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

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

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Victoria man in custody after shooting in 100-block of Gorge Road East

The man is facing recommended charges including assault with a weapon

Victoria Royals draft dynamic Danish forward for tentative fall season

Marcus Almquist drafted to Victoria after international tournaments

Undercover operation exposes prominent human trafficking problem in Greater Victoria

VicPD’s Operation No More took place in mid-June at a local hotel

Langford approves permit for 124-unit mass timber building

Tallwood 1 to be completed by late 2021

‘This year is unlike any other’: Trudeau delivers Canada day address

Sophie Gregoire Trudeau and the Prime Minister release video celebrating the national holiday

Canada Day tractor incident kills three children, injures seven in Quebec

The tractor driver has been arrested following the accident

Longtime Vancouver Island fishing family hooks into local market over wholesale

Locally caught fish are scarce in fishing towns, an irony one Sointula family is working to change

Tsilhqot’in Nation demands meeting with feds on declining Fraser River chinook stocks

The Nation wants to partner with DFO to rebuild and recover the stocks

Gov. General honours Canadians for bravery, volunteer service

Five categories of winners presented on Canada Day

COVID-19: Should non-medical masks be mandatory in Canada?

New poll shows Canadians are divided on the rules around mandatory masks

‘A little bit scary for everybody’: Air passengers wary as new rules take effect

Masks or face coverings have been mandatory on flights since April 20

VIDEO: Prince William and Kate chat with B.C. hospital staff about COVID-19

Seven-minute video posted to Youtube on Canada Day

Most Read