Illegal dumping is defined as waste that has been deliberately dumped on public or private property. Illegal dumping can range from leaving waste in someone else’s bin, tossing yard or garden waste into a nearby park or forest, and some municipalities include waste that has been placed curbside with a “free” sign into their definition.
Occurrences of illegal dumping continue to increase annually in cities across BC. In 2016 the City of Vancouver received 692 phone calls regarding illegal dumping, and picked up 75, 000 dumped items, with the cost of clean-up totaling $1.5 million.
The City of Nanaimo spends over $20,000 annually to clean up illegally dumped waste and saw a 50% increase in illegal dumping from 2013 to 2015. The City of Surrey has seen illegal dumping costs increase from $550,000 (2005) to nearly a $1,000,000 (2015).
What are the effects of illegal dumping?
Illegal dumping has negative impacts on all three pillars of sustainability: social, environmental, and economic.
Illegal dump sites encourage others to dump their own waste; dumpers may feel their trash becomes hidden amongst the pile.
Surrounding area looks unsightly and dissuades others from visiting the neighbourhood.
Pollutants can leach into ground and surface water; toxic gases eg. Freon, expelled into the atmosphere.
Foraging through waste can harm or kill wildlife.
Dried out illegally dumped organic material can serve as tinder for wildfires.
Decrease neighbourhood property values.
Increased municipal taxes to cover clean up costs.
Why do people illegally dump garbage?
Factors influencing illegal dumping include the cost of dumping waste at disposal facilities, and convenience; landfills are often located on the outskirts of cities. Another consideration is a lack of education. Residents may be unaware of convenient disposal options in their area. In 2016, the RCBC Recycling Hotline responded to 2600 inquiries specifically for household furniture; residents may be unaware of disposal and reuse options available in their community.
What programs are in place across BC to help prevent illegal dumping?
For the City of Nanaimo illegal dumping has become more common in residential neighbourhoods rather than in remote dump sites. Dumping in the City takes the shape of items being placed curbside with “free” signs. As an alternative, the City holds an annual city wide swap meet each spring, called the Reuse Rendezvous. During this weekend residents may place items curbside for others to take and reuse. After the weekend is over residents must remove their items and dispose of them properly.
The City of Surrey has employed a couple of creative solutions for curbing illegal dumping. One is their Large Item Pick-Up Program (LIPU); residents in single-family homes who receive curbside collection are able to place up to 4 large items curbside for free collection each year. This program includes mattresses, couches, barbecues, and large appliances. In summer 2016 the City also piloted a “Pop-Up Junk Drop.” Multiple free community drop sites were set up across the City and residents were able to drop off household recycling and waste for free.
In Kelowna a community group of outdoor enthusiasts, the Okanagan Forest Task Force (OFTF), organizes volunteer clean up events for forested and outdoor recreational areas. Since their formation in August 2016, they have had 5 clean-up events and cleaned up over 50, 000 pounds of garbage. Another great initiative coming out of the Okanagan and one that the OFTF makes use of is the Clean the Creek app. App users can tag areas on a web based map where items have been illegally dumped. The user may then choose to return to the site to clean up the waste or groups like the OFTC can use the app to find a location for their next clean up event.
TNRD and RDOS:
Both the Thompson-Nicola and Okanagan-Similkameen regional districts provide support to groups looking to organize Community Clean Up events. Both districts can supply groups with free garbage bags and will waive any tipping fees for the waste that is collected. If the dump sites are quite large the districts can also provide vehicles and support staff. Along with this initiative the TNRD runs a “Free Dump Day” program once a year at some transfer stations. During this event residents may bring up to $20 worth of garbage to the transfer station and it will be accepted free of charge.
Learn more about illegal dumping at the 43rd annual RCBC Zero Waste Conference held in Whistler from June 21-23, 2017, as industry professionals from the government, non-profit, and business sectors discuss developing a provincial collaboration. Register today at www.rcbcconference.ca.
As RCBC begins to focus up the waste reduction hierarchy and towards the diversion potential of reuse, I’m looking forward to the conversations that will take place at #RCBC2017. Over the past year, I’ve seen many creative entrepreneurs adapt business models to emerging sources of materials. Wood is an obvious one. A City of Vancouver initiative to divert construction, demolition, and renovation waste has created an opportunity for entrepreneurs to source valuable timber from houses slated for takedown. One of the first to take advantage of this resource was Adam Corneil and his company Naturally Crafted Contracting. Adam has developed a long and impressive list of projects centered around recovered wood as the primary project material. He has created stand-alone furniture and feature pieces while incorporating the wood into renovation work with a unique custom look. According to his estimates, there is potentially millions of dollars in economic activity within soon-to-be-replaced homes in Vancouver.
