In this day and age of tight funding, the need to cut excessive costs is understandable.
But there is an old saying that talks about cutting off your nose to spite your face. And there’s a lot of that in all levels of government.
The Comox-Strathcona Waste Management (CSWM) board has indulged in a little face-spiting. In the board’s quest to squeeze a few dollars, they’ve decided to stop funding the Campbell River and the Comox Valley’s compost education centres (see page 7) . Actually, to be more specific: the Comox Valley board members (except one) voted to kill the compost education centres. For some reason, Campbell River area members found the centres worth saving and attempted to do so with a motion to keep the Campbell River centre on Dogwood Street.
This has to be one of those situations where nitpicking over a relatively small amount of money sacrifices something that’s of greater value than it’s budget line amount. The Compost Education Centre on Dogwood Street has been an effective public education resource that has taught thousands of children over the years about the value and techniques of composting. Oh, and the parents that came along probably absorbed some of that knowledge too. These centres also served as focal points for the community. Elaine Jansen – the “Compost Diva” – is a far more well-known – and loved – figure in the community than any CSWM board member.
Given that one of the CSWM’s mandates is to divert garbage from the landfill – thereby precluding the need to spend millions on building and operating them – cutting the compost education centres to save a few thousand dollars seems shortsighted. All is not lost yet, there is still an opportunity for the centre to come back during final budget discussions and hopefully Comox Valley politicians will be able to see beyond the end of their noses and allow us to keep our centre at least.