Free Disposal for Illegal Dumping Clean Ups!

In lieu of Trash Bash (canceled in 2020 and 2021), the qathet Regional District is offering residents two options for free disposal of illegally dumped trash:

  1. Illegal Dumping Clean Up Event: Saturday, August 21st, 2021 – 8 am – 5 pm. Groups and individuals are invited to clean up illegal dumpsites, trails and beaches and drop off their collected materials for free at Augusta Recyclers (7346 Highway 101, Powell River, BC). This is a one day only event for illegally dumped waste. No household waste will be accepted.
  2. Illegal Dumping Disposal Fee Waiver. If you miss this one day event and are interested in cleaning up an illegal dumpsite, you can apply for a disposal fee waiver. Pre-approval through Let’s Talk Trash is required.  Once approved, a physical copy of your waiver (issued through the qathet Regional District) must be submitted to Augusta Recyclers staff when dropping off collected illegally dumped trash. No household waste will be accepted. Fill in this application form and submit to Let’s Talk Trash at OR drop off a hard copy at #105 – 4675 Marine Avenue, Powell River, BC. 


Thanks to all who continue to make an effort to clean up other people’s trash so that we can all enjoy a safer and more beautiful region!

Rural Curbside Survey & qRD Newsletter July 2021

We want to hear from you!

What are your thoughts on the qRD looking further into the possibilities of a rural curbside pick up? Find the QRA code to the survey on page three of the qRD newsletter.

Also, take a look at the qRD’s most recent Newsletter for an update on some waste reduction projects happening in the region, including:

The Ocean Plastic Depot & Shoreline Clean Ups

The Resource Recovery Centre: now entering its final phase, and

The qRD’s Waste Audit, where we identified what’s in our region’s trash.

Plastic Free Challenge

Go Plastic Free for July (or any month!)

Watch these educational & inspiring films about the plastic problem and possible solutions. (from – Liz Heard)

Tips on reducing the plastic in your life below.


The Smog of the Sea

Here an unusual crew of surfers, a musician, spearfisher, bodysurfer and marine scientist embark on a one-week voyage to the Sargasso Sea in search of the infamous patches of floating garbage. Instead what they encounter is an unnerving ‘fog’ of microplastics. A mesmerising 30-minute watch.

Blue Planet II

The soft tones of David Attenborough. Out-of-this-world music by Hans Zimmer. Beautiful and mind-boggling sea creatures. If that isn’t enough to persuade you to watch this award-winning series, I don’t know what is! This BBC series explores the wonders and fragility of the marine world. The stunning visuals filmed in 39 countries will both astound and shock you, leaving you wanting to do more to protect our oceans. Because, as David says, ‘the future of all life depends on us’.


Join the Oscar-winning actor Jeremy Irons in his feature length film to ‘discover the extent and effects of the global waste problem, as he travels around the world to beautiful places tainted by pollution’. This is important and informative viewing, highlighting the power of changing our way of living to help ensure the sustainable future of the planet.

 A Plastic Ocean

David Attenborough said this was ‘one of the most important films of our time’. And with that review, I’m sold. This award-winning film started as an adventure to try and film the magnificent blue whale in the Indian Ocean. What they found there was something even more enormous – a thick layer of plastic litter. The documentary then follows a filmmaker and record-holding freediver on their journey across the world to report on how plastic is damaging our seas and what is being done to try and stop it.

Drowning in Plastic

Discover the dangers of plastics to the marine world alongside wildlife biologist, Liz Bonnin, marine scientists and campaigners in this shocking and revealing documentary. It does not shy away from the horrors of plastic damage and contains some shocking and heart-breaking scenes. It is a hard, but very important watch about the consequences of our over-use of plastic.

Plastic is Forever

This is a film made by 13-year old Dylan D’Haeze to help kids, and indeed adults, understand the issue of plastic pollution and what we can all do about it. Dylan wanted to know what happened to plastic when it is thrown away, so he started to investigate. This is a truly inspiring, and very informative, film from a 13-year old perspective that shows us all how kids really can save the planet.

