Waste – deal with it now, or else!

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Our waste management systems are in a bind, and we need a solution to avoid leaving a legacy of random heaps of garbage instead of natural beauty.
Engineers are way ahead in designing new gadgets and processes, but way behind on waste management. Citizens are way ahead in buying things we don’t need, but lax about disposing the leftovers. Governments can set up parameters,

Our waste management systems are in a bind, and we need a solution to avoid leaving a legacy of random heaps of garbage instead of natural beauty.
Engineers are way ahead in designing new gadgets and processes, but way behind on waste management. Citizens are way ahead in buying things we don’t need, but lax about disposing the leftovers. Governments can set up parameters,
make regulations and encourage waste management entrepreneurs, but people must sort and co-operate with the system, or it won’t work.
Gathering waste and sending it to Lachute is a finite, stop-gap solution. A local facility is needed, but that leads to another potential disaster: another landfill, close to the river, run by a company already in possession of accumulated waste without a permit? That doesn’t sound like a good idea.
It’s time to consider a regional incinerator. I dislike the idea, but I dislike the alternatives even more. Waste can be incinerated, electricity can be generated with the excess heat, and the bulk of the non-recyclable, non-organic waste could be reduced to cinders. That will be an expensive operation, yet is potentially fraught with peril if it’s undertaken with profit-over-safety as the guiding philosophy. We should start considering it seriously NOW, because such a facility is years away, and our waste production is ahead of schedule. 
Then there’s the ultimate in long-term hazardous waste: radioactive materials from now-defunct nuclear facilities upriver. A plan was proposed for near-surface landfilling near the river, while disregarding the likelihood of earthquakes, floods, or seepage which could release toxicity into the river over the next 250,000 years. Now would be a good time to come up with a better solution. 

Robert Wills
THORNE/ SHAWVILLE