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[greenyes] Nelson, BC Adopts Zero Waste Action Plan

Apologies for Cross-Postings For More Information:
Tim Hicks, 250-352-5656

Nelson, British Columbia Adopts Zero Waste Action Plan

Nelson, British Columbia just adopted a Zero Waste Action Plan to guide the development of their solid waste and recycling programs. Donna Macdonald, Chair of the Nelson Waste Management Task Force said, "This is a significant step forward for Nelson to view our wastes as resources. Our Council supports Zero Waste as a goal because it will be good for our local economy as well as good for the environment."

In 2003, Nelson City Council struck a Waste Management Task Force to review the City's waste management system in part to determine how to increase diversion opportunities. In August 2003, with funding from the B.C. Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection, the Task Force retained MJ Waste Solutions and Gary Liss & Associates to assist with development of a Zero Waste Action Plan (ZWAP).

The ZWAP recommends policies and incentives to harness the forces of the marketplace to achieve Zero Waste. The ZWAP states, "The City of Nelson and the Regional District of Central Kootenay can have major impacts in defining what is economic, through the policies adopted in bylaws, contracts, permits, zoning, and rate structures. By adjusting policies as recommended, the City and the RDCK can help everyone benefit that eliminates and recycles waste, and let those who choose to waste, pay higher fees for those services."

The ZWAP further recommends that the City build on existing investments in reuse, recycling and composting in the area to minimize public investments required. The ZWAP also supports the development of a Resource Recovery Park (RR Park) in the region to co-locate composting and recycled product manufacturing businesses, and other related innovative technologies, in or near Nelson.

The ZWAP is different from other waste management plans in that it assumes that solid waste disposal to landfill can eventually be eliminated with the adoption of a variety of policies and programs by the City and the RDCK. Zero Waste is a process that involves many stakeholders. The success of the strategy will depend upon effective communication and active engagement with each of the stakeholders to harness their interest and energy to turn solid waste problems into resource recovery solutions.

In May 2004, Nelson's Waste Management Task Force hired a Zero Waste Coordinator (ZWC) to lead Nelson's Zero Waste program. The goals of the ZWC are to reduce the amount of solid waste Nelson sends to landfill and to encourage economic development through resource recovery initiatives and partnerships. The ZWC is fulfilling these goals through the following objectives:
* linkages: creating connections between resource recovery partners; creating connections between businesses to maximize on diversion opportunities;
* awareness and diversion opportunities: conducting waste audits for businesses and multi-family dwellings; designing waste reduction strategies for businesses and multi-family dwellings;
* education: public education via media; developing ZW presentations and projects for grade schools.
The Nelson Zero Waste Plan is posted on the GrassRoots Recycling Network website at:

Gary Liss
Fax: 916-652-0485

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