By Charley Beresford Read this on the vancouversun.com here . Any 10-year-old will tell you that newspapers don’t go in the garbage, they go in the recycling. That happens because many years ago, municipalities in B.C. took on the responsibility to get products like paper, glass and cans out of the garbage stream and into recycling. Local governments did it READ MORE
BC local governments are concerned about changes to the province’s recycling systems. Local governments have led the way on recycling in BC, and most support the principles of expanded recycling, zero waste, reduced packaging and producers bearing responsibility for the full life-cycle of their products. However, many are clearly concerned about the structure and implementation READ MORE
Edmonton’s Mayor Stephen Mandel signed a memorandum of understanding on June 4, 2012 to put in place a new state-of-the-art closed-loop paper and cotton recycling process that makes professional grade paper without using any chemicals, producing any harmful emissions or any by-products. Read more at the Edmonton Sun .
On May 23, 2012, Los Angeles became the largest city in the United States to adopt a ban on plastic bags at super-market checkout lines. On a 13-1 vote in favour of the ban, this decision handed a major victory to clean-water advocates who sought to reduce the amount of trash clogging landfills, waterways and READ MORE
A group of citizens are hoping Saskatoon’s city council will consider a ban on single-use plastic bags. Though council as of yet has not voted on the issue, the city’s environmental advisory committee will be studying the issue. Read more at the CBC.
The Fredericton Region Solid Waste Commission will be selling the methane gas emitted from its landfill’s waste to NB Power. The methane will be converted to electricity, enough to run 2,000 homes. The 6 million dollar project is expected to generate 20 million dollars over 20 years . Read more at the CBC
Richmond is the first municipality in BC to adopt a public space recycling program. Bins with separate containers for garbage, bottles and cans, and paper waste will be distributed to parks and community centres. The city hopes to divert 75 per cent or more of the recyclables previously tossed out with other garbage. Read more in READ MORE
Port Moody BC as accomplished a 75% reduction in waste going to the landfill. A three-part waste collection system is largely responsible for the reduction. In Port Moody residents have one container for garbage, one for kitchen waste and yard trimmings, and one for recyclables. The system also requires a charge for larger garbage bins, READ MORE
The UK’s Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) is preparing to legislate plastic bags. Although UK retailers voluntarily agreed in 2008 to do their part to reduce their use, plastic bag consumption has risen during that time. In contrast, both Ireland and Wales legislate plastic bags, forcing a fee on consumers, and their READ MORE
Applying biosolids (treated sewage) to farmland as a fertilizer is a common, but controversial practice that has resulted in some very toxic fields. Although it is banned in some countries, Canada has no such policy. Victoria councillor Philippe Lucas made a motion to the CRD to ban biosolids and it passed unanimously. Read more in the READ MORE
Manitoba may be the first Canadian province to start using recycled shower water to fill its ice rinks. The province is considering a pilot project to test the concept. The project would include the Dakota Centre, which houses two indoor rinks and three outdoor rinks. The Centre currently spends $35,000 on water annually. If the READ MORE
Two recent studies have highlighted what motivates Canadians to be green. A Ledger survey by Cascade Tissue suggested that while Canadians are willing to act green through recycling and reusable bags, but they’re not willing to pay extra money for things such as organic produce. An Angus Reid study conducted by Bosch Home Appliances found READ MORE
Saskatoon is mulling over the pros and cons of introducing a curbside recycling program. Although such a program would divert tonnes of waste from the local landfill it will cost residents an additional $7-11 per month in property taxes. Read more in the Globe and Mail .
NDP MLA for London-Fanshawe, Irene Mathyssen, will be putting forth a private members bill today that seeks to ban single-use plastic bags across Canada. Canada takes home over 55 million plastic bags each week, 75% of which end up in landfills. Read more in CTV News .
After many years of careful planning, Vancouver Island’s Capital Regional District (CRD) has just received provincial approval for a $782-million sewage system upgrade that will put an end to the practice of dumping raw sewage into the ocean. Saanich City Councillor, Judy Brownoff, who also serves as chair for the CRD’s Sewage Treatment Committee, has READ MORE
Metro Vancouver’s proposed solid waste management plan is drawing fire over its waste incineration component. The region plans to increase recycling from 50% to 70% and burn the remaining 30%. While burning garbage could potentially provide energy and heat to nearby neighbourhoods, critics warn that incineration creates toxic air pollution, releasing "emissions of mercury, lead READ MORE
The City of Vancouver chose Earth Day to launch its new curbside composting program. As of today residents can pitch fruit and vegetable food scraps in their yard waste bins. In 2011 the program will expand and allow for the composting of meat, dairy and bread products. Read the full story in the Vancouver Observer .
Dawson Creek will soon begin construction on a new wastewater treatment plant that will enhance the quality of 400,00 cubic metres of sewage per day so that it is useable by the oil and gas industry. The cleaner wastewater can then be use by the oil and gas industry, thereby reducing water use and transportation READ MORE
The District of Tofino is currently drafting a by-law that would ban franchises from setting up shop in the district. The legislation aims to protects the uniqueness of the community. Read more here.
The New Westminister Board of Education voted unanimously to cease bottled water use in school facilities and promote public water use through an educational program. CUPE staff and trustee Lori Watts were behind the motion. Read the full story at the CUPE website .
