Opportunity lost

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I attended the last Council of Mayors meeting to thank the warden and Council for studying energy-from-waste (EFW) as a solution for residual waste. I also said zero waste is just an aspiration and won’t prevent us from sending at least 50% of our waste to landfill, the worst contributor to climate change.

I’ve made the following observations:
The same people attended all of the anti-incineration meetings and wrote several letters to the editor. This same group went door-to-door obtaining signatures for a petition where residents only heard that the incinerator was going to cause cancer and the warden was pushing it.

After eight months, there were less than 4,000 signatures, 73% from Pontiac residents; 16% of the population. The fact the five town hall meetings only drew 350 people says that if residents were really worried, we would’ve had thousands out expressing themselves.
Many of my friends cannot believe most councils rescinded their support because of these special interest groups who were bullying and threatening to not re-elect them.
This great opportunity was never given a chance and when we hear that another community is moving forward with EFW, we’ll realize we could’ve been first.
Most of our local media opposed the plan when they should’ve remained neutral.

Finally, why was our warden targeted so strongly? Why did it become so personal? Letters to the editor could’ve discussed the pros and cons of the technology, but instead they attacked our warden’s character. At least she had the courage to explore a project
that has been talked about for a long time and could’ve benefited us economically and environmentally.

We can never do too much research and I hope we’ll continue to do so on a problem that won’t just disappear!

Louise Laroche
MANSFIELD