In 2012, the Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) embarked on a process to review and update its 2004 Solid Waste Management Plan (SWMP). The Province of BC's Environmental Management Act mandates regional districts to prepare and regularly update these plans. A SWMP reflects a long term vision of how each regional district manages its solid waste, including diversion and disposal.
A Regional Solid Waste Advisory Committee, with public, local government and technical representation, provided input into the Stage SWMP Review. Future stages will include identifying options to address the region's future solid waste management needs, the selection of preferred options, and community consultation.
The Stage 1: Existing System Report concluded that the RDN has fully implemented the key components of its 2004 SWMP, including residential food waste collection and banning commercial food waste from landfill disposal. Participation in these programs has resulted in the region diverting 68 per cent of its waste for composting and recycling and achieving a 350 kilogram per capita landfill disposal rate, one of the lowest in Canada.
"Zero Waste is a goal that is ethical, economical, efficient and visionary, to guide people in changing their lifestyles and practices to emulate sustainable natural cycles, where all discarded materials are designed to become resources for others to use.
Zero Waste means designing and managing products and processes to systematically avoid and eliminate the volume and toxicity of waste and materials, conserve and recover all resources, and not burn or bury them. Implementing Zero Waste will eliminate all discharges to land, water or air that are a threat to planetary, human, animal or plant health."
The RDN has been one of the leading jurisdictions achieving some of the highest waste diversion in the world. The 2014 BC average per capita waste disposal was 520 kg/person/ year while that RDN's for the same period was 347 kg/person/year. The RDN's proposed new target of 90% diversion is a remarkable 109kg/person/year by 2027!
A document that highlights the preferred option, as stated in our stage 2 report, can be downloaded here.
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