In preparation for the city’s food composting program that begins July 1, Salmon Arm Mayor Alan Harrison holds a kitchen catcher for compostables next to a blue curbside recycling bin, to replace blue or clear plastic bags, next to a food waste cart that kitchen compostables can be dumped into before the cart is taken to the curb. (File photo)

One more chance to weigh in on Salmon Arm’s plastic bag ban

Bins for compostables, recycling to be delivered soon door-to-door

One more chance awaits you.

If you would like to have your opinion heard on the city’s proposed bylaw banning single use plastic shopping bags, council will be holding a public hearing on Monday, May 27.

This will be the final phase for public input if the bylaw is passed, which is expected.

A public input session for the proposed ‘Checkout Shopping Bag Regulation Bylaw’ was held on April 23, but the May 27 meeting, 7 p.m. in council chambers, is the one leading up to a vote from council.

“We’re encouraging everybody who has any input at all,” says Mayor Alan Harrison.

He said council has received a lot of feedback already; he estimates about 70 per cent of respondents are in favour with 30 per cent having questions, concerns or being opposed.

“That’s bang on with the general population when people are asked that question across Canada. There is a lot of consensus, that’s for sure.”

Read more: Salmon Arm plans to ban single-use plastic bags

Read more: Shuswap plastic bag ban expected to begin July 1

Read more: Plastic Bag Association takes Victoria to court once again over single-use bag ban

He said the one last issue to be talked about is whether to include compostable bags in the bylaw.

His thought, he explained, is that the single-use plastic bag bylaw is just a small piece in a much bigger plan, a plan that includes street-side food waste pick-up.

“We’re working on really trying to think differently. Recycling is good, but there’s too much recycling, too much stuff.”

His worry, he says, is if compostable bags are included, then perhaps 30 per cent of people might purchase them. The bags could end up under the sink with garbage in them, and get included in the large non-compostable bags.

“So we will end up with a bunch of compostable bags in a big garbage bag in the landfill.”

Harrison said he’s been talking to the large retailers such as Walmart and Save-on-Foods, which seem to be onboard with the proposed bylaw.

Smaller retailers have also been onboard, although coming up with the volumes for ordering a multi-use bag has been difficult for some. He said Economic Development is looking into possibilities for a bulk buy.

Although implementation of the bylaw and the curbside food waste composting program are proposed to begin on July 1, Harrison says the city will be doing door-to-door delivering of the new recycling bins and food waste containers soon.

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