Letters: Pink cart program explained by SDL

Why the disposal company is charging more for kitchen scrap removal is explained

I,  Mike Winter, from Sooke Disposal Ltd.,  (SDL) would like to take this opportunity to explain the Pink Cart Program.

My brother and I back in September,  became aware that the CRD was going to ban food waste from the Hartland landfill effective January 1, 2015, and it was actually going to happen this time around, as they were trying to enforce the kitchen scraps program in the last year or two.

Ken and I went in to lengthy debates how we were going to go about this new program.

We understood right from the beginning this was going to be a difficult transition for the public and us as a company. First off; how would we educate the public?  What size of container? What type of truck would we use?  What color would we use and public to identify visually where to put kitchen scraps?

How would the CRD enforce contaminants in the kitchen waste?  What the cost is going to be?

After all of these discussions  we came up with the pink cart 32-gallon tote made by Cascade industries. Why? This is how it went.

First off, I am naturally a realistic humanitarian and for 30 years  I have conducted business with the most simplest philosophy. Which is, if it doesn’t come from the heart, it doesn’t matter what the mind thinks.

Back to the pink cart: The 32 gallon size was decided because of an understanding that grass/leaves would be accepted with kitchen waste. Unfortunately, that is not the case at this time. Another determining factor of size was maybe the public would want to share with their neighbours, family, friends, etc.

The 32-gallon toters are the smallest toters used on a truck lift, meaning, kitchen scraps can become quite heavy. They are easy to wheel to the curb, as well as being easier for our employees to use the truck lift.

The collection truck would be one already in our fleet so we could use it for multi- tasking.  The colour of the tote went back and forth. Ken’s idea was to symbolize something unique, not being done by everyone. We talked about the pink cart   five years ago, as cancer has been touched by everyone, in some type of way.  But we did wonder if the public would accept the pink color.  The cost of disposal of kitchen waste is $110/metric tonne at the Hartland landfill. There will be a surcharge of 40 per cent if contaminants are mixed with food waste. These fines will be charged to the company.  What would be our cost?

After hashing out numbers based on weight and volume, we arrived at $7.95 per tote/per month. This cost was implied before donating to any charities.  So rather then feeling forced to donate, by signing up you are helping these charities.  In other words, it would have been $7.95/month regardless. This price includes the use of the lift toter at no extra charge.

Being  natural humanitarians,  we decided we want to support charities and advertise the well-being of human kind. We quickly agreed. Which ones?  So many good charities out there. Our conclusion was since the pink cart supports the Canadian Cancer Society, we wanted to support this charity.  The second charity was the local food bank because of the nature of program.  It’s a fact that everyone needs a helping hand sometimes.

Next came the hot stamping of the cart. Are you sure that Sooke Disposal should have a hot stamp  stating portion of proceeds to local food bank/CCS on each pink cart? Yes!  It is the people that will make this program,  not us. We just came up with the concept. We put a lot of thought into this, we did not come up with these ideas and figures over night.

SDL, a local family business has always been a community player and has supported many charities and organizations through the last three decades. That is what makes us a community.

Our customers have the right to participate if they desire. After all, it is a user pay system.

In closing I am extremely proud of the people of Sooke. I am proud to be a Sookite. Proud to be doing our part in protecting the environment.

SDL has the best customers in the world. Thank you again from the bottom of my heart. Together we can! We appreciate any feed back: grinder5mw@gmail.com

Mike Winter

Sooke