The Regional District of Nanaimo wants new businesses, multi-family dwellings and institutions to have three separate bins for garbage, food waste and recycling.
The RDN’s mandatory waste source separation bylaw currently provides the option for a three-bin option or retain a service for post collection sorting of the waste.
Town of Qualicum Beach director Teunis Westbroek has been advocating for the RDN to just imposed a three-bin option for all new multi-residential developments, similar to the curbside collection system now in place for single-family homes.
Nanaimo director Ben Geselbracht supported Westbroek’s initiative and at the RDN’s board meeting on May, 25 introduced the motion that the board direct staff to commence consultation on the draft mandatory waste source separation bylaw that includes the alternative language requiring separate containers for new builds.
“Why I think that’s important to have this amendment is that post-collection sorting is less effective,” said Geselbracht. “Still there’s no technology out there yet. Basically as soon as you add organics with recycling, things get mushy and gooey. And the quality of the materials decreases dramatically and then you have to figure out how to sort it out.”
Under the post collection sorting system, residents in multi-family homes would throw all their garbage into one bin and the contractor would haul them away for sorting.
Not much can be done to make existing business, multi-family homes and institutions to follow the proposed changes to the bylaw but Geselbracht pointed out the RDN has an opportunity to make new builds accommodate an accessible space for separate bins for garbage, food waste and recycling.
“So I think we should make this amendment so that, we just require new builds right off the bat and not allow sort of a loophole to allow them to continue with the status quo,” said Gesselbracht.
The board approved the motion and consultation will take place from May to October this year. Following that, the bylaw will undergo legal review and for the RDN’s approval before it is submitted to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change to execution in the spring of 2022.