Regional District of North Okanagan looks at single-use plastic ban

Service changes at RDNO recycling drop centres discussed

In an effort to preserve the natural beauty of the area, the Regional District of North Okanagan is looking into further green recycling and waste management initiatives.

At the regular public meeting Wednesday, Jan. 9, three recommendations regarding service changes to recycling drop centres were before the board of directors.

“It’s very obvious. You turn on the media or social media, and you hear about global warming,” said Kevin Acton, RDNO chair. “We’re trying to be really responsible with what we’re doing with waste.”

As recommended to the board, the staff is developing a bylaw banning single-use plastics in the Regional District of North Okanagan. A review of similar policies in Victoria and Salmon Arm is currently underway and the bylaw will be before the board sometime at the end of February, Acton estimates.

“We’re looking at people that have already done it and are going from there,” Acton said of the proposed bylaw. “That would be reducing the amount of plastic going into the system, so there would be less to worry about.”

Acton said potential banned plastic items would include straws, bags and single-use cups. Other recyclable or reusable options are currently available on the market, he added.

During discussions of banning single-use plastics in Salmon Arm, Mayor Alan Harrison said it is estimated that, per capita, 200 plastic shopping bags are used every year. Many of those plastic bags end up in the landfill, he said.

Related: Salmon Arm plans to ban single-use plastic bags

Montreal was the first Canadian city to implement a ban on single-use plastics. That bylaw went into effect in January 2018. Victoria followed suit with a similar bylaw in July 2018. Saanich and Esquimalt are also looking into potential bans.

After the bylaw is drafted, it will be back before the RDNO for discussion. Should the bylaw receive final reading, Acton estimated a six-month window to put the bylaw into effect.

“If it’s supported, I could see it come into effect next year or after a year-and-a-half,” Acton said.

Beyond the potential removal of single-use plastics, Acton said the RDNO is considering alternative waste to energy opportunities to improve solid waste management.

Related: RDNO seeks public input on solid waste plan

Related: Greater Vernon landfill construction

One potential option is allowing facilities or landfills to utilize greenhouse gases emitted from green-waste as a source of energy. However, that option isn’t without its complications.

“We don’t have enough green-waste in this area,” Acton said. “Believe it or not, we don’t have enough garbage.”

The board also discussed the practice of burning waste at a high enough heat that it mitigates air pollution but still produces energy. Potential waste-to-energy options will also be discussed further at a future committee of the whole meeting.

The final recycling drop centres service change recommendation before the board seeks to hire a new contractor for the collection of recycled materials. Acton said roughly four companies have shown interest in the contract.

“What we’ve essentially done is put collection requirements (into the contract.) They’re going to be responsible for the amount of recyclables that goes into the landfill,” Acton said.

Recycle BC, a non-profit organization responsible for residential packaging and paper recycling throughout the province, has an estimated recovery rate of 75 per cent. Acton said that the RDNO contract seeks a similar outcome.

A potential factor impeding the recovery rate is the sorting of recyclable goods at home.

“If people aren’t willing to take plastics and separate them from cardboard, it becomes quite expensive when you have to do it manually,” Acton said, noting that the directors will look to mitigate costs while increasing green initiatives.

“We always need to balance the economy with the environment, but we need to make sure we’re paying our share.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Vernon killer granted absolute discharge, victim’s family responds

Kenneth Scott Barter was found not criminally responsible on account of mental disorder in 2011 on a charge of second-degree murder of Nathan Mayrhofer.

Standing Still comedy show took place in Lumby Friday night

Hundreds lined up at Lumby’s community centre to attend the free show.

Author gives presentation on life in remote Nepal at Caetani House

Author Dorje Dolma presents her book Yak Girl: Growing Up in the Remote Dolpo Region of Nepal on Friday, Feb. 1 at 7 p.m. at Caetani Centre in Vernon.

Three Vernon-area organizations receive provincial grants

The province is providing a total of $673,124 in project development grants to support rural communities throughout B.C.

Lumby featured on CBC show Still Standing

Filming concludes Friday with a comedy show at the White Valley Community Centre.

Students seen mocking Native Americans could face expulsion

One 11-minute video of the confrontation shows the Haka dance and students loudly chanting

May plans next move in Brexit fight as chances rise of delay

Some say a lack of action could trigger a ‘public tsunami’

Group challenges ruling for doctors to give referrals for services that clash with beliefs

A group of five Canadian doctors and three professional organizations is appealing

Major winter storm wreaks havoc on U.S. travel

Nearly 5,000 flights were cancelled Sunday around the country

CONSUMER REPORT: What to buy each month in 2019 to save money

Resolve to buy all of the things you want and need, but pay less money for them

Want to avoid the speculation tax on your vacant home? Rent it out, Horgan says

Premier John Horgan and Sheila Malcolmson say speculation and vacancy tax addresses homelessness

UPDATE: B.C. woman and boy, 6, found safe, RCMP confirm

Roseanne Supernault says both she and her six-year-old nephew are fine and she has contacted police

PHOTOS: Women’s Marches take to the streets across B.C. and beyond

Women and allies marched worldwide protesting violence against women, calling for equality

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened

Most Read