I'm guilty as charged: I often ride past a sewage plant that the city built beside a major bike path. Almost without fail, my first thought is about nearby residents and what would ever possess them to live in the area.
But if you run the math and look at a map, you realize that eventually someone's got to live next to these facilities. There are only so many places for us to live, and it's impossible to completely isolate each and every NIMBY-class site. This adds a bit of context to the dispute between the city and some folks who live near our garbage dump.
Beyond our general disdain for things that stink, this story got to me because it hinges around a promise apparently made long ago between the city and the township that was eventually absorbed by the expanding city. The outcome of this case will influence how much trust we can ultimately place in a simple commitment.
Dump controversy could get smellyYour turn: Do old promises these days still hold water? Should they?
Published Wednesday, June 21, 2006
The London Free Press
Garbage is one of those things that people don't want in their own back yard. But someone, somewhere has to live next to the garbage dump. And residents living near London's Manning Drive landfill have every right to call the city on commitments they say the city made long ago to close the facility by this coming August.
The dump was established in 1977 and became part of London when the city swallowed the former township of Westminster.
Neighbouring residents say the township and the city had agreed that the dump would close for good in August – something the city now denies. They’re threatening to sue, and as smelly as the case might get, I feel for them.
The city should determine who lived in the area before 1977, and decide on fair compensation without sucking the entire taxpaying population dry.
Those who moved in after 1977 deserve nothing, for promises can’t be made retroactively to residents who knew full well what they were getting into when they moved in.