Tagged: Steve Stretch

Steve Streatch and the Lobby of the Lazy

Contrarian is not the Nova Scotia blog of record, but I don’t want HRM Council’s latest act of craven irresponsibility to pass uncommented upon. Neither does Contrarian reader Lindsay Brown, who writes:

What is it about the Halifax lifestyle that produces more embarrassing stuff in just two weeks than you can put in a single opaque garbage bag? What am I missing?

SteveStreatch-150The facts are simple. Nova Scotia was a pioneer in trash sorting, diversion, and recycling, thanks to visionary provincial legislation. These measures were necessary to slow the pace of landfill growth,  given the horrendous obstacles to siting new dumps. After rapid early progress, HRM stalled at about 60 percent diversion. That means roughly four out of 10 items that could be diverted, composted, or recycled instead require expensive secondary sorting or end up in landfills.

The reason is no secret: Many people can’t be bothered to sort or recycle. That lobby of the lazy, led by Councillor Steve Streatch, famous for fretting that immigrants will dilute Nova Scotia’s population,  persuaded a majority of HRM councillors to reject staff proposals to join many other Nova Scotia municipalities in mandating clear plastic bags for most trash (with a single opaque bag permitted for unmentionables and unviewables).  Moistened finger to the wind, Mayor Peter Kelly followed the noisy band.

Someday, a future mayor and council will have no choice but to do the right thing and pass the rule it rejected this week. The financial, environmental, and most of all,  political cost of siting new landfills will force their hand. In the meantime, we will waste more money and cause more damage to the environment. Thanks, boys.