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Kamloops is wasting away

A crew from Waste Naught B.C. digs through the garbage at the Tournament Capital Centre to pull out recyclable, refundable and organic materials during a waste audit Friday, Nov. 7.


KAMLOOPS - If you dropped by the Tournament Capital Centre Friday, you may have noticed a pile of garbage out front. Except most of it is not actually garbage.

The city is undergoing a garbage audit to see just how much waste can be diverted and so far, it’s not looking good. After two of five audits at the recreation facility only about ten per cent of the garbage was actually garbage.

Another two large garbage bags were filled with plastic bags that had been thrown out, a little less was organic waste and the rest was either recyclable or refundable products, or even items that just shouldn’t have been thrown in the garbage — like half-full rolls of toilet paper or sweatshirts.

Items common at the pool and recreation facility such as diapers, paper towel and wristbands are common finds in the garbage bins as well. These items are noted separately because they are overlooked as recycling options. Diapers can be replaced with reusable swimming diapers instead of disposable ones and wristbands and paper towel are both recyclable.

Marcia Dick of Waste Naught B.C., the company conducting the audit, says while it is disappointing to see so much stuff thrown out, it is typical to find those kind of percentages during an initial audit.

Once the audit is complete Dick will provide the city with a breakdown of the audit, along with a list of recommendations on how to better divert non-waste products.

Facilities Manager Jeff Putnam says the goal is to be at zero waste by this time next year. Currently two large bins are emptied six days per week. Early next year, the city will introduce compost bins and more recycling options at the facility and will work on a public education component in an effort to reduce the waste needing to be picked up daily.

Over a million visitors come through the doors at the centre every year. Putnam says so far the visitors, and the lease partners such as Thompson Rivers University and the gymnastics centre, have been supportive of the initiative and are quickly jumping on board.

“Our customers are walking in thinking ‘this is so cool’,” Putnam says. “10 years ago I don’t think they would’ve completely understood.”
The projects will cost the city about $30,000 and Putnam notes those costs were already in the budget.

The plan has a goal of seeing the per capita tonnage going to landfill decreased to 0.3 tonnes per person, down from the current 0.7 tonnes per person.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Jennifer Stahn at jstahn@infonews.ca or call 250-819-3723. To contact an editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

These new zero waste containers will be used at the Tournament Capital Centre beginning in 2015.
These new zero waste containers will be used at the Tournament Capital Centre beginning in 2015.
News from © iNFOnews, 2014

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