Waste Reduction Campaign
On a finite planet, waste is a conundrum. When we create waste we're not really throwing anything "out", we're throwing it into an ecosystem, into our very home.
Metro Vancouver generates a lot of garbage: almost three and half million tonnes of waste per year. That is nearly 1.5 tonnes per person every year! That is an enormous amount of waste to landfill or burn every year.
We need to take action to reduce waste in our region. Reducing the amount of waste that we produce will improve our environment by reducing greenhouse gases and preventing further pollution of our air, land and water. Waste diversion does have economic and social benefits through the creation of green jobs and by providing opportunities for local businesses. Diversion, however, is only a small part of a long-term solution which sees resources conserved rather than needlessly used and quickly discarded.
To solve the current waste crisis, the Waste Commitee advocates for three main components to divert products from the waste stream and works on projects which help meet these goals:
1. Reducing our waste - The best way to manage waste is not to generate it in the first place; buying fewer products and choosing items with less packaging.
2. Re-using - Re-using products and materials including bags and containers, repairing or donating items to charity and purchasing used goods to reduce waste.
3. Recycling - Recycling products such as paper, cardboard, metal, glass and plastic through municipal recycling and deposit programs. Disposing of electronic waste through Extended Product Responsibility (EPR) programs and composting food and yard waste. Learn more about composting on our Composting Page.
- Master Recycler Vancouver - SPEC's Waste Committee is working to pilot a new project that aims at training local residents and business staff on waste reduction, composting and recycling skills that line up with Vancouver's 2020 Greenest City goals. SPEC is launching an innovative training model based on a number of successful projects around North America.
- Green 2 Go. The pilot phase of the project was completed in early 2014. The project's goal was to work with Vancouver restaurants and the public to reduce take-out container waste. This project was supported by Vancity, The Tiffin Project and The Styrofree Challenge. More information here.
- Going Zero Waste Workshops - short workshops to present tips and tricks for reducing waste
- The Zero Waste Crew - a team of volunteers which helps events reduce and divert their waste
- Building the Recyclepedia App - a quick and simple tool that helps users find over 1,000 drop-off locations and recycling options for over 70 materials or products across BC. Downloadable at http://rcbc.bc.ca/services/recyclepedia-app.
- Education and Outreach on Battery Recycling
- Founding the Recycling Council of BC (RCBC)
- Establishing the first recycling depots in BC