A review of the RDEK’S Solid Waste system suggests several incentives could be implemented to reduce waste sent to landfills.
The independent company submitted a report to the Board late last month focusing on the Regional District’s reduction and reuse programs and how they could be enhanced.
New landfills are increasingly hard to develop, so extending the life of existing sties is a high priority.
It recommends examining the user-fee rate structure and consider additional user-fees that may incentivize waste reduction in the region.
It’s believed this would encourage residents to send less garbage to the landfill and participate in recycling initiatives.
The Regional District’s solid waste system is largely funded through tax requistion but the report suggests the implementation of a system wide user-pay method may be beneficial.
The report also highlighted the RDEK’s efforts to encourage backyard composting and a 2016 composting pilot project in the Columbia Valley and Elk Valley.
However, it says due to the geography and population of the region, centralized composting poses challenges.
It’s also recommended the RDEK could introduce bans on certain recycable materials, implement waste audits in the industrial and commercial sector and introduce fines for illegal dumping.
The region doesn’t currently have a significant illegal dumping issue, but if user-fee rates are changed or added this may lead to an increase in dumping.
The report does say the Regional District provides many opportunities for the reduction and reuse of materials.
It also indicates staff have done a good job educating youth but information directed towards adults is lacking.
The success of the RDEK’s Reuse Centres, or share sheds, was highlited in the review.
The sheds are located at all attended transfer stations in the region and are very popular with users.
These centres offer an opportunity to reduce waste from the landfill by placing certain items aside that other users may want to take home.