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We are not alone. Nova Scotia has several stellar systems, as do Quebec and Alberta. In British Columbia, Nanaimo and Ladysmith both have impressive food-waste collection and processing services.
“The biggest barrier for most people is the ‘Yuck’ factor,” says Jeff Ainge, Zero Waste Coordinator with the Regional District of Nanaimo, a community which just finished a one year residential food waste collection pilot program. “Once people realize composting actually cleans up their garbage they soon find an easily cleanable bucket or container that works for them. People really want to compost.”
So now, Whistler, food you buy at the store represents a full spectrum of real choices in closing the loop on waste. Whistler’s citizens are now fully engaged in the process of deciding what to buy, how to use it and how to positively dispose of it. If you don’t have a good compost bucket with a lid, go to Cows in the Village and pick one up, they’re free. Now that’s a load of compost.
Zero Waste is a new way of looking at our waste stream. Instead of seeing used materials as garbage in need of disposal, discards are seen as potential valuable resources. A pile of "trash" represents jobs, financial opportunity, and raw material for new products.
Zero Waste Is:
• A goal and a process that involves individuals, communities and local, provincial and federal governments and a vision of a future where garbage is a thing of the past.
• A movement that began by asking the simple question, "Why have our recycling efforts hit a plateau?" One reason is that after targeting 50 per cent diversion and achieving it, people lost interest in going further. It was clear to those involved in waste management that further gains in waste reduction and recycling could be achieved but that the will to pursue them was lacking.
• Inspires us to revisit our goals, and apply our knowledge to the problems that persist. Once the possibility of Zero Waste is accepted, all waste looks different.
• Is about the knowledge and understanding that we all need to be responsible in our use of resources and our impact on the planet.
Acceptable items include:
• All fruits, vegetables, plant stalks (cooked or uncooked)
• All food scraps, bones, meat, fish, dairy, bakery discards, nuts, pasta, cereal, sauces (cooked or uncooked)