The Regional District of East Kootenay’s (RDEK) Solid Waste Management Plan is now underway. The RDEK is hoping residents and property owners will get involved and engaged with the process through their new survey.
“Dealing with our garbage and recycling is one of the RDEK’s largest budget items and these services affect every resident and property owner in the East Kootenay,” said Kevin Patterson, RDEK Environmental Services Manager. “The Solid Waste Management Plan provides the foundation for the way we deal with our waste and recyclables and this current update will guide our direction for the next several years.
Patterson adds that it’s “really important” that people get informed about the current system and share their ideas for the future.
The survey is now open for residents and property owners to provide input into how they currently use the system, and what their priorities are going forward.
Links to the survey are available on the RDEK’s website and a special project page at engage.rdek.bc.ca. Hard copies are also available at the RDEK’s offices and can be mailed. The survey deadline is Monday, Feb. 25, 2019.
The survey covers questions that relate to where and how you dispose of your household waste, food waste and other items, as well as a questionnaire on wether or not you know where to take specific items such as lightbulbs, paint and batteries. There is also a comment section where residents and home owners can provide input on their current level of service.
“We are hoping for a strong response to the survey as this will help guide the advisory committee, consultants and the Board moving forward,” Paterson explained.
Every resident and property owner in the East Kootenay, both in municipalities and rural areas, is being encouraged to participate.
“The more well rounded our feedback is, the more well rounded our plan will be,” Paterson added.
The RDEK Board has appointed an advisory committee made up of public, municipal representatives, industry members, community groups and First Nations. The committee will meet monthly over the next few months and have focused discussion on different aspects of the solid waste system. The focus for this month’s meeting will be on the current Transfer Stations and Operations.
Opportunities for waste reduction in the RDEK currently exist in the form of the ‘yellow bin’ recycling program, EPR programs at local stores and bottle depots, re-use centres (share sheds), backyard composting initiatives, wood waste, yard waste and scrap metal diversion at most transfer stations, annual household hazardous waste round-ups and pilot programs such as the mattress recycling program in Kimberley.
Overall, there are 19 transfer stations located throughout the region.
Based on the most recent data available from the Ministry of Environment (2015), the RDEK throws out approximately 562 kilograms of garbage per person, per year. The provincial average is 497 kilograms per person, per year.