The rollout of the province's Regional Waste Management strategy is still facing challenges in the Baie Verte and Green Bay regions.
Following an initial meeting in Springdale in February, which was supposed to be attended by municipal representatives from the entire Emerald Zone - community leaders said they didn't receive proper notice of the meeting - Municipal Affairs officials decided on a different approach.
Waste Management Meeting
the Department of Municipal Affairs took a sub-regional approach and met with municipalities on the Baie Verte Peninsula and Green Bay separately in hopes of coming up with representatives from each area to form the Regional Service Committee.
Once the committee is in place it will hire a consultant to investigate what's needed to bring the Baie Verte-Green Bay region on stream with the Waste Management Strategy for the region. The plan is to eventually see the region's household waste shipped to Norris Arm.
At information meetings in both Baie Verte and Springdale earlier this month, officials provided information - with photos - to show how the provincial waste management strategy is playing out in other areas of the province. They answered questions of staff and councilors and both Baie Verte and Green Bay were commissioned to come up with five people to sit on the Regional Waste Management Committee. The committee should be made up of an equal number of municipal representatives from each area. There was also a suggestion of forming sub-regional committees for each area.
Last Thursday night in Baie Verte Boyd Wright, from the Department of Municipal Affairs, met with municipalities on the Baie Verte Peninsula once again.
After some discussion, the group agreed to go ahead and come up with five names to put forward for the regional Ccmmittee.
"I would suggest you try to get representation from all over the peninsula," said Wright.
Baie Verte Mayor Clar Brown, Smith's Harbour Local Service District member Jennifer Whelan, Seal Cove Councilor Elizabeth Rice and La Scie Councilor Roy Burton all put their names forward to be part of the committee.
The goal was to divide the Peninsula into sections with representation from each area. The final section left without representation runs geographically from Snook's Arm to Ming's Bight. Since there was no one at the meeting from that area, the group decided to hold off appointing a fifth member until it could be confirmed whether or not someone from that area was interested.
In Green Bay, members of the already established Green Bay Waste Authority met last week as well to determine their own five members.
After the call was put out, however, Chairperson Dennis Vincent said only two people came forward.
"Laurie Henstridge, who represents Springdale, and myself were the only ones who were willing to sit on the regional committee," Vincent told The Norwester.
He said there was lively discussion around the issue and many members felt it was trivial and a waste of time to join the regional committee.
"I think the general consensus is that all decisions have been predetermined so it's pretty much a waste of time to get on the committee," he said. "I won't say everyone feels that way, but several people voiced that opinion and others were either nodding or saying nothing, so I assume that means they're in agreement."
As for where to from here, Vincent said their plan is to go back to municipal affairs for advice.
"I'm hoping to talk to (Municipal Affairs) again about it and . . . get some more clarification as to what exactly is expected of this committee," he said. "Then if I brought that back to the members, hopefully we'll get three more."