Taking another step toward sustainability

Victoria food services trade show example shows how far composting and recycling activities can be taken

Lindsay Palesch

Lindsay Palesch picked a near-perfect spot to host her first food vendor trade show in Victoria with a zero-waste objective.

The Vancouver-based special events co-ordinator for international distributor Gordon Food Service booked the Laurel Point Inn – which bills itself as B.C.’s first carbon-neutral hotel – to host the March 7 show spotlighting companies whose products are sold through GFS.

Chefs and other buyers from the restaurant and food service industry in Greater Victoria sampled food at about 40 vendor booths, served up on recyclable plates and in some cases, skewered on compostible utensils.

“It was slow to start, I think, because it was a change,” said Palesch, a self-described avid household recycler who took the zero-waste trade show idea to her company four years ago.

“It’s evolved over time and we’ve had buy-in from the vendors.”

To get a sense of how much waste is being diverted, a large show Palesch and company put on the day before in Vancouver saw about 254 kilograms of compostible or recyclable waste produced and just seven kg of non-recyclable materials.

“It used to be that everything went into the garbage,” she says of the days before the zero-waste mantra. “It’s made a huge difference.”

The move toward sustainability for this relatively small element of the food industry is of great interest to Doug Schell, general manager of Ellice Recycle Ltd.

He was happy to get on board with Gordon, one of the largest food service distributors in B.C., and the Laurel Point Inn to ensure all materials that could be recycled or composted from the trade show were directed to the appropriate waste streams.

Undertaking such an initiative was beyond the hotel’s scope, Schell said, so Ellice was brought in to augment their internal operations.

“It’s got to come from the top down and they were firm on their commitment,” he said of the hotel management.

One of Schell’s roles with Ellice is to boost recycling by businesses.

He aims to encourage more operators, including those in the restaurant and food industries, to look at ways of reducing their waste.

As more materials become banned from the Hartland landfill, he said, businesses will need to become more aware of how and where they can dispose of their waste.

A complete list of items accepted for disposal at the Ellice yard on David Street in the Rock Bay neighbourhood is at ellicerecycle.com under ‘Is it Recyclable?’

editor@vicnews.com

Just Posted

International migration drives population rise in B.C.

No joke, provincial population topped 5 million by April 1

Downtown Victoria sees 10-fold increase in condo units since 2016

A report by the Downtown Victoria Business Association details ongoing construction trends

Three Greater Victoria schools claim climate awards

Awards handed out by British Columbia Sustainable Energy Association

Tips from BC Ferries for travelling this Canada Day long weekend

Tips from BC Ferries for smooth sailing this Canada Day long weekend

Field named for longtime Hampton Little League volunteer

‘Curt Waldner Field’ recognizes years of dedication put in by former little league dad

Video shows fireworks shot at swan in Alberta

Alberta Fish and Wildlife is investigating the incident in Grande Prairie

WITH VIDEO: Two endangered marmots released on Vancouver Island

With three new pups born in May, two more Vancouver Island Marmots… Continue reading

Surrey RCMP raises Pride flag amid din of protesters

There were about 30 protesters on either side, and 20 Mounties doing crowd control

Should B.C. get rid of Daylight Saving Time?

The province wants to know, as state governments down south make the move

Air Canada reviewing how crew left sleeping passenger on parked plane

In a Facebook post, the woman said she woke up ‘all alone’ on a ‘cold dark’ aircraft

Canadians crash out of Women’s World Cup in 0-1 loss to Sweden

Canada missed a chance to tie the game on a penalty shot

Four-year-old boy assaulted at B.C. soccer game

It happened at a weekend tournament in Ashcroft

Two bear cubs saved near Revelstoke after mother hit by car

Conservation officers trapped the cubs and transported them to a wildlife sanctuary

Heroism medal for B.C. woman who tried to save wheelchair-bound man stuck on rail tracks

Julie Callaghan awarded Carnegie Medal from U.S.-based foundation for ‘extraordinary heroism’

Most Read