Submitted. Thursday, March 13, at the request of Metro Vancouver, representatives from the Fraser Valley Regional District presented details on their draft Solid Waste Management Plan to Metro Vancouver Board members. “We are pleased with Metro Vancouver’s interest in our Solid Waste Management Plan,” said FVRD Environmental Services Manager Stacey Barker, “and appreciate the opportunity to explain our ambitious vision and goals for the future. We want to work collaboratively with all our neighbours and partners, including private industry, to manage waste in an economically and environmentally responsible manner.”
The FVRD’s Solid Waste Management Plan is based on the principles of “Zero Waste”, which involves achieving a 90% waste diversion rate. Zero Waste is an internationally recognized principle that supports extracting and repurposing all resources from the waste stream to minimize, to the greatest extent possible, residual garbage.
“We recognize that we’ve set the bar very high”, said FVRD Director Jason Lum who presented the Plan to Metro Vancouver elected officials on Thursday. “It is our intention to be visionary and assume a leadership role in creating good public and economic policy.” To that end, the FVRD is exploring new, exciting technologies and alternatives to waste disposal, such as Advanced Materials Recovery, to complement its other established source separation services.
By implementing Advanced Materials Recovery and other waste reduction strategies, the FVRD aims to steadily reduce our dependence on landfilling to an even greater extent than Metro Vancouver. Metro plans 70-80% diversion by 2020, but is reliant on landfilling volumes of ash from 2-3 garbage incinerators for at least the next 25 years.
Advanced Materials Recovery strategies are designed to extract every last resource possible from the waste stream by sifting through unsorted garbage and removing recyclable, compostable and reusable material and to ensure these valuable resources are recovered and either reused or recycled, instead of being burned.
“Our region’s goal is to be clean and green, while being mindful of the cost to taxpayers and the need to maintain a sustainable, innovative and competitive market for private industry,” Director Lum added. “We are proud of our plan and happy to share and discuss it with anyone who is interested.” The FVRD has been referring continuous drafts of the plan to Metro Vancouver for comments since 2009, but hadn’t had any feedback until now. “It is encouraging that Metro Vancouver has now shown some interest in the plan”, Director Lum concluded.