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Draft solid waste bylaw gets traction at council table

Council briefs: New bylaw set to be approved by August; RGS gets Whistler support

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Whistler is one step closer to seeing a new bylaw on the books that will prevent food-scrap organics and recyclables heading to the garbage.

At Tuesday's council meeting municipal staff got the green light to keep moving ahead with the new Solid Waste Bylaw, a welcome sight for some council members.

"It's been a long time coming," said Coun. Sue Maxwell, who added her two cents, proposing several amendments to the draft bylaw.

The bylaw is directed at commercial and strata operators, specifically the food services sector.

The 2016 statistics show that 64 per cent of landfill waste comes from commercial and strata garbage. Of that garbage, 54 per cent is compostables and 13 per cent is recyclables, according to 2012 stats.

The new bylaw, which has yet to be approved, will require businesses and strata to separate waste into three streams: food-scrap organics; recyclables; and landfill waste, or garbage.

Food-services owners must also submit a solid waste management plan as a component of their business license application.

The bylaw is expected to be adopted, and put into effect, in August. There will be bylaw enforcement through education for the year following adoption. After August 2018, bylaw will begin to impose fines.

In the meantime, work continues on educating and helping the business community understand the new requirements.

This new bylaw is expected to divert between 3,200 and 6,400 tonnes of food-scrap organics and recycling from the landfill each year.

Council supports brewery changes

A change to a brew house in Function Junction has council thinking again about the bigger picture of Whistler's once back-of-house neighbourhood.

Council supported a request to change the Whistler Brewing Company's manufacturing licence to a brewery lounge. The change would allow Whistler Brewing to operate more like a neighbourhood pub, allowing it to sell other liquor (about 20 per cent of its sales) and not just its beer, which is manufactured onsite.

While council approved the recommendation, which will now go to the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch (LCLB), the change sparked some concern from council about the evolving neighbourhood.

As Whistler Brewing morphs into a neighbourhood pub or a brewery lounge, the change speaks to the need for a sub-area plan for Function Junction.

"I see it as a further change away from the neighbourhood's original intent," said Coun. Sue Maxwell.

Regional Growth Strategy changes get Whistler's support

Without any comments at the council table, Whistler lent its support to changes to the Squamish Lillooet Regional District's (SLRD) Regional Growth Strategy (RGS), designed to block any major resort developments in the region.

Council's endorsement will now go to the SLRD where it will be considered as part of a "major" amendment to the RGS.

The changes in the RGS specifically address the unanimous opposition to the Garibaldi at Squamish project from the Resort Municipality of Whistler, the District of Squamish and the SLRD.

The proposed bylaw is being processed as a major amendment to the RGS and will require support of all member jurisdictions. This process will include a public hearing at the SLRD for members of the public to voice support or concerns.

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