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solid waste

Solid Waste Whistler wants the freedom to take some of its own initiatives in contributing to the 50 per cent reduction in solid waste within the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District. "I think it must be clear within this plan that individual communities can create their own systems that work," Mayor Ted Nebbeling says. "There has to be a level of individuality within the regional plan." Nebbeling and the rest of council Monday debated the merits of the latest draft plan to reduce the district's solid waste by 50 per cent. Whistler council's comments were taken to an SLRD meeting Thursday by councillor Thelma Johnstone. Under provincial legislation all regional districts must reduce their solid waste by 50 per cent by the year 2000. Regional districts are required to submit a solid waste management plan by Dec. 21, 1995. Development of the plan is a three stage process. The SLRD has produced a draft of stage 2, which recommends various options. Following each community's input into the draft the SLRD met Thursday to produce a final stage 2 report, which will now be distributed for public input. In addition to requesting flexibility for each community within the regional district's overall plan, Whistler's recommendations on the draft stage 2 report included: using the private sector wherever possible, reduce the level of bureaucracy that seems to be built into the report's recommendations, export residual solid wastes and accept solid waste from Pemberton and Gold Bridge only if it's not a detriment to Whistler. Whistler also wants to look at regional composting, an area where technology is changing rapidly. The report recommends the Pemberton and Gold Bridge landfills be closed and landfill material be sent to Whistler. The report recommends expanded recycling programs, composting programs, methods of reducing waste at the source and education programs. Despite these measures there will still be "residual" solid wastes, which the report and council are recommending be shipped to Cache Creek or Washington state. Cache Creek has solicited Whistler's waste business. Both areas are considered prime areas for landfill material because of drier climates and better geology than is found in the Sea to Sky corridor. The various options in the plan will cost at least $1 million more than Whistler is currently spending on waste disposal. Increased tipping fees are one way of paying for the final plan.