Jay Stanford, on the newly elected Government of Ontario:
“They have been in power before and they did a lot of good things for the environment. They’re very big on making sure that the value is there for the items being spent on,”
London picked up $1.45 million through the first phase of the greenhouse gas challenge, a provincial fund for climate change-fighting projects. Those dollars are slated for a bike share system and a conversion plan to switch garbage trucks from diesel to natural gas.
The start-up cost of an organics program is pegged at $12 million, and the city expects collecting food waste at the curb could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 11,000 tonnes a year. Operating costs were estimated at more than $4 million in a 2016 business case.
But even if the end of provincial cap and trade revenue spells doom for the greenhouse gas challenge fund, the city can tap other sources to offset the start-up costs of a green bin program, Stanford said, like federal gas tax dollars or a green fund doled out by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.
Coun. Stephen Turner, a green bin advocate, called the cap and trade cancellation “indirect downloading.”
“Where we had another source of funds to help offset the costs of these programs coming from taxation and a provincial program, now it’s shifting the responsibility fully to municipalities to bear these costs,” he said.
And he stressed London will have to create some kind of organics program to manage its food waste, with or without help from other levels of government.