‘Mountain’ of problems with green waste situation

Priorities for council need to change

While pleased to see Ruth Altendorf honoured by having a bridge named after her, the bridge itself raises issues I hope to see adressed in Harrison’s next municipal election, i.e. the priorities of our Village mayor and council. While we now have several convenient bridges “downtown” — and the landscaping is wonderful —there is a huge gap that needs to be “bridged” even more than the river.

The lakefront is now beautifully landscaped and I’m sure those within walking district enjoy it — as well as the nearby walking trails. But drive any street south of Pine St. and you’ll notice a quantum difference compared to the rest of the village —no well kept walking trails, crumbling kerbs, sinking pavement, weeds in profusion (I fight a neverending battle with roadside blackberry bushes sending long spiky shoots into my yard).

While no railway runs through Harrison, I have the definite impression we live “on the wrong side of the tracks”.

Which brings me to the next issue — disposal of yard waste. We live in a rainforest. A single family dwelling with shrubs and trees produces a mountain of prunings in a year. When we moved here, in addition to excellent pickup of household waste, there were a couple of special pickups of larger household items (worn out furniture, bicycles, etc which are accumulating in sheds and garages, or worse yet being surreptitiously dumped anywhere possible) and yard waste every year.

Much of the dried yard waste could be burned. Sadly, newbies missed the pristine air of “Vancouver” — meaning no more campfires in the campgrounds, and no more pleasant autumn odours of burning leaves. And, no more pickup of yard waste.

We were given the option of (a) composting it, which would involve a brush pile as big as some houses, or (b) filling the family car with rotting vegetation, plodding thru the mud and unloading at the “Green Waste Area” — If you could do so during limited hours of operation!

Then came hours of cleaning the family car!

Sadly, even the green waste area, while convenient to those nearby, was found distasteful, being located on the right side of the proverbial tracks. And we’re all left to our own devices to deal with it.

And speaking of green waste, we now have a bylaw officer who must be paid, and an inflow of “Greeners” who probably don’t actually live in single family dwellings (condos or gated communities) but like seeing trees. Solution? No more cutting of trees, even those you planted on your own property which are now a problem, without an official inspection. And if you’re lucky, a $40 permit per tree!  (You can then pay dearly to have the biomass hauled away on top of the cost of tree cutting.)

Which brings me to my original point — the upcoming election of mayor and council.

All of the issues raised lead me to one conclusion: Harrison priorities are set by a minority who live on the “right” side of the tracks, in condos, gated communities or are able to afford groundskeepers!

It’s about time the majority of Harrisonians, with average incomes, living in single family dwelling, had a say in how our tax dollars are spent.

Come election day, let’s vote for people who represent us, who share OUR problems, who will not pass bylaws and set priorities based on the vocal minority who, not having to deal with our problems have time to lobby for more pretty bridges lanscaping and services “downtown.”

Larry Tilander

Harrison Hot Springs