Updates were made to tipping fees at the Whistler Transfer Station
Whistler continues to press forward to find ways to reduce the amount of waste sent to the landfill, with the recent formation of the new Zero Waste Select Committee of Council.
The Zero Waste Committee will provide input and recommendations to council on how the community can move towards eliminating the volume and toxicity of waste material, conserve and recover all resource materials generated in the community.
“I am pleased to have the Zero Waste Committee in place so we as a community can continue moving ahead on reducing the amount of waste sent to the landfill,” said Whistler Mayor Jack Crompton. “The members that make up this committee come from a variety of sectors across Whistler and together will be able to provide meaningful progress towards a zero waste future.”
Among the roles of the committee will be to provide advice to staff and Council on matters relating to:
- Sharing understanding of the solid waste management systems in Whistler and around B.C.
- waste management best practices
- partnerships to coordinate actions for achieving waste reduction in the community
- a community-wide Zero Waste Plan identifying initiatives to bring Whistler towards a zero waste designation.
The committee will meet quarterly. Information about the committee, including the meeting schedule, agendas and minutes will be posted on the committee webpage.
Members represent a board cross-section of community stakeholders
Nine different organizations are involved in the Committee, representing industries where the most progress towards zero waste can be made. These include restaurant, hotel and construction industries. The Committee also includes members from environmental group AWARE and the Whistler Community Services Society, which operates the Re-Use-It Centre and Re-Build-It Centre.
Membership is comprised of the following:
- Chair: Cathy Jewett, Councillor
- Arthur De Jong, Councillor
- Andrew Tucker, Manager of Transportation and Waste Management, RMOW
- Marie-Lou LeBlanc, Squamish Lillooet Regional District
- Allana Williams, Whistler Blackcomb
- Kerren Bottay, Restaurant Association of Whistler
- Tom McColm, Canadian Home Builders Association
- Lori Pyne, Whistler Community Services Society
- Claire Ruddy, AWARE
- Cheeying Ho, Whistler Centre for Sustainability
- Anita Auer, Crystal Lodge
- Sue Maxwell, Citizen at Large
Reducing, reusing and recycling critical in diverting waste
While Whistler has achieved some wins in reducing waste in recent years, nearly 13,000 tonnes of waste was shipped to the landfill in 2018 alone. Most of the waste generated within the community is from the commercial sector.
A recent waste audit found that the largest recyclable component of Whistler’s landfill waste was compostable organics (almost 40 per cent), followed by plastic (about 20 per cent). The audit also showed materials which are not recyclable, but are socially convenient, continue to be used in the community when more sustainable options are available.
Reducing, reusing and recycling all play a significant role in reducing the amount of waste sent to the landfill. Of these strategies, reducing and reusing have the largest impact. In Whistler, plastic recycled at Whistler’s Waste Depots is almost entirely recycled within British Columbia. Whistler’s recyclables collected at the waste depots are recycled through the Recycle BC Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) stewardship program. This program processes most of the material in North America with a small percentage of paper going to overseas markets.
Tipping fees increased
To further incentivize waste reduction and diversion, updates were made to tipping fees at the Whistler Transfer Station in the Callaghan this year.
- Landfill waste: increased to $170 per tonne to match the fee charged by the District of Squamish.
- Mixed waste: increased to $375 per tonne for loads that have more than 25 per cent contamination to match the fee charged by the District of Squamish.
- Biosolids: increased to $150 per tonne to more accurately reflect the variable costs of processing material collected from primarily Whistler and the District of Squamish.
- Unchipped clean land clearing wood waste: Set at $80 per tonne to reflect the cost of grinding up land clearing material received at the compost facility.
- Dirty wood waste: Increased to $135 per tonne to cover the increased cost of disposal for this waste type.
- Bulky items: Increased to $170 per tonne. This waste stream is comprised of mostly large furniture, which is difficult to recycle and usually is disposed of into the landfill waste. The new tipping fee matches the new fee for landfill waste.
Tipping fees collected at the Waste Transfer Station need to be adjusted from time to time to balance revenues received from waste producers with expenses to manage and dispose of the waste received. Fees were last updated in 2018.
Learn more about solid waste management and reduction in Whistler at whistler.ca/solidwaste.