Muni wants Whistlerites to 'put their garbage on a diet' 

RMOW to distribute organic waste bIns to separate food scraps

click to enlarge SHUTTERSTOCK.COM - WASTE NOT, WANT NOT Staff at the Function Junction and Nesters waste depot sites will be distributing 1,000 food scrap containers to residents on June 20 and 21.
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  • WASTE NOT, WANT NOT Staff at the Function Junction and Nesters waste depot sites will be distributing 1,000 food scrap containers to residents on June 20 and 21.

For the unorganized, a trip to Whistler's waste depot can be a perplexing affair.

Of course, we all know we're supposed to be diligent in separating our waste well in advance of the drive to Nesters or Function, but I'm sure I'm not the only one who's foregone that responsibility in favour of tossing a heap of chicken bones in with the rest of the trash to deal with at some later time.

I'm also pretty sure I'm not the only one who, elbow-deep in garbage juice, has cursed their past self's utter lack of foresight.

And while it's no cure for a vicious bout of post-hot-wing lethargy, the good folks over at municipal hall are hoping to help you dispose of your food scraps by distributing free organic waste bins. On June 20 and 21, staff at the Nesters and Function Junction depots will begin handing out 1,000 food scrap containers to Whistler residents in an effort to reduce the amount of garbage sent to landfill.

"This summer, we are encouraging Whistler residents to put their garbage on a diet," said Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden in a release. "The most effective way to reduce the amount of garbage sent to landfill is to separate food scraps."

Getting waste into its intended stream is a constant problem at Whistler's busy trash depots. Plastic bags are often found mixed in with food waste or rigid plastics, making it harder to keep the recycling stream below the intended goal of three-per-cent contamination.

But the news isn't all bad; since 2009, Whistlerites have reduced the amount of waste sent to the landfill by 14 per cent — from 600 kilograms per person to 516 last year. This has no doubt been bolstered by the Callaghan Waste Transfer Station providing an avenue to divert organic material from the waste stream, where it's turned into soil conditioner for use on lawns and gardens.

While the muni is helping residents divert their food waste, another local group has planted its focus on Whistler's grocery stores. The Freed Food Society, formed earlier this year, is a non-profit dedicated to transforming supermarkets' excess food waste into delicious culinary creations. Using expired or damaged produce that's still fit to eat, chef Patrick Henry has been cooking up a whole range of tasty preserves, soups and stews — so tasty, in fact, that the society's line of jams were accepted into the Whistler Farmers' Market this summer.

Visit www.facebook.com/thefreedfoodsociety for more information.

For details on the community's recycling policies, visit whistler.ca/services/solid-waste/recycling.

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