The City of Delta is taking issue with a recent Vancity Credit Union report on waste disposal rates that suggested Delta created the most per-capita garbage in 2017, saying it was not an “apples-to-apples” comparison.
At a council meeting on Feb. 25, councillors decided to send a letter to Vancity asking it to review its data and compare it with Metro Vancouver’s for any future reports. The Vancity report said single-family households in Delta produced 465 kilograms of waste per year, the most in the region.
Coun. Lois Jackson, acting mayor for the meeting, argued the city has had a recycling program since the 1970s and that Vancity’s data is inaccurate since it does not include all the region’s municipalities.
“It really left a bad taste in everybody’s mouth when it was right on the front page of The Province newspaper, which I think has to be corrected,” Jackson said at council Monday night.
Vancity’s report does state that several municipalities did not share their data and that the data reporting was not uniform.
“In Metro Vancouver, waste collected from one municipality may be co-mingled with waste from an adjacent community before disposal,” the report says. “As noted previously, some cities rely on private companies to collect residential and commercial waste and do not share their data with the general public.”
Steven Lan, Delta’s director of engineering, told councillors that staff were surprised at Vancity’s report and said that Delta has a very strong diversion program for the city’s garbage.
“We’ve been very, very active in [those] areas and we’ve also done quite a bit with public education with respect to this,” Lan told council.
“I think that’s the key, and it’s shown in our diversion rate, which is higher than the regional average.”
In press release on Tuesday, the city said Delta had a 66-per-cent single-family waste diversion rate in 2017 and that local waste disposal programs have helped exceed the average regional rate (62 per cent) as well as the regional target rate (65 per cent).
“Key programs include weekly curbside pick-up and diversion initiatives like the backyard composter program, a free mattress recycling voucher and gardening and sustainable living workshops,” a press release said.