His success makes me wonder what other opportunities we can identify, as I am interested in the creation of regional economic opportunities with locally collected materials. So here's an idea: What if we look at both the waste streams from traditional sectors as well as the expected flow of materials coming from future EPR programs that cover the remaining products on the Canadian Council of Ministers of Environment's nationwide action plan list? What can we do locally with building materials, furniture, mattresses, textiles, and carpet? Will we see non-profits set up social enterprises to help people develop job skills by remaking and rebuilding furniture pieces out of recovered wood and metals? Perhaps we will see textiles repurposed in ways never imagined for old clothes. Or maybe there will be demand for a resource stream from an existing stewardship agency that currently has trouble recycling or processing the material locally. If the economy of scale becomes worthwhile for the investment for new infrastructure, business models could incorporate secondary opportunities to create new products from these waste streams, right here in BC.
That future may not be so far ahead of us. I hope you'll start thinking creatively so that we have the opportunity to exchange ideas at RCBC 2017, this June 21-23 at the Westin in Whistler, because your ideas are how we will reduce and eliminate waste, and through innovations in how we apply circular economy principles. Hope to see you there.
On this week's episode of RCBC TV, Brock and Harv talk about new and collaborative solutions to tackle food waste. They also highlight speakers for the upcoming RCBC 2017 Conference speaking on the topic of organics diversion.
Innovation is the name of the game. On this week's episode of RCBC TV, Brock and Harv talk about some new innovations in utilizing food waste, carbon sequestration, oil-spill management, and 3D printing technologies.
Links Mentioned in Episode:
1:30 Ohio State Tires containing foodwaste, https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releas...
3:30 Oil Spill Vancouver Island, http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british...
3:54 Reusable Oil Spill Sorbent, https://www.newscientist.com/article/...
5:20 3D Printing Article from UK, http://www.rapidreadytech.com/2017/02...
5:30 Link to Study on 3D Printing, http://www.green-alliance.org.uk/reso...
6:25 Sequestering carbon in concrete, http://carboncure.com
7:05 RCBC Conference, http://www.rcbcconference.ca
Follow us on Twitter for regular updates on waste reduction and zero waste, @RecyclingBC.
Reuse and the circular economy is on the forefront in this week's RCBC TV episode. Brock and Harv also talk about the right to repair movement and what's on tap for RCBC 2017 in Whistler!
Check out Episode 2 of RCBC TV! On this week's episode, Brock Macdonald and Harv Aujala discuss illegal dumping and the impact it is having on local communities, the need for mattress recycling (feat. Matty the Mattress), the growth of the reuse economy, and deconstruction.
In the premiere episode of RCBC TV we talk about recycling chopsticks, changes to Metro Van tipping fees, the BC Auditor General’s report on product stewardship, and how the Council’s research into illegal dumping will inform programming at RCBC 2017 June 21-23.
The conference registration desk in Macdonald Foyer opens on Wednesday, May 18th at 9:00 am and will remain open during presentation hours for the duration of the event. Located in the foyer, the registration desk is information central, so feel free to pop by with any questions you may have. Pick up your delegate name tag here when you arrive.
Bring your name badge at all conference events. This is also your ticket for the Gala Dinner and also if you have signed up for the Friday Take Home Lunch. At the back of your name tag is quick-guide schedule and your complimentary drink tickets.
All conference sessions will be in Macdonald Ballroom ABC. The trade show is located in Macdonald Ballroom DEF and the Foyer.
Check-in at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler is 4:00 p.m. An earlier check-in can be requested by calling 1-604-938-8000. The hotel can also provide you with checked luggage service, freeing you to explore the area until your room is available.
Parking at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler
Underground self-parking at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler Resort is currently available for $35.00 per night and Valet parking is $39.00 per night. Parking fees are subject to change. For additional parking options in Whistler, check this page.
Meeting Room Internet Access
Internet access is also available in your room by entering the last name on the reservation and room number or via Fairmont President's Club Membership.
