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

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Greenest City sets a hard, measurable target for waste reduction

Mayor Gregor Robertson's Greenest City Action Team delivered a tough but realistic ten year action plan to Council this week.

In adopting the GCAT recommendations, Council has committed the city to a 2020 target of "40 percent reduction in solid waste per-capita going to landfill or incinerator."

GCAT Co-Chair David Boyd told me at the Council meeting that the baseline year for that reduction will be 2007. According to the 2007 Vancouver Landfill Annual Report, our solid waste in that year was 634,844 tonnes. With a 40% reduction, barring a huge influx of population, we will send only 381,000 tonnes of waste to the landfill in 2020.

Along with cutting the sheer volume of waste, we're going to get serious about hazardous wastes, compostable organics (source of potent GHG methane and toxic leachate) and "symbolic sources of trash and litter" such as plastic bags and styrofoam.

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