Debate over Multi Materials BC, Printed Paper and Packaging rages on

No exaggeration – as per our earlier posts on Multi Materials BC – the debate around Printed Paper and Packaging is just getting louder.

You cannot open a local newspaper these days without coming face to face with headlines on the upcoming May legislation around Multi-Materials BC’s (MMBC) stewardship program for Printed Paper and Packaging (PPP).

The debate has been going for over 4 years within the industry, both producers (i.e. Canadian Newspaper Association) and recyclers alike, but it’s nothing like the poker hot polemic currently underway in the newspapers, op ed’s and advertising space, as the May 19 implementation day draws nearer. Continue reading…

Zero Waste Conference

Last Wednesday, Metro Van held its annual Zero Waste conference yesterday with the theme of ‘re-thinking our waste’.

The conference focused on 2 areas:

  1. Cradle to Cradle design and innovation for a circular, closed loop economy
  2. The problem of food waste, both ‘pre-consumer’ (i.e. food that expires or we throw out before it gets to our plates) and ‘post-consumer’ ( i.e. prep remnants, plate scraping and leftovers) for Metro’s 2015 food scrap bans in the landfill

Keynote speakers included Dame Ellen MacArthur Continue reading…

Trash Talk #12 – Ditching Dumpsters for Livable Laneways

What’s wrong with this picture?

This is what the dumpsters that regularly occupy the lanes immediately west of Main St between 7th and Broadway, look like when you bring them all together for a big community party!  We were on-site at the Autumn Shift Festival this weekend to provide recycling for a great community event, but instead found ourselves surrounded by dumpsters.

Autumn Shift 9

If you care to count, there are 14 of them occupying 2 short lanes servicing just a handful of businesses. In the daily lives of BIA business members and the public living and shopping in the area, they present an uninviting
landscape in what could otherwise be a beautiful Livable Laneway!

These trashy eyesores are common fare in our city lanes (and in some cases, on our side walks).

Beyond being an undesirable blemish on public spaces that groups like Liveable Laneways would like to banish, in their efforts to transform, animate and re-claim these lanes for public use and interaction, these ‘one size fits all’ dumpsters can be a detriment to recycling, and undermine Continue reading…

Folk Festival 2013 – the results are in!

IMG_2418Another successful Folkfest has wrapped for the year and the numbers are in!

As many of our clients and TrashTalk readers know, Recycling Alternative and Folkfest have been partnering for over 15 years together to do some serious trashbusting and ensure the FolkFest’s trashprint is light on the planet and makes both organizers and festival goers alike feel great about being part of the solution!

Every year the Recycling Alternative and FolkFest Environment team meet in the weeks leading up  to prepare the waste reduction plan for the site.  Together our aim is to: Continue reading…

Around the World #1

Touring and Trashbusting Abroad

As we draw to the end of the summer season, leaving holidays behind for the collective migration back to autumnal obligations of the office, the boardroom, council chambers and, of course, school, it’s an opportune time to visit trashbusting efforts abroad.

A sort of Trashbusting Travel-log to close the dog day month of August. Continue reading…

Festivals and Events – best practices to reduce and recycle

As we hit the mid-point of the summer season, (weather notwithstanding this year!), and the zenith of festival-mania in Vancouver, it’s a good time to re-visit some of the tried and true benchmarks for guaranteeing your community event comes up clean and green in terms of its waste reduction and diversion efforts!

Over the last 20 years Recycling Alternative has gained a reputation for working closely with countless community events and festival organizers to collaborate, guide, educate and help implement robust recycling at various public events Vancouverites have come to associate with summer in our city.

Here are our TOP TRASHBUSTING TIPS for ensuring your event walks the talk by setting a high waste diversion standard that organizers and participants alike can be proud of when measuring the environmental impact of your celebration. Continue reading…

Trash Talk #9 – Composting Site Visit

Last Sunday a group of dedicated Drop Spot volunteers made the trek out to the commercial composting facility to learn more about where your weekly Drop Spot food scraps are going.

Each Saturday, Recycling Alternative picks up the totes from the Drop Spots and transports them to Envirosmart in Ladner. Envirosmart uses a state to of the art, windrow system to process the more than 1,000 tonnes of food scraps they receive on a weekly basis from local composting programs.

Continue reading…

TRASH TALK # 8 – DROP SPOT Food Scraps – Where does it all go?

It’s great to see familiar faces and then the new droppers arriving each week at the Drop Spot.

In addition to the practical matter of providing a community model for serious food scraps diversion, the collective of droppers and volunteers at the Spot have come to realize the model offers an engaging and effective forum for community dialogue, public awareness and education on the topic of all things related to waste, food scraps and our local food cycle!

If the Drop Spot is any indication, it would appear that, almost as much as commiserating over the weather, Vancouverites love to talk trash!

Continue reading…

Trash Talk #7 – The Cul de Sac’s and On Ramps of Social Change

Last week’s SCORAI conference (Sustainable Consumption Research and Action Initiative) brought together over 100 academics and practitioners from many parts of the USA and Canada, to discuss the challenges of sustainable consumption, dematerialization, and what we need to do in practical terms to get there.

Among those gathered was Annie Leonard (Story of Stuff) who talked about ‘cul de sacs’ and ‘on ramps’ as telling metaphors on the trajectory of individual behaviour modification and the pressing need for broader, collective social change.

Continue reading…

Trash Talk #6 – Week 14 Update at the Drop Spot!

When we started the winter model of our Drop Spots, we didn’t know what to expect, we just knew we couldn’t turn our backs on the amazing ground gained in terms of public awareness and more importantly, behaviour change.

In the West End, we knew we wanted to continue testing participation levels as the weather got colder and the Farmers Market packed up from Comox Street. We wondered if residents would continue to brave the weather and make the effort to participate in this community model to compost and divert their food scraps.
Continue reading…