Manitoba’s “Packaging and Printed Paper Stewardship Regulation” includes the “Guideline for Plastic Bags”, and establishes a target to decrease single use bags by 50% within the next 5 years. In the spring of 2010, Multi-Material Stewardship Manitoba (MMSM) will release a new mandatory industry program to target packaging, printed paper, and plastic bags. New options READ MORE
Scientists believe that global oceans contain immense gyres of waste and plastic debris, some of which are believed to be twice the size of Texas. Marine animals feeding on waste products transfer toxins to their own tissues, which accumulate over time. Recent research suggests that the amount of plastic in these gyres is increasing, and READ MORE
Simcoe County councillors voted in favor os a 1-year moratorium on the development of the Site 41 landfill in Tiny Township, northwest of Barrie, Ontario. Activits in opposition of the development feared that it would contaminate an underground reservoir that provides drinking water. Tiny Township mayor Peggy Breckenridge says the next step will be to READ MORE
The province of Ontario made its final approval for the Site 41 landfill only one day after passing the Clean Water Act, which some see as hypocritical. Landfills are notorious polluters, and have the pose potential risks to the surrounding environment and water systems. Proponents of the Site 41 plan maintain that this landfill operation READ MORE
COOL 2012 is a nation-wide initiative aimed at educating North Americans on the importance of getting compostable products out of landfills. It is an education campaign comprised of tools, materials and public policy suggestions designed to achieve this goal in communities across North America. Find out more information at the COOL 2012 website .
The Community Lifestyles Campagin targets the household and community level, and aims at establishing “EcoTeams” to work through the “EcoTeam Workbook”. EcoTeams are give the opportunity to become informed on topics such as waste reduction, energy efficiency and empowerment, and gain the tools necessary to act as sustainable community leaders. Read more about the campaign READ MORE
The Future of the Region Sustainability Dialogues is the latest outreach component of the Sustainable Region Initiative. It is intended to stimulate discussion and debate among decision makers, and foster new and diverse thought on regional issues such as housing, industry, labor and immigration, drugs and crime, regional economy, energy, and agriculture. Find more information READ MORE
Toronto is currently devising a waste reduction plan that targets more than just plastic bottles. Also on the list are disposable coffee cups, polysyream food containers and plastic bags. The city is considering introducing a combination of measures including, a ban on some forms of packaging, a tax on plastic bags, and the indroducition of READ MORE
After having banned bottled water sales at the City Hall cafeteria, London city council is now considering extending the ban to all city property. Before the ban would take effect, the city would ensure that there is a supply of tap water at all city sites and is developing new fountains with longer necks to READ MORE
Seattle City Council has voted to impose a 20 cent fee on paper and plastic bags in all grocery, drug, and convenience stores, beginning January 1, 2009. The city has also decided to ban plastic foam food and drink containers. Replacements for these containers are already being used in Seattle and are made of sugar READ MORE
Vancouver councillor Tim Stevenson has put forward a motion to ban bottled water in city facilities. In the motion, Stevenson cites compelling reasons why bottled water should not be available in city facilities, including the fact that 80% of waste from plastic bottles ends up in landfills and that bottled water is not required to READ MORE
On July 14, 2008 Port Coquitlam launched its composting program . Single-family homes are being asked to divert vegetable peels, coffee grounds, and fresh fruit scraps from the garbage to their lawn trimmings bin, to be collected at the curbside. The City is hoping to reduce the amount of waste going to landfills by 16-26% per year, READ MORE
In 2004, the City of Fremantle, Australia (population 26,000) adopted a strategy aimed at drastically reducing the use of plastic bags, which the city has made available on its website. The Strategy to Achieve a Plastic Bag Free City includes a timeline, tools to achieve its goals (ie. education programs, reusable bag alternatives, branding of the campaign), plan of action, and budget. A useful READ MORE
This article , originally published in the Columbia Institute’s June 2008 publication Innovative Strategies, details how Leaf Rapids, Manitoba became the first municipality in North America to ban plastic bags. For more information on the Innovative Strategies publication, click here .
City council in London, Ontario has voted in principle to stop selling bottled water in city offices, cafeterias, and parks, in an effort to try to reduce waste. A December 2007 report revealed that many plastic bottles are not being recycled and are contributing to landfill waste. The city will promote alternatives to bottled water READ MORE
According to an article published by Reuter’s UK, London’s mayor, Ken Livingstone, is urging citizens to boycott bottled water. On February 26th, 2008, the mayor launched his ‘London on Tap’ campaign. Read the article here .
On January 31, 2008 Vancouver councillor Tim Stevenson led a motion to look at Vancouver’s options for reducing and phasing out the use of plastic bags in the city. However, council voted to move the debate to the Metro Vancouver Board instead and Stevenson now fears the motion will get lost in the shuffle. Read READ MORE
Greener Footprints is a BC-based organization dedicated to helping consumers, retailers, towns and councils go plastic bag free. The website features steps for councils and towns to take to ban plastic bags as well as tips for customers and retailers. You can even order reusable bags on the site.
On April 2, 2007, Leaf Rapids, Manitoba, became the first municipality in North America to introduce by-law legislation to ban single-use shopping bags. The town was motivated by the amount of litter that the bags create and the amount of money being spent to remove them from forests, sidewalks, walking trails and lakes. To read READ MORE