The City of Victoria continues its work to reduce the amount of material its residents and businesses contribute to the landfill.
With the Zero Waste Victoria program, the company aims to reduce the amount of solid waste sent to the Hartland landfill by 50 percent by 2040. Single-use plastics, construction and demolition waste, household and commercial waste and compostable items that are not thrown into the green bin are specifically reduced.
Victoria City Council recently approved a transition plan to meet the waste reduction goals.
“Even before the pandemic, we as a community threw over 13,000 paper cups a day in public garbage cans,” said Mayor Lisa Helps in a press release, calling the plan “just the tip of the iceberg”.
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In Victoria alone, more than 120 tons of material are disposed of every day, only to be deposited in the landfill. Eliminating waste and “upcycling” usable resources is a short- and long-term solution to reducing pollution and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, say city officials.
As part of the Zero Waste Victoria planning and engagement process, city officials consulted dozens of people, from business owners to waste hauliers and representatives of environmental organizations.
A particular challenge is dealing with discarded building materials, which make up almost 40 percent of the city’s total waste in the landfill.
“When we demolish buildings and treat these materials as waste rather than resources, there is a tremendous loss of invaluable waste wood, building materials and history,” said Adam Corneil, CEO of Unbuilders, a company that dismantles houses and resells the materials. “It’s not a waste, it’s just a waste.”
The top priorities of Zero Waste Victoria include the reduction and recycling of construction waste, the implementation of requirements for the separation of sources in multi-family and commercial properties and the introduction of new disposable article reduction regulations.
As a result of the council’s instruction to staff in 2019, new public zero waste stations were designed, manufactured and installed this year. An expansion of the bin program is proposed for the coming years.
RELATED STORY: Victoria Combats Trash on City Streets with Zero Waste Stations
The staff put together some quick facts about the city’s trash:
For more information on the city’s Zero Waste Victoria, visit victoria.ca.
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City of Victoria Garbage Recycling Waste Disposal