Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Publish Day - Ink Blog - Garbage: NIMBY

Everyone's by now familiar with the term, "Not In My Back Yard," or NIMBY. It efficiently summarizes the way many of us tend to view our management of the environment; that we logically understand and accept the need for garbage dumps and sewage treatment plants, but we are unwilling to live near them.

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 smelly
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.

Your turn: Do old promises these days still hold water? Should they?


colleen said...

I actually don't like to make "promises" because you never know... but when they are legal I think they should be honored.

By the way, we lost our family home via eminent domain for a sewage plant to be built. Now in the same little coastal town they are fighting about where to put giant wind generators. There are 2 so far.

guppyman said...

Close it down. Too many times cities think they should have the right to walk all over folks... It really sucks.

Prego said...

Along with the sunshine,
There's gotta be a little rain sometimes.
When you take, you gotta give, so live and let live,
Or let go.

I beg your pardon.
I never promised you a rose garden.

Wordnerd said...

We have a lot of that problem here -- hazardous waste dumping is the culprit. It's just hard for these people to get anything because the lawyers for the companies are always able to get around it in some way. It's sad, but I'm not really sure what the solution is.

Karen said...

This is a very good question. Yes, promises should be made and kept. It's the right thing to do. As a world, what will we do when there is nowhere else to put the garbage? I have no good answer for this. Kind of a sad thought.

Just stopping by to say hello, Carmi!

~A~ said...

That is a pretty stinky situation for those home owners. Although I feel for them, they weren't forced to buy there or forced to continue to live there. I'm facing a similar situation with a busy road to be built on the front of my property. I'm not happy about it, but no one is making me stay.

PresentStorm said...

I think they should.. I don't think just because things change a promise should as well.

We live close to a sweage plant and MAN it can get smelly...sheeeewwww * holds nose*

mrsmogul said...

How about sending the garbage into the space? No bad idea MM...who knows...

KaraMia said...

As long as it was a legal commitment and was put in writing, it is binding and enforcable. Sadly, the residents might have to employ the help of a law firm to force the township to live up to their obligations. Ah..politics are so much fun!!!

srp said...

I can't believe you posted about garbage. I just wrote one about Mt. Trashmore here in Virginia Beach in response to several commenters questions. It is a great park with two small lakes, wild waterfowl, running paths, picnic areas and was actually built from trash and dirt in 1971.