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Regional district seeks input on solid waste

The Regional District of Fraser-Fort George is updating its Solid Waste Management Plan, which outlines how it will reduce, reuse, recycle, compost and dispose of garbage for the next five to 10 years.

Earlier this year, the regional district surveyed the community to get an idea of what was important in regards to handling solid waste for the future. Rachael Ryder, Waste Diversion Program Leader says the regional district has taken the input from that survey and along with other stakeholder consultation, and drafted recommendations for program improvements and new services.

“In recent years, there’s been a lot of changes in how we manage waste here and across BC. Along with these changes residents and businesses are keen to do their part to save landfill space an resources.” said Ryder, in a news release.

The recommendations being proposed include:

• That the RDFFG maintain its target to reduce the amount of garbage landfilled from 840 kg/capita/year down to 570 kg/capita/year. This includes all types of waste; from homes, businesses, and building and renovation projects.

• Holding reuse events across the region, like community garage sales.

• Establishing campaigns to encourage waste reduction behaviours, like using cloth shopping bags, refillable mugs, and reducing the amount of food waste.

• Setting residential garbage can limits and garbage cart fees at levels that encourage residents to use local recycling and composting opportunities.

• Implementing residential curbside recycling collection in Mackenzie, Valemount and McBride if/when funding for this service becomes available from organizations like Multi-Material BC.

• Encouraging more recycling by businesses and multi-family buildings (e.g. apartments and condos), restrict the disposal of recyclable materials in the garbage

• Assessing the feasibility of reusing and recycling components of the waste generated by construction and demolition activities

• Developing a region-wide strategy to tackle illegal dumping

These recommendations were developed over the past year with input from a broad range of government, First Nation and business stakeholders. Ryder says the next step is to get public feedback on the recommendations, and the Regional District is asking residents to complete a survey, which is available on-line at www.rdffg.bc.ca and hard copy at local transfer stations and landfills until November 30.

The regional district will be meeting with each municipal council to present the draft recommendations and get their feedback before finalizing the plan. Presentations to business associations and community organizations are also being offered during the month of November.

“The last time we updated this Plan, in 2008, we had great response to the survey which really helped us confirm the path forward,” said Ryder. “Once again, we hope that people will take a few minutes to give us their thoughts as we move forward with this critical issue.”

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