Several initiatives in play to meet Provincial target
The Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) is moving forward with several initiatives as part of its multi-year, multi-pronged approach to reduce the amount of waste disposed in the community.
Currently, 389 kilograms of waste are disposed of per person in Whistler. The goal is to reduce this to 350 kilograms of waste per person.
The RMOW is also working to increase the amount of waste diverted from the landfill from 62 per cent to a target of 90 per cent.
“While Whistler is tracking well compared to the provincial average of approximately 506 kilograms per person, there is still work to do to meet the Province of British Columbia’s target of 350 kilograms per person,” said Whistler Mayor Jack Crompton. “The RMOW is tackling solid waste head on, and I encourage everyone in Whistler to consider how they can further reduce, reuse and recycle to continue to divert as much waste from the landfill as possible.”
Collaborating with other communities
Efficient solid waste management requires collaboration between municipalities and other levels of government.
To that end, the RMOW is moving ahead on the following initiatives:
- Developing a Single-Use Plastic Reduction program. This will be done in partnership with the other communities in the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District (SLRD).
- Joining the submission from the Districts of Squamish and Tofino to the Province of British Columbia to ask for an amendment to the Recycling Regulations. Among other things, the submission asks to prioritize reduction and reuse over recycling and disposal.
- Encouraging the public to take CleanBC’s survey to develop a Plastics Action Plan. This is connected to the Federal Government’s announcement that they are planning to ban single use plastics as early as 2021. CleanBC’s survey is open until Monday, September 30 at https://cleanbc.gov.bc.ca/plastics/
- Participating in a National Solid Waste Benchmarking Initiative to improve the way waste disposal data is collected across Canada.
Enhancing solid waste management in Whistler
Work is also underway to improve how recycling is collected in Whistler as well as to find ways to encourage the community to reduce and reuse.
Initiatives underway to enhance solid waste management in Whistler include:
- Launching the Solid Waste Committee of Council. Terms of Reference for the committee are under development and are expected to be brought to Council for approval by the end of the year.
- Educating the community about solid waste reduction. A solid waste technician is working on a contract basis to track waste data, leverage local partnerships and promote solid waste reduction programs throughout the community. A composition study is also being undertaken to better understand areas for improvement.
- Collecting compost at parks. A pilot project will be launched in 2020 to improve waste bin signage and collect compost at several municipal parks.
- Advocating for improvements and expansion of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) programs available in Whistler. Currently, these include programs to recycle household hazardous waste, paint, tires, batteries, light bulbs, small and large appliances, electronic waste, beverage containers as well as printed paper and packaging.
“While Whistler has achieved some wins in reducing our waste, we still had nearly 13,000 tonnes of waste shipped to the landfill in 2018 alone,” added Crompton. “The RMOW will continue to press ahead to find ways to improve the way we all manage waste. Let’s disrupt our habits, reduce our waste and love this place.”
Learn more at whistler.ca/solidwaste