Article by Tera Grady –
All garbage and recycling programs and services for the Cariboo Regional District and its member municipalities, Williams Lake, Quesnel, District of 100 Mile House, and District of Wells, are developed, approved, and implemented through the region’s Solid Waste Management Plan (Plan). Each Plan spans ten years. The current Plan will be updated over the next two years. The BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy providing principles that regional districts are encouraged to include in Plans, some of which are:
- minimize waste generation;
- prevent organics and recyclables from disposal in landfills;
- support user pay systems to provide incentives for waste reduction, and
- promote pollution prevention hierarchy: reduce, reuse, and recycle.
Public consultation for the region’s Plan update will be ongoing for the next two years. It starts on June 8, 2021, with the first of six virtual public meetings. The one-hour public meetings will be hosted online (also accessible by phone) and will provide Cariboo residents with context and background on the Provincial guiding principles and include examples of strategies for working towards each principle, as well as challenges specific to the Cariboo. The public meetings will also provide a forum for residents to raise solid waste concerns and to offer suggestions for improvements, or changes to the current solid waste services.
Throughout the month of June, Cariboo residents will be asked to complete a waste and recycling survey as part of the consultation process for the Solid Waste Management Plan update. Ideally, the survey will be completed after attending a public meeting, but it can be completed independent of the meetings. The survey results will provide the region with guidance for waste management options to consider and investigate for feasibility.
When the initial phase of consultation is completed and future options have been investigated, Cariboo residents will be asked to participate in a second survey to evaluate the feasibility and cost of new solid waste diversion programs and provide feedback on their preferred options.
All Cariboo residents and businesses generate waste, and each one makes a choice about how much they generate and how they dispose of it. The region and member municipalities may be able to provide options for waste diversion (composting, recycling, beneficial re-use) but only resident and business support and participation will make them successful. The region’s task is to determine what waste diversion programs are feasible for the Cariboo, what strategies, methods, and systems best fit those approaches and will encourage participation in the resulting systems. Please visit carboord.ca to view the solid waste public meeting schedule for June and to access the online survey (available in June). Don’t miss this opportunity to have your say!
Learn more by following us on Facebook at facebook.com/caribooregion or by visiting us online at carboord.ca.