Capital Regional District staff have released a short-term plan that lays some initial steps on implementing the solid waste management plan (SWMP), which was approved last spring and aims to reduce overall waste by about a third by 2030.
The short-term framework was presented to the CRD’s Environmental Services Committee on Sept. 29 and includes five areas that staff identified as priorities in cutting waste.
Wood waste, organics, paper and plastic make up more than 65 per cent of the total materials currently sent to the landfill in the CRD. Staff have begun developing new programs and tools that could address this waste stream, the framework said. They’re also looking into modifying fees at Hartland Landfill to incentivize diversion, expanding material bans where viable alternatives exist and expanding regulatory enforcement.
The CRD is looking to launch a community-based program next year that will fund individuals and groups to turn their waste-reduction ideas into action. Funds for the program will come from the Environmental Resource Management budget and staff are currently developing its guidelines.
Much of the region’s success in diverting waste over the last 30 years, CRD staff said, came from the blue bin collection program for single-family homes. The majority of solid waste (53 per cent) in the region is now being generated by multi-family housing buildings, industry, institutions and businesses. Staff said they’re creating a sector-specific strategy for these waste sources and have requested that the CRD budget for the creation of a solid waste initiatives coordinator, who would start in 2022.
The short-term framework said staff will continue to research and investigate emerging waste management technologies and alternatives to landfilling materials, such as gasification. The CRD board is supporting Esquimalt as the township is studying gasification as a way to dispose of solid waste and kitchen scraps.
“Additionally, the CRD is investigating the feasibility of testing municipal solid waste in conjunction with the CRD’s biosolids gasification testing and will bring results of these investigations to the Environmental Services Committee,” the framework stated.
Municipalities are the CRD’s primary partner in implementing the Solid Waste Management Plan. The CRD will inventory current municipal waste initiatives across the Capital Region and staff are working to enhance collaboration with municipalities, according to the framework.
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