Proposed solid waste bylaws would divert 10 per cent from landfill

·2 min read

Public feedback is sought on two new proposed bylaws for the Regional District of Nanaimo: mandatory waste source separation and waste hauler licensing.

The proposed mandatory waste source separation applies to multi-family homes, businesses and institutions. Mandatory source separation for single family homes falls under an existing bylaw; curbside garbage and recycling began in 1991 while food waste collection started in 2010.

All businesses, multi-family dwellings and institutions will need to either have bins for garbage, food waste and recycling, or contract for post-collection sorting.

The second proposed bylaw would require businesses that haul waste for profit to have a licence. Licensed haulers would get a discounted tipping fee at the landfill for waste that was not contaminated with recyclable or compostable material.

The bylaw also allows for a disposal levy for non-recyclable or non-compostable waste landfilled or incinerated outside of the region meant to make it more profitable to divert than dispose. The disposal levy and discounted tipping fee will total less than the tipping fee applied to non-licensed customers.

The RDN asserts that the bylaws will help create new recycling markets as well as grow the waste industry around diversion.

Management of the mandatory source separation is expected to cost $373,000 annually while managing the waste hauler licensing is estimated at $469,000.

The RDN estimates the two regulations would result in a further 10 per cent diversion from the landfill. Of the commercial waste that goes to the landfill, 35 per cent is compostable organics, 14 per cent is plastic, 12 per cent is paper and 11 per cent is building materials.

“The new bylaws will further help us reach our target of 90 per cent diversion of waste from the landfill by 2029 by providing tangible incentives to waste haulers and ensuring that businesses, institutions and all residents have an on-site container system to separate their waste into organics, recycling and garbage for collection,” Tyler Brown, RDN chair, said via news release.

Public webinars on the bylaws are scheduled for Aug. 19 and Sept. 9. Register via www.getinvolved.rdn.ca/solid-waste-bylaws. Feedback will be accepted on the same Get Involved website until Oct. 1.

Rachelle Stein-Wotten, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Gabriola Sounder

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