While the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District and local governments decide how they want to implement centralized composting facilities for the Sea to Sky area, one enterprising Whistler-based company is already going door to door with something thats even better.
Resort Recycling Initiatives (RRI) has been collection organic waste from hotels and restaurants since December of 2000, and on July 1, will expand its operations to include private residences.
"We want to make it as easy and convenient as possible for people to recycle," says RRI owner and operator Clayton Dowling. "About 95 per cent of our household waste can be recycled. If you take out everything thats organic or recyclable, then all youre really left with is a few plastic bags and some packaging."
For $35 a month, RRI plans to offer residents and weekenders up to four pickups, collecting all recyclable materials and organic waste. Participants will be given a bucket and a recycling tower to separate their waste, and RRI will swap those for clean buckets and towers when they come to your front door to make each pickup.
The pickup truck will be on call during business hours, and clients can call at any time to arrange a front door pickup that is convenient for them.
"Garbage is hard enough to deal with in Whistler without worrying about separating all of your recycling," says Dowling. "For some people its too much work, or too much hassle."
"Theres no door-to-door pickup, and you pretty much have to have a car to get to the dump sites. It takes a minimum of 20 minutes to do a weeks worth of garbage and recycling, and a lot of people who dont have cars wait until the garbage piles up and call a cab. And if you end up taking a cab, youre probably not taking the time to separate all your recycling from the garbage."
Backyard composting is currently prohibited by municipal bylaws because of its potential to attract wildlife, such as bears, to residential neighbourhoods.
While the SLRD is committed to centralized composting facilities, they are still in the process of hiring an outside consultant to compare the different options that are available. It will be a minimum of three years before centralized composting gets off the ground in the region.
"Even though this is a good thing for the area, most of the different composting systems that are available cant handle certain kinds of organic waste, such as meat, bones, oyster shells and other animal byproducts," says Dowling. "The system we use is different in that we can handle anything thats organic."