD – a political body tasked with representing the region – get with the program? (Pun intended.)

It’s a fair question, but perhaps it’s also wise for the CRD to make the most of the current situation. Instead of trying to organize a one-size-fits-all solution for the diverse needs of its member municipalities, there is an opportunity to gather hard evidence for both the CRD board and the staffers who study such things.

Unlike the Balkans, where a single state split into fractious factions, Greater Victoria has always been an assembly of independent areas with similar goals. Let’s see if Saanich’s program works better than what Victoria has planned, or if View Royal and Oak Bay have already figured out the best approach.

There’s enough variation that common efficiencies and obstacles can be identified. Such information will be invaluable to an inevitable regional kitchen scraps recycling program.