This article first appeared in the North Columbia Environmental Society’s newsletter on January 30.
By Laura Stovel
North Columbia Environmental Society
Curbside recycling has come to Revelstoke and, after two pick-ups the North Columbia Environmental Society wondered how the program was doing.
According to Brett Renaud, the co-owner of Bresco, which handles the pick-ups, the first week was “what I expected” with about 15% of households putting out the required clear blue recycling bags. The second round of pick-ups, two weeks later, yielded bags from about 30% of households. Already, a partial load of nine tonnes of recyclables has been sent to Cascades Recovery in Kelowna for sorting. “We had a truck going” to Kelowna, Renaud said, so Bresco filled the extra space with the recycled material “so as not to affect the carbon footprint.”
Some citizens have been asking about the clear blue bags. Why add plastic when we are trying to reduce waste? City Public Works Operations Manager Darren Komonoski explained that the bins are expensive and adding them would have delayed the process considerably. He added that “there is a lot of interest in bear-proof bins. I think there is an appetite to do that. Perhaps in the next contract.” The City is already experimenting with bear-proof bins in Johnston Heights, he said. As for the colour of the bags, “Blue is better than clear” because the clear bags are hard to detect in the snow, Komonoski said.
Of course the best way to lessen our environmental footprints is to minimize non-compostable waste in the first place. Recycling comes last in the 3R hierarchy of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle and much work could be done to reduce wasteful materials. Stay tuned for upcoming NCES events along this theme in 2012.
The Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) is planning two programs of interest to Revelstoke this spring. According to Carmen Fennell, CSRD Waste Reduction Facilitator, there will be a Hazardous Waste Round-up at the Bottle Depot from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm on April 29th and the CSRD is hoping to sponsor a Master Composter Program beginning in May. This will be an opportunity for people to learn about composting in depth and to gain a certification in composting. Students in the program will take a weekend course and will volunteer 35 hours to help others develop their composts.
Laura Stovel is the president of the North Columbia Environmental Society