Morning Star column sparks concern

Vernon officials are concerned B.C.’s new recycling program could put seniors and the disabled at risk.

Coun. Catherine Lord is asking city staff to be aware of potential problems with Multi-Material B.C.’s blue recycling boxes after a recent opinion piece by Morning Star columnist Pat Black.

“The provincial government had good intentions but there are some unforeseen consequences,” said Lord of people with mobility issues having to carry the plastic boxes full of recycling.

“I want to know what effect this is having on our seniors.”

In her column, Black expressed the challenges seniors and the disabled may have with the boxes.

“They weigh about five pounds empty, are awkward to carry and are up to the knees of many older people,” she wrote.

“How will someone with a disability be able to lift them in the first place or carry the tall boxes down stairs without being able to see where they are going? These are accidents waiting to happen.”

Black says 25 per cent of residents of this area are more than 60 years old, and while some have disabilities, others just don’t have a lot of physical strength anymore.

“There is so much anger and frustration that this operation has been thrust upon us without debate or any modicum of thoughtfulness,” she wrote.

Coun. Mary-Jo O’Keefe agrees with Lord’s concerns.

“Those boxes are heavy. If you are a senior and are trying to haul a box, it will be hard,” said O’Keefe.


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