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The Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako (RDBN) is updating its Solid Waste Management Plan (SWMP), a legally binding document that is mandated by the province for all regional districts. The purpose of the SWMP is to provide regional districts with a guiding document that will direct the Region’s solid waste management activities over the next 10 years, while also considering longer-term objectives and opportunities. 


Solid Waste Management in B.C. is continuously evolving, necessitating updates of solid waste management plans to reflect changes that are happening in the solid waste industry. Change’s that affect the management of solid waste are the growing B.C. population and consumer demand for product. It is also noted that British Columbians are increasingly conscious of the need to “reduce and reuse” in a variety of measures. A growing number of Product Stewardship programs exists in BC to take responsibility for end-of-life product management.

Currently, the RDBN is working with Tetra Tech Canada, a team of solid waste management consultants, to review and update of the existing SWMP to better reflect the current and planned diversion and management method for the region. The existing plan was adopted in 1996 and was successful in its time to develop and manage waste materials from the consumers in the region to its end of life in either the region’s landfills or recycling depots.

There have been significant changes in the waste management landscape in the last twenty-one years. Other changes include many Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Programs such as the Printed Paper and Packaging, Used Oil Management and Electronic Products stewardship programs. The new SWMP will lay out how we will recycle, compost and dispose of our garbage for the next 10-20 years. The review of the SWMP will focus on: waste reduction, waste diversion, organics, the financial aspect to solid waste management and the possibility of pursuing zero waste in our region.

Updating the SWMP requires regional participation through an advisory committee and public perception surveys. The advisory committee will be made up of public, local government and technical representatives. The committee will be working together from January to June of 2018 in monthly meetings located in Burns Lake. The Committee will be asked to review reports outside of the meetings in preparation for the meeting dates. Two surveys will be released, one in December 2017 and another in spring 2018, to ask questions about the public perception of solid waste management in the RDBN.

Any interested citizens may apply to be part of the Advisory Committee for the Solid Waste Management Plan review and update. If you are interested or invested in recycling and waste management for our Region, the RDBN invites you to be part of this process by filling out an Expression of Interest form. The RDBN acknowledges the distances that will need to be traveled within the Regional District for these meeting and as such there will be remuneration for mileage and meals as required for committee meetings. Meetings will likely be held during the day with a meal provided during the mid-day break. Expressions of Interest forms will be due by Friday, December 15, 2017.

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Please visit the RDBN’s website www.rdbn.bc.ca or email wastewatchers@rdbn.bc.ca for an Expression of Interest form to fill out. The forms will also be made available at the RDBN office and your local municipal office for those that do not have internet access. For more information on the Solid Waste Management Plan, please call 1-800-320-3339.

 

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