Bag It

Jeb Berrier, an ‘average’ bloke, decides to stop using plastic bags. This get’s him thinking about all things plastic, and thus begins his journey to get to the bottom of the truths behind plastic. This often-hilarious story will answer all of your questions about plastic: what is it? Can it be recycled? How does it affect us? Instead of feeling disheartened and gloomy about the state of the planet, this documentary will leave you feeling empowered and ready to jump into action.

The Clean Bin Project

Trying to live a zero-waste life? This documentary follows couple Jen and Grant in a head-to-head competition to see who can produce the least waste in a year. The Clean Bin Project is a funny and entertaining review of the serious issues of consumerism, packaging and plastic, and gives some great ideas for how to reduce the waste we produce and make a difference in our everyday lives.

A Plastic Tide

Made as part of the Sky Ocean Rescue campaign, this 45-minute documentary dives deep into the complexities of plastic pollution, gathering information and viewpoints from people across the world. The problem is large and serious, but ‘A Plastic Tide’ gives us hope and shows that there are amazing and inspiring people everywhere trying to solve this problem. As Mumbai-local Afroz Shah says: ‘cleaning up rubbish is addictive’, and we agree. Together we can make a difference.

Looking for more inspiration? Here are a few more entertaining and thought-provoking documentaries that are definitely worth checking out!

Plastic China

Plastic Planet

Addicted to Plastic


Tips from Taina Uitto’s site Plastic Matters:


To help you reduce your own plastic waste, just remember the simple advice above.  To elaborate:

  • Rethink your use of plastics. Remembering that every plastic item ever created still exists, ask yourself whether that disposable convenience is really worth it?  That plastic granola wrapper (for e.g.) will be on this planet for thousands of years…(could you do without it, or make/find a better treat?)
  • Part of rethinking is to start recognizing where all of the disposable plastic items in your life are coming from.  What are your own bad plastic manners?  What items are you just buying out of habit?  Are others constantly imposing plastics on you without notice?
  • Armed with awareness, get disciplined about refusing single-use disposable plastics.
  • Start with the easy things, refusing coffee lids, straws in drinks, plastic bags, cutlery, wrapped muffins etc etc.  So easy.
  • Then, move onto the ‘harder’ things, sourcing one alternative at a time.  Be creative!

For me, this refusing business has become a really fun and rewarding challenge.  It never ends, but it has become second nature.  And finding/making alternatives is even better, if you even needed replacements in the first place .  If there are two things that I have learned during this project, is that:

  1. Convenience is not what makes life colourful.
  2. There is abundance in going without.

Start small:

  • Refuse one item each day that you would otherwise have acquired.
  • Host a plastic free dinner and talk about the challenges with your guests.
  • Get a group together and collect your plastics for a week or month.  Discuss.
  • Choose one area of your life you want to reduce your waste in and….GO!  Move onto the next area once mastered.  Some categories: take out waste, kitchen waste (many sub-categories), bathroom waste, cleaning products, synthetic clothes, kid and pet paraphenalia.

Go big:

  • Going big has its benefits, and I am a proponent of this approach.  Because if you start small, you might get comfortable with a few steps and never go the distance, forgoing most benefits.
  • Purge all plastics.
  • Refuse all plastics.  Prepare for the long haul…every day, every month, every year will present new dilemmas.

If you are not quite ready to do it all, another way to help is simply to ask for plastic free alternatives (even if you are not even going to buy anything).  If enough people ask…  Suggestions:

  • Are any of your clothes plastic free?  They wont know what you mean, so explain you are looking for non-synthetic clothes.
  • Can I have that food/drink in something other than plastic?
  • Do you have any products without all the plastic packaging?

For great alternatives, and more specific tips, please visit my Tips and Alternatives page, or Beth Terry’s The List of Plastic Free Changes.


