How small can you make a month’s garbage?

Wildsight challenges Cranbrook residents to compete to see who can throw away the least trash in May.

Skye McDougall contemplates the three Rs and C – reduce

Skye McDougall contemplates the three Rs and C – reduce

How much could you reduce your household waste, if you concentrated all your efforts?

That’s the question Wildsight is asking Cranbrook residents with its Clean Bin Project.

Running throughout May, the Clean Bin Project is a one-month challenge people can sign up for. Then participants will challenge each other throughout the month to recycle as much as possible and keep their garbage to a minimum.

Wildsight’s sustainability coordinator Skye McDougall said that when the Clean Bin Project ran in Kimberley, some families were able to fit a month’s worth of garbage into a single bread bag.

“I’d like to challenge Cranbrook to do better than Kimberley,” said McDougall, “and I’m ready to help!”

“The goal of the Clean Bin Project is to tackle the serious issue of waste reduction,” said McDougall. “We can do this by raising awareness and demonstrating how reducing waste can be do-able and easy.”

McDougall hopes that the sense of competition will encourage participants to work harder to recycle as much as possible. People taking part can share about their experience on Facebook and learn strategies on cutting down waste. McDougall will be available to answer questions about how, where and what to recycle or compost.

In Cranbrook, each person produces on average six pounds of garbage every day, which works out to more than one tonne of garbage a year. Packaging makes up 33 per cent of that garbage. Composting could cut out 50 per cent of it.

McDougall said that education about recycling would help cut down Cranbrook’s waste – and it’s simpler than people think.

“With the three Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle) and one C – that’s composting,” said McDougall, “we can make huge reductions in our garbage production.

“As a consumer myself, I know that we all create a lot of garbage,” she said. “The excess packaging used for most products means that tons and tons of garbage ends up in our landfill.”

The Clean Bin Project is the brain child of a young Vancouver couple who challenged themselves to live consumer and waste-free for a year. They carefully chose their purchases to avoid packaging whenever possible. They made a film about the experience, and sparked a movement.

As part of its launch events for The Clean Bin Project, Wildsight is showing that film on April 11 at 7:30 p.m. at the College of the Rockies lecture theatre.

Those who are interested in joining the challenge should attend that film showing, where admission is by donation.

Then, on Earth Day weekend, Wildsight is offering “introduction to composting” workshops. The Regional District of East Kootenay will offer subsidized compost bins to early workshop registrants.

Finally, on Earth Day itself, April 22, there will be a launch party for the Clean Bin project, where participants can meet one another and prepare the month-long challenge. Kimberley participants will also be on hand – with garbage in tow to show off their achievements.

Columbia Basin Trust and the federal Department of the Environment have provided financial support for the project.

To register or find out more about the Clean Bin Project, visit

Just Posted

Residents line up outside the Vernon Recreation Complex for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, June 5. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
No appointments necessary for first dose COVID-19 vaccine: Interior Health

People can just show up at clinics, register on the spot and get the shot

Ryan McKenzie of the Kimberley Trails Society made an in-depth presentation to City Council describing the initial steps of the Electrify the Mountains eBike trails project. This is a look at the project one map.
Kimberley City Council hears details on Electrify the Mountain project

At the meeting of City Council on Tuesday, June 8 Ryan McKenzie… Continue reading

The Kimberley Public Library invites kids of all ages to join the 2021 BC Summer Reading Club. Kimberley Public Library file
Kimberley kids invited to join summer reading club at Public Library

The Kimberley Public Library invites kids of all ages to join the… Continue reading

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry on Thursday, June 10, mentioned Grand Forks among two other COVID “hot spots” in B.C. Photo: Screenshot - YouTube COVID-19 BC Update, June 10, 2021
PHO Henry says West Kootenay city is a COVID ‘hot spot’ in B.C.

There are 11 cases of COVID-19 in the Grand Forks local health area, according the BC CDC

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps off Vancouver Island

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation announced it had located what are believed to be the remains of 215 children, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said he feels a connection with the former students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
2 sides of the same coin: Ex-foster kids identify with residential school survivors

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip says the child welfare system takes Indigenous children from their families

Nathan Watts, a member of the Tseshaht First Nation near Port Alberni, shares his story of substance use, a perspective he said isn’t seen enough. (Photo courtesy of Nathan Watts)
Public shaming, hate perpetuates further substance use: UVic researcher

Longtime addict Nathan Watts offers a user’s perspective on substance use

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

57-year-old Kathleen Richardson was discovered deceased in her home Wednesday, June 9, 2021. Her death is considered a homicide and connected to the slain brothers found on a Naramata forest road. (Submitted)
Condolences pour in for Kathy Richardson, Naramata’s 3rd homicide victim in recent weeks

Richardson was well liked in the community, a volunteer firefighter with a home-based salon

A person receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
More than 75% of B.C. adults have 1st dose of COVID vaccine

The federal government has confirmed a boost in the Moderna vaccine will be coming later this month

Airport ground crew offload a plane carrying just under 300,000 doses of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine which is developed by the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies at Pearson International Airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
1st batch of Johnson & Johnson vaccines won’t be released in Canada over quality concerns

The vaccines were quarantined in April before they were distributed to provinces

The rainbow flag flies beside the Canadian flag outside the University of the Fraser Valley’s Chilliwack campus on June 26, 2020. Monday, June 14, 2021 is Flag Day, and also June is Pride Month. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 13 to 19

Flag Day, Garbage Man Day, International Panic Day all coming up this week

Most Read