GOVERNMENTS can always find money for things they want to do. The trick is to combine that with things people want them to do and it’s a bonus when what the people want doesn’t cost a government (translated - taxpayers) any money.
Such was the case last spring when Waste Management popped up to offer a free recycling service, thus relieving the City of Terrace of the need to spend $50,000 it had already set aside in its 2012 budget to continue its own pilot project service.
And now that Waste Management, citing costs, has closed its free depot, city council, which has spent a lot of political capital and money (eg. the purchase of BC Hydro’s decorated hybrid car) painting itself environmentally-friendly green, is stuck between a rock and a dumpster.
So far council seems content to make tepid motions about involving citizens in crafting some kind of other recycling plan.
Council may not realize it but it has already shown some leadership, readily accepted by citizens, by committing money to its pilot project in 2011, by then placing money in its 2012 budget to continue that service and by then accepting Waste Management’s own free offer.
This is not a rich local government and there would have been a huge sigh of relief when Waste Management made its offer last year.
But if council was ready to commit $50,000 in 2012, then it owes its citizens the same consideration now.