Poll shows Fraser Valley residents oppose Waste Incineration Plan

Waste incinerator, Edmonton
Image by Fin Fahey via Flickr

Vancouver – A new public opinion poll has revealed strong opposition in the Fraser Valley to Metro Vancouver’s plans to burn garbage as a fuel to produce electricity. The poll was conducted by Angus Reid on behalf of the Abbotsford Community Foundation to assess people’s concerns around waste incineration.

Awareness of Metro Vancouver’s proposed plan to build incinerators in the Lower Mainland is very high in the region. Of those surveyed, 81% say they have heard, seen or read about this issue in the past several months.

Among those who are aware of the proposed plan to build incinerators only 28% support it (6% strongly and 22% moderately), while 59% oppose it (39% strongly and 20% moderately). The remaining people surveyed remain unsure.

These results are at odds with Metro Vancouver staff who have cited polling results that claimed over 50% of Fraser Valley residents support waste incineration.

“This new poll confirms our conviction that Metro Vancouver does not have accurate information for opinions and concerns of the vast majority of Fraser Valley Residents,” said Fraser Valley environmentalist John Vissers who has been working with the Zero Waste BC network to oppose incineration.

“We have been very concerned about the way information is being presented by Metro Vancouver at these public presentations” said Ben West, Healthy Communities Campaigner for the Wilderness Committee.

“Mayors and councilors are coming out to these events but currently the time is being monopolized by Metro Vancouver staff who always get the last word. Their presentation feels more like an infomercial than a public dialogue. It’s great that Fraser Valley Residents have taken the initiative to set the record straight,” said West.

The poll was conducted by between May 3 and May 7 among 450 randomly selected adults who are residents of the Fraser Valley Regional District and are Angus Reid Forum panelists. The margin of error–which measures sampling variability–is +/- 4.6%, 19 times out of 20.

Given the choice between incineration, and compost and recycling our waste, 66% of Fraser Valley residents supported expanded composting and recycling while only 10% chose incineration and 16% chose some other method.

Consultations around Metro Vancouver’s proposed waste management plan are ongoing until mid-June and feedback online will continue until the end of June. Information on meeting dates and incineration alternatives is available at www.zerowastebc.org

Metro Vancouver Directors are expected to vote on the proposed plan in July and then whatever they propose will be forwarded to BC Environment Minister Barry Penner for approval.

“We certainly hope and expect that our elected representatives will listen to the people and say NO to garbage incinerators,” said West.

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