Group protests garbage changes

  • Jan. 19, 2009 4:00 p.m.

A small group of islanders held a peaceful rally Friday at the landfill site to protest the regional district’s decision to consider the idea of contracting out the garbage system. Masset resident Daryl Collerman, who helped organize the rally, said there were about five people there. They put up signs and stood outside the gate from 10 am until 3 pm, he said, preventing the haulage truck from dropping off a load of garbage from Skidegate. “It was an informational thing,” Mr. Collerman said. “The idea was to send a message to all the islands directors.” The islands regional district directors were in Prince Rupert Thursday and Friday for meetings to go over the two bids the regional district received from local businesses that want to take over running the garbage system. Mr. Collerman said the landfill gate was locked when the protestors arrived, preventing the workers at the site from leaving and stopping the haulage and recycling trucks from getting in. At 3 pm, he said, he used bolt cutters to cut the lock and open the gate. Police from Masset arrived at one point. Mr. Collerman said they checked to see if there were any safety issues and did not attempt to stop the rally. Skidegate resident Sherry Williams, another organizer, said the protestors have several concerns about the possible move to a private business running the garbage system. These include whether environmental issues will be properly addressed, how much it will cost islanders, how the public’s voice will be heard, and what will happen to the regional district’s solid waste advisory committee.