Stakeholder engagement for the proposed Demolition Waste Diversion Bylaw is currently underway. Online consultation and meetings will happen in May 2022 and the proposed bylaw will be brought to Council in summer 2022.
In 2021, Council endorsed the Zero Waste Action Plan with the overall goal of achieving an 80 percent diversion rate in Whistler. The Plan identified eight priority actions, with the seventh and eighth priority actions focused on developing guidelines and recycling requirements for construction and demolition waste.
The Resort Municipality of Whistler diversion rate in 2021 was 36 percent, which is significantly short of the stated goal; however, progress is occurring, and achieving diversion goals remains a top priority.
The proposed bylaw is designed to increase the amount of demolition waste diverted away from the landfill and encourage recycling and material salvage (reuse) where possible. This will be accomplished through a refundable deposit and a diversion reporting system added to the demolition permit process.
The demolition permit process will require a Diversion Deposit, which will be refunded when diversion requirements are met. Applicants will pay the deposit when they apply for a demolition permit.
The bylaw recommends that the diversion requirement is set at 80 percent by weight to align with the Zero Waste Action Plan. Staff propose this high diversion percentage because many projects will reach a lower diversion rate by only diverting concrete. Consultation with local construction businesses suggests that most demolition jobs will easily achieve the 80 percent diversion by weight by diverting concrete, wood, metal, and drywall.
To encourage material reuse where appropriate, materials that are effectively separated for reuse instead of recycled will be given twice the diversion value. For example, if one tonne of wood is reused instead of recycled, it will be worth two tonnes in the calculations. This is consistent with the Zero Waste Action Plan, which prioritizes reuse over recycling.
The bylaw is proposed to have exemptions where salvage would be unsafe due to fire or water damage.
- Stakeholder Engagement – May 2022
- Final Demolition Waste Diversion Bylaw – July 2022