New Survey shows three quarters of Metro Vancouver residents want waste incinerator plans delayed

Overwhelming majority support alternative proposal for mixed-waste Material Recovery Facility

VANCOUVER, Sept. 17, 2014 /CNW/ - NextUse Recycling Ltd. ("NextUse"), a Belkorp group company, today published the results of an Abacus Data study of public opinion about waste management options in Metro Vancouver. 

The findings of the survey show that roughly three out of four voters in the region want Metro Vancouver Regional District to suspend work towards a $500 million taxpayer-funded waste incinerator in order to explore alternative options and technologies.

Metro Vancouver residents overwhelmingly believe (91% of those polled) that the Regional District should support a proposal to build a mixed-waste Material Recovery Facility (MRF) that would be built at no cost to the taxpayers and recover significant amounts of recyclables and organics from our waste stream instead of being burned or landfilled.

According to Abacus Data Chairman Bruce Anderson:

"For years, people have been uncomfortable with the amount of garbage that is produced and ends up being buried or burned. When presented with a tax-neutral way to reduce that aspect of their environmental footprint, it is not surprising at all that people want to see their governments explore and embrace such solutions. 

For residents of the Metro Vancouver area, material recovery is a solution that also feels like it is more consistent with the values of the community, and it's clear they expect their public officials to give serious consideration to this idea. For the average voter, the fact that it hasn't been done before in this region is an argument for trying it now, not ruling it out."

Respondents were informed of Metro Vancouver Regional District estimates that even after efforts by households and businesses to separate out recyclables, almost half of what the region sends to disposal (incineration or landfilling) is actually recyclable.

Given this context, the large majority show enthusiasm for the idea of taking the waste to a privately-owned and operated facility where additional effort to recover recyclables would be made, after residents and businesses have done their best to recycle. This is considerably more popular than either trucking unsorted waste to an incinerator and burying the ash in landfill, or trucking it to landfills and burying it.

NextUse VP of Corporate Development, Russ Black, said, "The results of this survey demonstrate there is significant enthusiasm in Metro Vancouver for initiatives that would increase recycling and divert waste volumes away from disposal. The material recovery facility that we are proposing to build and operate with our own capital offers a proven way to increase recycling levels and deliver a host of other economic and environmental benefits – with no tax increases.

The survey results show clear support across the region for what we have been saying to Metro Vancouver officials: recyclable materials should be recycled rather than burned in a costly, polluting, taxpayer-funded incinerator. With such support for the principles and concept we are putting forward, we look forward to a favourable review of our license application which has been with Metro Vancouver officials since February."

Added Mr. Black: "At the very least, the survey shows that residents would prefer delaying the $500 million incinerator project in order to explore other more environmentally friendly and economically sound options such as MRFs".

NextUse's proposed material recovery facility has received unanimous support from the City of Coquitlam.

Detailed survey results and highlights can be accessed here.

Survey Methodology

The survey was conducted online with 1,021 eligible voters aged 18 and over living in Metro Vancouver. A random sample of panellists was invited to complete the survey from a large representative panel of Canadians, recruited and managed by Research Now, one of the world's leading providers of online research samples. The survey was conducted from June 16 to 20, 2014.

The Marketing Research and Intelligence Association policy limits statements about margins of sampling error for most online surveys. The margin of error for a comparable probability-based random sample of the same size is +/- 3.1%, 19 times out of 20. 

The data were weighted according to census data to ensure that the sample matched Metro Vancouver's population according to age, gender, educational attainment, and municipality. Totals may not add up to 100 due to rounding.

About NextUse Recycling Ltd.

NextUse Recycling Ltd. is a new recycling business and affiliate of Belkorp Environmental Services Inc. (BESI). NextUse is a progressive approach to waste management, focused on material recovery and recycling which provides new opportunities to local remanufacturers and other members of the green economy.

Mixed Waste Material Recovery Facilities (MRFs) like the one proposed by NextUse represent an important additional step to existing recycling efforts, serving to "break the garbage bag" and recover recyclable and compostable material. After residents and businesses have done their best to recycle and compost, MRFs increase the amount of material that is recovered and recycled, and decrease the amount of waste requiring disposal to incinerators and landfills.

MRFs employ a proven technology, and are becoming an increasing part of the solution to accelerating progress toward zero waste for jurisdictions across the United States. MRFs can thrive where the private sector is able to collaborate with governments and contribute innovative solutions to maximize recycling and material recovery.

Image with caption: "NextUse Recycling Ltd. (CNW Group/NextUse Recycling Ltd.)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140917_C1322_PHOTO_EN_5696.jpg

SOURCE: NextUse Recycling Ltd.

For further information: Nancy Grenier, NextUse Recycling Ltd., 778.994.3485 | ngrenier@nextuse.ca, www.nextuse.ca

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NextUse Recycling Ltd.

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