I’ve long had mixed feelings about recycling. On one hand, it’s important to minimize our waste. On the other, our trash troubles are relatively minor when set against the biggest environment issue facing society—the emissions that are causing temperatures to rise. Landfills might look and smell yucky, but dumping stuff in a hole is relatively benign compared to the cost of spewing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
Of course, the two issues aren’t separate: in 2021, landfills accounted for 14% of American methane emissions: as stuff breaks down, it creates gases that end up in the sky. There’s also all the work and waste that goes into just dealing with our trash. So reducing waste is better than not.
Anyways, I’m thinking of this because I’m working on a recycling story. And I want your input—though only if you live in Abbotsford. (If you live most other places, the following question doesn’t really apply: you can just stick your glass on the curb.)
A wildly inaccurate estimate
stalls Chilliwack’s airport dreams
Chilliwack’s plan to lengthen its airport’s runway has taken a nose-dive after engineers pegged the cost to be more than three times the previous estimate.
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New mosquito plan will set stage for use of drones
A new plan to guide how scientists and local governments curb mosquito populations will set the stage for the use of drones to kill the pests’ larvae. Mosquito-fighters are also looking to target the bugs north of Mission, on Stave Lake.
The Fraser Valley Regional District operates an annual mosquito control program. Each year, the FVRD hires a private company to target mosquito breeding sites with larvaecide to try to minimize the number of pests hatching in the region’s sloughs and wetlands. Provincial regulations require the FVRD to update its plan every five years.
Last year, we reported on the prospect of mosquito-fighting drones. The new plan confirms that drones will join helicopters and ground operations in the toolkit of the scientists tasked with applying larvaecide. The plan notes that on-the-ground applications are preferred for cost reasons, but helicopters are traditionally used for large-scale work, or when breeding sites are hard to access. Drones, the plan suggests, have the potential to target areas that are too big for hand treatments, but too small to justify the use of a helicopter
The plan also identifies a large tract of land at the southern end of Stave Lake as a new treatment area. If successful, treatment there could limit the number of new mosquitoes breeding in the Miracle Valley area. You can read the plan here.
In yesterday’s story, we wrote that taxpayers were on the hook for the cost to repair Chilliwack’s broken outfall pipe in the Fraser River. That’s not quite true, as a reader (and ex-mayor) reminded us. Water and sewer system costs are borne by the users of those systems. So only residents and businesses hooked up to Chilliwack’s sewer system will end up paying for the repair through their annual fees.
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