Discount Offer at Mallard Lounge
Present your RCBC Conference Name Badge and receive $2.00 off drinks at the Mallard Lounge.
If you plan on leaving early on Friday, May 20th and would like a take-home lunch, please let us know. We can have your lunch ready earlier in the morning.
Auction to Support Fort McMurray Residents
Take part in our silent auction to support those affected by the devastating forest fires in Fort McMurray. Auction items include a pair of tickets to see the Vancouver Whitecaps, and a Parallel 49 Brews Brothers Collaboration Mix Pack featuring 12 different local breweries. Auction to take place during the Gala Dinner.
Connect with Each OtherTrade Show
Network at the trade show! Located in Macdonald Ballroom DEF, the Wednesday and Thursday receptions and session breaks will all take place here. It will open at 12:00 p.m on Wednesday, May 18th and will remain open for the duration of the event.
Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for conference updates before, after, and during the event. #RCBC2016 is the official conference hash tag - follow it for all latest conference happenings.
Other RemindersGetting There
There are various ways you can get to Whistler from the Lower Mainland:
Pacific Coach Lines 1-800-661-1725
Perimeter Whistler Express 1-877-317-7788
Greyhound Coach Lines 1-800-661-8747
Whistler Mountaineer 1-888-687-7245
HWY 99 Road Updates 1-604-775-1100
It looks like the weather will be clearing just in time for some beautiful days in Whistler. For the latest forecast info click here.
If you’ve got some spare time in Whistler, take full advantage of all that’s available. Activities, dining, and adventures abound – find yours.
Special Offer to the Fairmont Golf Club
Promo Code: RCBC
Booking Window: May 16-23, 2016
There’s no dinner provided on Wednesday evening, but not to worry – Whistler has plenty to offer no matter what you’re craving. Check out dining options in Whistler.
Thank you for your support of our event. We look forward to seeing you in Whistler!
From its roots in 1974, The Recycling Council of British Columbia (RCBC) has always been about the elimination of waste. It still is. But rather than focus on end-of-the-pipe solutions, the Council has adopted a more holistic systems-thinking approach, focusing on a circular economy as its overarching strategy.
Rather than the ‘take, make, dispose’ approach of our current linear system, the circular economy focuses on efficiencies that start at the beginning of the industrial process. As the saying goes, waste is the product of bad design. By designing products and business models for circularity, the opportunity exists to conserve resources and energy, and recover valuable materials, that feed back into the industrial process to develop a robust sustainable economy and environment.
The principles of a circular economy are restorative. There is a focus on the use of renewable energies, the minimization of toxic methods and materials. It incorporates feedback loops into the industrial process ensuring finite resources are recovered. This is of particular interest to the recycling industry as an engine to drive sustainable economic opportunities.
Those opportunities centre on the development of new business models emphasizing access over ownership. In a linear system, consumers purchase a washing machine, and pay for its maintenance until it no longer functions, and is disposed or recycled at best. In a circular economy, a user leases the washer for a contracted number of washes, including maintenance. After all, we don’t want the machine, we want clean clothes. When the number of contracted washes is complete, the company removes the machine, rebuilds it, then supplies it to another user, and the circularity continues.
This access-over-ownership model is currently used in the commercial sector with copiers, and provides an option for transportation needs through car share services such as Car2Go and Zipcar. Extrapolate that model to other businesses and imagine the potential growth in employment. Accenture has done just that. In fact, after extensive research , the global consulting firm estimated that the shift to a circular economy, as is currently happening in Europe and Asia, provides a potential $4.5 trillion USD in new economic activity.
To that end, RCBC has joined other organizations, such as the National Zero Waste Council, West Coast Reduction, and Simon Fraser University to transition Canada towards a circular economy, and the more sustainable economic future it promises to provide.
For the last several years RCBC has focused its annual conference programming on developing the business models, resource recovery management and innovations required for Canada to transition towards a circular economy. This May 18-20 in Whistler is no exception. With sessions dedicated to managing organic waste, improving BC’s extended producer responsibility system, and a spotlight on emerging app-based technologies designed to enhance product lifecycles through reuse, we hope to spark imaginations into actions that translate to increased circularity. RCBC’s own Recyclepedia app, soon to be available for use across Canada, is our contribution to that goal.
Join us in Whistler to learn more about our future towards a circular economy.