The Thompson-Nicola Regional District (TNRD) wants to hear some trash talk.
Specifically, it wants residents to weigh in with feedback on its draft Regional Solid Waste Management Plan (RSWMP). The plan is the result of collaboration between, and input from, the regional district and municipal staff, consultants, elected officials, industry stakeholders, and members of the public. It provides guidance for the handling of recycling and garbage within the TNRD, and is reviewed—with public input—every 10 years.
An online survey has been launched, and will be open until February 9, 2018. “We’re seeking feedback,” says Cassandra Enns, environmental services technologist for the TNRD. “We’ll then compile the feedback received, and present it to the TNRD board.” The goal is to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills while keeping costs sustainable.
The plan was last updated in 2008, and Enns notes that at that time the TNRD dealt with such things as the implementation of tipping fees, the closure of smaller facilities, the introduction of a recycling program, and more centralized transfer stations.
“People saw lots of changes [in 2008]. This plan will be more policy-based,” she explains. “I don’t think users will notice too much difference. We’re not doing anything too drastic as far as the general public will see.”
The 2008 RSWMP identified a goal of reducing waste going to landfills by 30 per cent from 2004 levels. This goal was surpassed, with the amount of waste being landfilled reduced by an estimated 64 per cent from 2004 levels. It’s hoped that the new RSWMP will result in a further 20 per cent reduction in the amount of landfilled waste.
The draft RSWMP—which can be viewed online at www.tnrd.ca—includes the following initiatives:
1) Increasing recycling by businesses and institutions.
2) Increasing the diversion of waste generated by construction and demolition activities.
3) Reducing the amount of organic waste (food scraps, yard waste) being landfilled.
4) Increasing promotion and education efforts.
5) Encouraging the proper disposal of household hazardous waste (HHW) through the development of a permanent HHW drop-off in Kamloops.
6) Continuing to tackle illegal dumping through the ongoing support of community cleanups, and developing a region-wide illegal dumping strategy in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment.
7) Increasing the efficiency of how we use our landfills. The draft RSWMP recommends an operational change at the Heffley Creek Landfill and the closure of the Barnhartvale Landfill.
The TNRD will be holding a public meeting about the RSWMP at the Cache Creek Community Hall on Wednesday, December 6 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. There will be a short presentation, followed by an opportunity for discussion, feedback, and questions.
Those who complete the survey will be entered into a prize draw for a $100 Visa gift card or a home composting kit valued at $160. To take the survey, go to http://placespeak.com/TNRDsolidwasteplan. Hard copies of the survey are also available at all TNRD solid waste facilities, TNRD libraries, and all municipal offices until February 9, 2018.