Banning single use plastics is one idea the Regional District of North Okanagan is looking at to cut down on waste going into local landfills.
The board’s committee of the whole has passed three motions, which are expected to be adopted in 2019.
One motion calls for staff to develop a bylaw, including a review of similar bylaws implemented in Victoria and Salmon Arm, banning single-use plastics, which could include things like plastic bags.
Staff have also been directed to investigate waste to energy opportunities for solid waste management, and to undertake a request for proposals for recycling opportunities at all Regional District of North Okanagan Recycling and Disposal Facilities.
The motions came after the RDNO’s contractor gave notice that they would no longer pick up the comingled items from the recycling drop centres located at the landfills and transfer stations, effectively discontinuing the program.
RDNO chair Kevin Acton says the change came after the end markets that buy recycling set unattainably low levels for acceptable contamination.
“We put the comingled recycling drop centre program in place at our landfills and transfer stations with the intention for them to work effectively, and while they were for years, the market has changed, and we have to adapt to it,” says Acton.“It’s clear that changes in world recycling markets are affecting more than just the landfills in the North
Okanagan, so we are considering solutions for the short and long term. We want to plan for our future by rethinking, reducing and reusing.”
Curbside recycling and recycling depots remain unchanged by the RDNO’s change in service.
Comingled materials that are not accepted after January 1, 2019, include printed paper, paper packaging, aluminum containers, tin containers, cartons & paper cups, plastic
containers, Styrofoam and glass containers.
RDNO will still accept clean, flattened, old corrugated cardboard at RDNO landfills and transfer stations.
The RDNO still accepts garbage, wood waste, yard & garden waste, construction and demolition waste, drywall, logs and stumps, mattresses/box springs, propane tanks,
refrigerated appliances, scrap metal.