Colin Plant, CRD Chair, discusses upcoming goals to reduce solid waste. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)

CRD aims to reduce solid waste going to Hartland Landfill by a third by 2030

District launches public engagement campaign for waste reduction strategies

The Capital Regional District (CRD) wants to reduce the amount of solid waste heading to the Hartland Landfill by a third by 2030, and is engaging with the public to come up with strategies on how to do so.

In an announcement Friday afternoon, CRD Chair Colin Plant announced the intention to develop a new solid waste management plan, noting that the last time the plan was updated was in 1995.

Presently, the CRD sees the equivalent of 92 Olympic-sized swimming pools filled with solid waste every year, or an average of 380 kg per capita. The aim is to pare this down to 250 kg per capita by 2030.

“There have been significant changes to the way in which we think about and manage waste since the last management plan was developed,” Plant said. “It’s time that we rethink how we manage solid waste to ensure we are doing it in the best way possible, and continue to expand our efforts to prevent waste in the first place.”

Major components of the plan include more education to the public, finding new strategies for waste management in multi-family buildings and retail stores, and finding better ways to manage waste coming from construction sites.

According to a 2016 CRD Waste Composition Study, construction and demolition products, including wood, plastic, insulation, shingles, flooring, and drywall make up 23.7 per cent of solid waste at Hartland, followed by organics (21.1 per cent), paper and paper board (15.4 per cent) and plastics (14.3 per cent).

ALSO READ: CRD board votes to end integrated waste procurement process

Russ Smith, senior manager of environmental resource management, said that with the construction boom it would be ideal to find a way to reuse recycled wood products as one of the largest ways to reduce waste.

“If you have a full segregation of a clean wood stream, the grinding up of that material can result in both beneficial use on the landfill, in terms of construction we do, but even more than that it can be used for what we call hog fuel, or a heat fuel in a boiler system. So, you grind it up and use it as a fuel that displaces the need for coal or natural gas.”

So far the CRD has proposed 15 key points it wants to address for minimizing waste, which includes strategies like establishing a community-based waste reduction grant program, promoting sustainable or packaging-free purchase options, advocating for the limitation or elimination of single-use items, encouraging stores to donate edible food, investigating the development of local organics processing infrastructure, and investigating options for large, bulky item disposal (such as free drop-off days).

ALSO READ: Wonder where CRD recycling ends up?

Taking steps like this, along with alternative storage strategies, could see the Hartland Landfill’s lifespan increase beyond its current timeline of 2045 to 2100.

Between Nov. 5 and 21 the CRD will be hosting open houses to share more information on the plan. An online survey, along with more information on these open houses is also available at crd.bc.ca/rethinkwaste

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

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