Invasive Plant Collection Success!



Invasive Plants Drop Off Month: 15 tonnes collected!

Invasive plant material dropped off during the month of May added up to over 15 tonnes of material.

Thank you to all residents who participated in the proper management of invasive plants in our region.

Stay tuned for our next free drop off event.

For more information go to the qathet Regional District’s Invasive Plant page OR call the qathet Regional District’s Maintenance Facility at 604-487-1380.

Our Online Articles

Extra Extra! Read all about it!

Let’s Talk Trash love staying up to date on all things related to waste reduction. Take a dive into the waste stream with us in one of our regular publications:

Ocean Plastic Depot

On October 26th, BC’s first ocean plastic depot will open in Powell River.  The depot is temporarily set up at Augusta Recyclers and will be installed at its permanent location at the new Resource Recovery Centre when the site opens in 2022.

The Ocean Plastic Depot will target materials collected from cleanup efforts as well as legacy equipment from the marine sector to divert landfill waste and reduce oceanic plastic pollution. The Ocean Plastic Depot will provide a designated location for these materials to be properly contained and select items recycled. This infrastructure and ocean plastic diversion program is made possible through a partnership between the Ocean Legacy Foundation and qathet Regional District with funding from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

Visit our Beach Cleanup page for more information.

To get involved or to ask questions, please contact Let’s Talk Trash at 604.485.2260 or email

Recycle Safe

What are you doing with empty propane canisters? Are you tossing your cell phone and laptop batteries into your blue bin? How about lighters or butane canisters? If yes—then potentially—you are causing explosions and fires at material recovery facilities and in collection vehicles, endangering the lives of BC’s recycling collectors and processors.

Follow these expert tips to rethink what you recycle and where. Help keep recycling workers, facilities and the environment safe from not-accepted, hazardous materials.

Problem Materials:
Here are some common items that when incorrectly disposed of, can harm or kill workers and cause damage or temporary closures to BC recycling facilities and waste transfer facilities.

  • Lithium-ion and household batteries
  • Single-use propane and butane canisters
  • Needles
  • Flammable liquids
  • Helium tanks
  • Knives
  • Flares
  • Electronics
  • Bear spray
  • Ammunition
  • Lighters
  • Paint

Read Warning Labels

Hazardous materials should not only be kept out of recycling bins but also out of the waste stream as well. Always read the label. Any product left in packaging that contains corrosive, toxic, flammable, or reactive components can cause major problems at the recycling facility and are often labelled with hazard text/symbols: CAUTION, WARNING, CORROSIVE, EXPLOSIVE, FLAMMABLE, POISONOUS or TOXIC.

Be Aware of Not-accepted Materials

Be mindful of what you put in your recycling bins and ensure it’s an accepted material and 100% empty—not something that is potentially explosive and deadly. The risk for fires or explosions is especially high for material collection vehicles and receiving facilities due to significant amounts of paper, as well as the opportunity for the items to be compressed, causing explosions. The combination of easily flammable material, plenty of oxygen and large amounts of material where sparks can smolder undetected for lengthy periods, makes the presence of hazardous material especially precarious. View the materials accepted in your curbside recycling bin as part of our program.

Find a Location to Recycle or Dispose of Safely

When a material is not allowed in the curbside bin, it doesn’t mean it can’t be recycled somewhere else. Find a disposal location so problem items can be processed safely. Visit to learn more and access the online depot search tool. You can also download the latest version of the free BC Recyclepedia App to search materials and find your closest recycling depot or contact the Recycling Hotline at 1-800-667-4321 or 604-RECYCLE (604-732-9253).

Recorded Webinars: Burn It Smart Wood Stoves, Backyard Composting & more!

Let’s Talk Trash is very pleased to now be hosting educational webinars on Zoom with video recordings available following the live events.

Past Webinars

Burn It Smart: Wood Stove Info Session with WETT Certified, Ron Spreeuw of Valley Building Supplies, Powell River, BC

First three viewers to contact Let’s Talk Trash will receive a Wood Moisture Meter as a thank you! (

Link to Zoom Recording.

