Kelowna and West Kelowna are on opposite sides of Okanagan Lake, but both participate in an automated curbside garbage and recycling program managed by the Regional District of Central Okanagan. About a year and a half ago, households in the program received new carts that are lifted and emptied by a mechanical arm on the collection trucks.
The carts have electronic tags, and the trucks are outfitted with scanners and cameras that can be used to track cart use and record evidence of bad recycling behaviour.
At the time, however, the regional district did not buy the computers and software necessary to implement a monitoring system, so last month it asked the municipalities to come up with approximately $1.70 per household to do so.
The program's manager, Peter Rotheisler, promised the investment would more than pay for itself, with less garbage going to the landfill and less contamination of recyclables.
But while Kelowna's city council enthusiastically embraced the request, West Kelowna's council firmly rejected it.
West Kelowna councillor Carol Zanon called the monitoring system “a draconian invasion of privacy.”
A retired lawyer, Ms. Zanon said in an interview that residents have a right “to a quiet enjoyment of life” without governments poking through their garbage...