Discarded construction materials make up nearly 40 per cent of all materials sent to the landfill from sources in the city of Victoria. The Zero Waste Victoria program aims to reduce the total of these and other materials going to Hartland Landfill. (Zero Waste Victoria)

Discarded construction materials make up nearly 40 per cent of all materials sent to the landfill from sources in the city of Victoria. The Zero Waste Victoria program aims to reduce the total of these and other materials going to Hartland Landfill. (Zero Waste Victoria)

City of Victoria on the road to zero waste

Long-term plan aims to cut landfilled waste from city sources by 50 per cent in 20 years

The City of Victoria is continuing its work to reduce the amount of material its residents and businesses contribute to the landfill.

Through its Zero Waste Victoria program, it aims to lower the amount of solid waste sent to the dump at Hartland by 50 per cent by the year 2040. Items such as as single-use plastics, construction and demolition waste, household and commercial garbage and compostable items not put in green bins are being targeted for a reduction.

Victoria council recently approved a transitional plan to accomplish the waste reduction goals.

“Even pre-pandemic as a community we were throwing over 13,000 paper cups per day into public garbage cans,” said Mayor Lisa Helps in a release, calling the plan “just the tip of the iceberg.”

RELATED STORY: City of Victoria finds high numbers of single-use items in initial stages of garbage analysis (video)

In Victoria alone, more than 120 tonnes of materials are disposed daily, for eventual placement in the landfill. Eliminating waste and “upcycling” usable resources is a short- and long-term solution to reducing pollution and mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, say city staff.

As part of the planning and engagement process for Zero Waste Victoria, city staff consulted dozens of people, from business owners to waste haulers to representatives from environmental organizations.

A particular challenge to be faced is what to do with discarded construction materials, which make up nearly 40 per cent of the city’s total waste sent to the landfill.

“There is a huge loss of invaluable old-growth lumber, building materials and history when we demolish buildings and treat these materials as waste instead of resources,” said Adam Corneil, CEO of Unbuilders, a company that deconstructs houses and resells the materials. “It’s not waste, it’s just wasted.”

Among the top priorities of Zero Waste Victoria will be the reduction and salvage of construction waste, the implementation of requirements for source separation at multifamily and commercial properties, and the introduction of new single-use item reduction bylaws.

As a result of council direction to staff in 2019, new public zero waste stations were designed, fabricated and installed this year. Expansion of the bin program is proposed for future years.

RELATED STORY: Victoria combats trash on city streets with zero waste stations

Staff compiled some fast facts about the city’s waste:

For more about the city’s Zero Waste Victoria, visit victoria.ca.


 

Do you have a story tip? Email:don.descoteau@blackpress.ca. Follow us on Instagram.  
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

City of VictoriaGarbageRecyclingwaste disposal

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Royal Roads University president Philip Steenkamp said they are aware of hateful graffiti spray-painted in an area of the forest surrounding the campus. The graffiti in question includes anti-Semitic content and a racial slur towards Black people. (Facebook/Royal Roads University)
Anti-Semitic, hateful graffiti spotted in forest near Royal Roads University

Royal Roads working with West Shore RCMP to remove graffiti “as soon as possible”

A cougar was spotted at Royal Roads University on Sunday, Jan. 24. The sighting was reported on the western edge of the campus. (File photo)
Cougar spotted at Royal Roads University Sunday afternoon

Animal reported on western side of campus near Colwood Fire Department

Saanich-based St. Luke’s Players community theatre company has been making the most of their opportunities to keep busy during the pandemic, including staging a Christmastime panto of Alice in Wonderland on Zoom. (Courtesy St. Luke’s Players)
Saanich’s St. Luke’s Players: Bringing the stage to the people

Community theatre company holding online auditions Jan. 23-24 for March production

Frank Bourree was awarded the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce’s first Governors’ Award of Distinction for his leadership in the business community. (Courtesy of Frank Bourree)
Frank Bourree receives award of distinction from Victoria chamber

Award recognizes positive role model in business community

The Habitat for Humanity Meaning of Home contest is open to students in Grades 5 to 6. (Screenshot/Habitat for Humanity video)
Habitat for Humanity launches national writing contest

Entries accepted from students in Grades 4 to 6 until Feb. 19

Terrance Josephson of the Princeton Posse, at left, and Tyson Conroy of the Summerland Steam clash during a Junior B hockey game at the Summerland Arena in the early spring of 2020. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Test your knowledge of Canada’s national winter sport

A woman injects herself with crack cocaine at a supervised consumption site Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Drug users at greater risk of dying as services scale back in second wave of COVID-19

It pins the blame largely on a lack of supports, a corrupted drug supply

Wet’suwet’en supporters and Coastal GasLink opponents continue to protest outside the B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, February 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
‘We’re still in it’: Wet’suwet’en push forward on rights recognition

The 670-km Coastal GasLink pipeline was approved by B.C. and 20 elected First Nations councils on its path

The sky above Mt. Benson in Nanaimo is illuminated by flares as search and rescuers help an injured hiker down the mountain to a waiting ambulance. (Photo courtesy Nanaimo Search and Rescue)
Search plane lights up Nanaimo mountain with flares during icy rope rescue

Rescuers got injured hiker down Mt. Benson to a waiting ambulance Saturday night

Jennifer Cochrane, a Public Health Nurse with Prairie Mountain Health in Virden, administers the COVID-19 vaccine to Robert Farquhar with Westman Regional Laboratory, during the first day of immunizations at the Brandon COVID-19 vaccination supersite in Brandon, Man., on Monday, January 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tim Smith - POOL
Top doctor urges Canadians to keep up with COVID measures, even as vaccines roll out

More than 776,606 vaccines have been administered so far

From the left: Midway RCMP Csts. Jonathan Stermscheg and Chris Hansen, Public Servant Leanne Mclaren and Cpl. Phil Peters. Pictured in the front are Mclaren’s dog, Lincoln and Peters’ dog, Angel. Photo courtesy of BC RCMP
B.C. Mounties commended for bringing firewood to elderly woman

Cpl. Phil Peters said he and detachment members acted after the woman’s husband went to hospital

Dr. Jerome Leis and Dr. Lynfa Stroud are pictured at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto on Thursday, January 21, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
‘It wasn’t called COVID at the time:’ One year since Canada’s first COVID-19 case

The 56-year-old man was admitted to Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

An Uber driver’s vehicle is seen after the company launched service, in Vancouver, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. Several taxi companies have lost a court bid to run Uber and Lyft off the road in British Columbia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Taxi companies lose court bid to quash Uber, Lyft approvals in British Columbia

Uber said in a statement that the ruling of the justice is clear and speaks for itself

Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. (News Bulletin file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak declared at Nanaimo hospital

Two staff members and one patient have tested positive, all on the same floor

Most Read