Whistler missing solid waste targets 

Community is still diverting more waste than previously

Whistler is missing its targets for diverting landfill waste.

According to a staff report heard at Tuesday night's council meeting, the 2010 target for residual waste was 456 kg of waste per person per year, set against the 598 kg target.

By the end of 2008, the municipality diverted 653 kg per person per year, against its goal of 512 kg. There was a spike in 2009, where 732 kg of waste per person per year was sent to the landfill, which Michael Day, manager of environmental operations, told council was likely due to pre-Olympic construction.

Despite these numbers, Day said that the information held in the report - the first since 2006 - is a "good news story."  By then end of 2010, 48 per cent of the community's waste had been diverted, up from 41 per cent in 2009 and 35 per cent in 2008.

"We're moving in a positive direction," he said. "Between 2008 and 2010, we went from 653kg to 598kg. That's not a bad decline in actual landfill waste per person. The challenge we have is what that is in relation to the goal. We started out above the goal and we're getting even further away from the goal as time goes on.

He said that while people are diverting a higher proportion of their waste - which is attributed to more composting in the community - they are creating more of it, counterbalancing the positive diversion efforts.

Council approved the SLRD Solid Waste Management Plan ("the Plan") in December 2006 in a move toward the Whistler2020 target of zero waste.

Since that plan was implemented, there have been upgrades to the Squamish landfill and new transfer stations at Pemberton and Whistler, which have helped improved the handling of residual waste throughout the SLRD.



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