On Aug. 5, the Squamish Lillooet Regional District (SLRD) is giving Whistlerites the chance to have their say on the region’s long-term waste reduction plan.
Between noon and 5 p.m., the public is invited to the Nester’s Depot to provide feedback on the draft Regional Solid Waste and Resource Management Plan, the blueprint for how the region will manage and reduce waste, recyclables and organic materials over the next 10 years.
Representatives from the SLRD, the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) and other waste management partner organizations will be on hand to discuss the new plan, which has been in development for the last two years with input from technical experts, an advisory committee, staff and elected officials.
Among the plan’s recommendations is a proposal to reduce landfill-bound waste by a third within the next five years, with a particular focus on lowering the amount of food scraps and yard waste. Organics currently make up roughly 40 per cent of all waste produced in the region.
The plan also aims to ensure that 75 per cent of the SLRD’s population will have easy access to organics recycling by 2020.
Whistler sent 516 kilograms of waste per person to landfill in 2014, down from 600 in 2009, according to the RMOW.
Municipal Hall has contributed to the SLRD’s overarching plan in a number of ways, including through the proposed introduction of a bylaw next year that would provide incentives for commercial and multi-family properties to begin three-stream waste collection separated into recycling, organic waste and garbage.
“Over the next nine months, the RMOW will be working closely with business and property management stakeholders to support the transition to more sustainable waste management,” read a July 27 municipal release.
The Aug. 5 event is part of a series of open houses scheduled across the region, including one set for Aug. 12 at the Pemberton transfer station and one in Squamish on Aug. 22 at the zero-waste station at the farmer’s market.
The SLRD has also launched a five-minute survey online that will help guide future waste management decisions in Whistler that can be accessed at www.slrd.bc.ca/LetsTalkTrash. If you provide your name and email address, you’ll be entered to win a $50 gift voucher.