New West Record embraces recycling

The hottest story in New Westminster over the last few months has undoubtedly been the imminent closure of its only city-run recycling centre and the subsequent uproar from the neighbourhoods of Queens Park and Queens Park Lite. Never a stranger to running stories that’ll get the letters flowing, the New West Record has continued to pump the story with articles coming fast and furious. And of course, telling people to “stop with the hyperbole” always works well, right? If that’s not a clever way to get more people riled up, I don’t know what is.

Take this week’s front page article, for example. It’s not online but the title is “Depot closing date pushed into March”. An entire front page article about a simple date change! Clearly The Record is taking recycling seriously.

And there’s more proof of how much they’re getting into recycling with their story reporting on New West’s school board voting record in 2019, which is an obvious recycling of a blog post written by New West councillor Patrick Johnstone just a month earlier!

Congratulations to the New West Record for being a community leader in recycling! ♻️

New West Progressives call for ten-lane recycling centre

The New Westminster Progressives have committed to pursuing a competitive 10-lane recycling centre to replace the ageing, but iconic, New Westminster Recycling Depot, which has served the community for the past 25 years. The new recycling centre would be capable of hosting Provincial and National-level meets, while providing the residents with a usable public recycling component.

The current city council has developed a plan to require New Westminster residents drive to Coquitlam to do their recycling.

NW Progressives city council candidate Paul McNamara has a long-term vision that would see the state-of-the-art recycling centre built and would make New Westminster the go-to city for competitive recycling, which would bring a much-needed economic boost to local businesses.

“The City of New Westminster must actively pursue available provincial and federal funding opportunities such as the federal EcoAction Community Funding Program,” says McNamara. “These larger Provincial and National-level meets have an economic input of between $1-million and $7-million, depending on the size of the event.

“I have met so many long term New West residents who remember the opening of the mid-90s Recycling Depot and the impact it had on the city. It put New West on the map as the place to be.”

Currently, the 4,000 plus competitive recyclers in the Lower Mainland area have to travel to Vancouver Island or Kamloops to compete in Provincial or National events.

“New Westminster can turn this opportunity into a recycling-tourism advantage that will benefit everyone,” says McNamara. “This would be the start of a recycling infrastructure revitalization this city hasn’t seen since 1995.”

Let It Go (Brown)

In the Lower Fraser and South Coast regions of British Columbia in March 2015, the snowpack levels were at record lows, at 26% and 13% normal levels.

In May 2015, both Environment Canada and AccuWeather predicted a hotter-than-normal summer for BC, one to one-and-a-half degrees warmer.

In May 2015 only 4.2 millimetres of rain fell at YVR, 6.5 per cent of the normal monthly rainfall.

All of these are pointing to two things: this summer is going to be hot, and this summer is going to be dry.

Will we have another 2003, where the extremely dry summer lead to the most expensive natural disaster in BC history? After that disastrous year, the BC government released Dealing With Drought, which states that

Managing community water supplies is a local government and local supplier responsibility. Planning will help your community to protect community supplies for drinking water, sanitation, and fire protection; protect fish and aquatic ecosystems, and sustain industrial development and economic activity.

Unfortunately summer months see residential water consumption spike by two to four times when compared to the rest of the year, and with hotter temperatures expected over the summer, we need to reduce this spike. While Metro Vancouver has lawn watering regulations in place, these restrictions will probably not be enough to conserve enough water in our reservoirs. We all need to use less water over the summer, and one way to do this is to let our lawns go brown.

To help promote this, I am asking City Council to request that the large lawn in front of City Hall go brown over the summer by turning off the automated irrigation system until the fall.

By going brown, we not only save on water, but a brown lawn also requires much less maintenance than a green lawn. A brown lawn does not need mowing, which frees up parks maintenance that can be allocated elsewhere. By not running a mower, the city reduces its air and noise pollution contributions, and saves money on gasoline and mower maintenance.

A brown lawn can also spur discussions about water conservation, using drought-tolerant plants in our landscaping, or the use of grey water systems for irrigation. All of these will help to reduce our impact on the environment, and I’m calling on the City of New Westminster to set an example.

Let it go brown!