Citizens taking action ~ Vancouver, Lower Mainland, and beyond.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Ireland shifts away from incineration

Ireland's Environment Minister said in a speech earlier this month that he intends to shift his country's waste management away from reliance on incineration. Noting that existing solid waste management plans will bring "a very substantial over-capacity for incineration," he is asking his staff to explore alternative technologies for pre-treating non-recyclable waste before it goes to landfills. One technology being looked at is mechanical biological treatment (MBT). In this process, non-recyclable waste is composted before being buried in the ground in order to reduce the amount of methane it produces. MBT is one of a suite of measures that will be looked at during a major review of waste policy in the coming year. Gormley is the leader of Ireland's Green Party.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Residential Composting Works! Being expanded...

Article in the Times Colonist, Thursday, October 25, 2007

CRD out to expand organic waste program

by Rob Shaw, Times Colonist

A pilot program to recycle organic food waste has been so popular in Oak Bay and View Royal that officials want it to continue for another 12 months while they try to lure other municipalities to join.

The Capital Regional District's environment committee voted yesterday to endorse extending the curbside pickup program -- which collects such things as vegetables, meat, fish and bones -- pending funding approval next month.

The Oak Bay and View Royal pilot programs were started last year to pick up special biodegradable food waste bags, set out alongside normal recycling bags, at approximately 4,000 homes.

Read the rest of the article...

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

article: Fraser Valley reps worried about Incinerator Plans

published in many local papers on Oct 19th. read the entire article:

Incinerator sparks fears of pollution
Air quality an issue in hunt for garbage solution

Fraser Valley reps are deeply worried their citizens will breathe more pollution if Metro Vancouver builds a new waste-to-energy incinerator to deal with the region’s rising garbage volumes.

Metro officials intend to call for bids early next year for a new incinerator or other “non-landfill technology” that could consume up to 750,000 tonnes of waste per year by 2012.

Abbotsford Coun. Patricia Ross fears emissions from such a plant will blow east and seriously worsen Fraser Valley air quality.

“We’re very concerned,” said Ross, who chairs the Fraser Valley Regional District environment committee.

“You just don’t put significant point source pollution in confined air sheds where the mountains trap pollution for very long periods of time.”

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Big day Sunday: Dream Vancouver & Global Warming Cafe

Zerowaste Vancouver will be at both the Dream Vancouver conference and the Global Warming Cafe on Sunday (see coming events). Some of you may not have seen the Zero Waste "dream" I posted to Dream Vancouver some days ago.... hope to see lots of Zero Waste supporters at one or both events on Sunday. We have a lot of work to do!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Composting in action

A delegation from Zero Waste Vancouver toured the UBC composting plant on October 11. Five tonnes of organics are processed each day, coming in green bins from campus locations as well as the Quest Outreach Society's warehouse. Thanks to Mike, Christian and Nick for showing us around! Find out more about the UBC composting program here.

Helen Spiegelman, on CBC's "The Early Edition"

Helen spoke with Marvin Hunt and Rick Cluff. The interview is linked from the CBC website.

As our garbage gets collected and landfills fill up where will all the waste go? We speak to environmentalist Helen Spiegelman and to Marvin Hunt, the Chair of the Metro Vancouver Waste Committee. Listen to this interview.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Reno not Demo ~ the zero waste way!

Peter LeBlanc flagged this great story in the Oct 11 edition of the Georgia Straight ("Second Life," by Mike Usinger in Georgia Straight Living section). A couple brings a Strathcona house back to life instead of sending it to the dump... but neighbourhood historian John Atkin says in the article that one of the reasons more people don't do this is city policy:

"Then you've got city hall," Atkin continues. "If you want to do a renovation, there are a pile of hurdles that they stick in front of you. But if you come in for a demolition permit and plans for a pseudo-craftsman house, they are, 'Okay, fine, boom.'"

Time for new rules that encourage reno not demo?

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The hope of Zero Waste

Shelagh Lindsey has been researching the international Zero Waste movement (of which we are a part!). She flagged these good diagrams developed by the Zero Waste Alliance in Portland. Check out the link for more info.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Pete McMartin connects the dots

Pete McMartin just wrote of Campbell's press conference last week: "It was the first time I'd heard a politician draw a direct line between western democracy and the importation of cheaply manufactured brand-name running shoes..."
Public policy and public investment in our "democracies" is being directed into domestic infrastructure that supports a consumer society, a "rich" consumer society reliant on poor communities with labour and environmental standards that we would not tolerate.
Our local governments are caught up in the same economic vision for Canada. Metro Vancouver's incinerators are the Gateway Program for garbage. Like roadways conveying goods (and consumers) to market, the incinerators will create more and more "induced" consumption.

Friday, October 12, 2007

ZWV Backgrounder on incineration

I am posting a very simple introductory backgrounder on waste incineration. There have been several recent articles and reports written about the serious downsides of waste incineration, which is being pitched as a solution to climate change. I am preparing a slide show to present to municipal councils, as well as the MetVan Board. Would anyone like to appear before their local council and show it?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Gateway and waste

Zero Waste Vancouver prepared a flyer to hand out at the rainy rallies against Gateway. If we missed you, you can download the document here.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

An incinerator????

The incinerator salesmen are lining up to speak at Metro Vancouver meetings now that staff has issued a report (see Item 5.6 in this report) saying that the region will build new incinerator(s!) of a scale unprecedented in our region.

We have one incinerator in Burnaby that burns 285,000 tonnes of waste a year, but report's appendix (see the chart, Item 5.6a) shows an extra 1.25 million tonnes of waste-to-energy capacity by 2025.

Staff told the MetVan Board that they are already having "informal conversations" with incinerator vendors. There has been no public discussion about the pros and cons of this, and in fact our approved Solid Waste Management Plan says nothing about incinerators.

Similar moves in Ontario and the UK are setting off a storm of protest. Check out the CIELAP report from Ontario. Zero Waste Vancouver is developing a backgrounder to tell citizens and politicians what the incinerator salesmen are NOT saying... we'll post it soon.