The Regional District of East Kootenay recently surveyed area residents on garbage and recycling and over 3200 people participated, a result RDEK Environmental Services Supervisor Kevin Paterson says they are thrilled with.
“We are ecstatic with both the participation and the feedback,” says Paterson. “We were hoping to get a good cross-section of feedback from around the region, and we certainly achieved that goal. We had 54.7 per cent of respondents in municipal areas, 45.3 per cent in rural areas and there were responses from every electoral area and municipality in the RDEK.”
Some of the general findings include an overall satisfaction with the current solid waste and recycling systems.
There was support for the RDEK to further investigate the costs and implications of expanding reduction, reuse and recycling services; and, options for composting of organics such as food waste.
Of the 3200 respondents, 2123 of them report that they use the yellow bins at the Transfer Stations for their household recyclables, and 1364 use neighbourhood recycle bins. Only 81 said they don’t recycle at all. 514 only return items that have a deposit.
The RDEK has also conducted a waste composition study. Currently the RDEK is producing 570.85 kg of garbage per person annually. On average across BC that weight is much lower at 472 kg. British Columbia has a target of 350 kg per person per year by 2020.
The survey was one of the first steps in the SWMP Review process as it provides the RDEK and the Solid Waste Management Plan Review Advisory Committee with an idea of how people are currently using the system and what ideas they have that could be further investigated moving forward. “We’d like to thank everyone who participated and hope they will continue to be engaged in the process moving,” adds Paterson. “We are currently taking the information collected through the survey, detailed waste audit and from the Advisory Committee to identify a series of possible priorities and the costs / implications of those priorities. We will then be going back out to the public to get their thoughts with those potential costs attached.”
The second survey is expected to be released in the next few weeks.