CUPE Newfoundland and Labrador has a major caveat to a recently announced provincial waste management strategy – it must remain in public hands.
“We share many of the concerns expressed by the Sierra Club and others that the plan as it’s currently set up is ‘underwhelming’”, says CUPE NL President Wayne Lucas.
“Our primary concern, and this is one that all residents should be made aware of, is that for the current system to be truly transformed, it must remain in public hands. That has not been explicitly mentioned in the plan,” adds Lucas.
“Expanding programs to reduce, reuse and recycle our waste is an idea that’s long overdue. But we have to get it right. CUPE believes that public infrastructure and services must be owned and operated on a non-profit basis to ensure efficient spending and proper regulation in the interest of the public and of our planet,” he says.
“Public control ensures that governments can enforce environmental standards in municipal waste management practices. The last thing our province needs is for some large, multinational corporation to come here and make millions upon millions of dollars from our recyclables, for example.”
Lucas encouraged the government to look next door to Nova Scotia, where the province is already diverting half of all garbage away from landfill sites.