Webinar covers:

  • best wood & fire starters
  • Non-EPA vs Secondary Burn vs Catalytic Combustion stoves
  • clean burning techniques & thermometers
  • stove & chimney maintenance
  • house pressure planes & chimney drafts
  • Wood Stove Exchange Rebate Program 2021 qualifications for $400-$550
Ron Spreeuw is the Co-Owner and Vice-President of Valley Building Supplies, which his dad and uncle started in 1975. Ron is also Certified as Advanced Technician, Advanced System Advisor, and Wood Energy Technology (WETT) Inspector.

Biochar Amendment with permaculture teacher Ron Berezan

Link to Zoom Recording. Password: 7n*25?++

Biochar is a soil amendment with a long list of benefits:

  • carbon sequestering
  • creates habitat for healthy
  • minimizes the need to water gardens
  • creation of biochar generates heat (and thus can create electricity)
  • easy and inexpensive to create your own at home


 Composting 101 & Wire Bin Composters with Ioni Waisgluss  

Link to Zoom Recording.

Learn how to build your own composter, keep your bin safe from unwanted critters (including some bear resistance tricks), and get the most production out of your home-scale system. This session will also be recorded for later viewing.


Managing Garbage, Compost and Recycling in Bear Country with qathet Regional District’s WildSafeBC Coordinator, Krystle Mitchelitis.

Link to Zoom Recording.

Webinar includes information about:

– bear biology and behavior,

– bear proof vs. bear resistant bins,
– best storage practices,
– odor reducing tips,
– electric fencing, and
– safety practices during a bear encounter.

VIDEO Updates: Resource Recovery Centre Project- Phase 1&2 complete!

Powell River’s Old Incinerator Site clean up:
The closure of the Marine Avenue Old Incinerator Site and the build out of a state-of-the-art Resource Recovery Centre (RRC) and Transfer Station are key components in the region’s Solid Waste Management Plan (SWMP). The RRC and Transfer Station at the site will facilitate a one-stop drop that will bring our region closer to Zero Waste. Approximately 8 acres of land adjoining the RRC site will be available for public amenity/uses limited to parking, active transportation corridor (trails) and botanical garden/s. For more information regarding any one of these opportunities, please contact the City planning department at 604 485-6291. Please note that the RRC site and adjoining land is closed to the public. Any questions should be directed to Mike Wall via email at

Phase 1 & 2 have completed and the final phase, Phase 3, will begin in 2021!

Significant changes have happened on the 20 acre site located in the heart of town (across from the Willingdon Beach campgrounds). Follow your way through the project in the following video series.  The most recent videos are posted first.
Phase III of the project will be the design and construction of the RRC facility. This phase of the project will be completed in 2022. Individuals, groups, organizations, or companies interested in sharing their ideas for diverting waste materials through the RRC site (wood waste, glass, rubble, fabrics, furniture, etc.) can contact Let’s Talk Trash at
VIDEO LINK #1     VIDEO LINK #2   VIDEO LINK #3 (Incorporating Natural Assets: Storm Water RunOff)  Phase II of the project was the closure of the incinerator ash landfill site which included the excavation of buried materials as well as the completion of the earthworks for the new RRC facility. This work was completed in December, 2020. Check out this article regarding the Phase II work in the PR PEAK entitled Resource Recovery Centre in Powell River Enters Second Phase.
VIDEO LINK Phase I of the Resource Recovery Centre project was completed in May of 2020, one week ahead of schedule and significantly under budget. This initial site cleanup phase included the sorting and processing of materials stockpiled at the site such as tires, glass, asphalt and wood wasteLeft behind ‘resources’ have been kept on site where possible and materials identified for functional upcycled art projects. First draft designs for the coming one-stop-shop recycling centre, Free Store, new transfer station, and education centre are on their way to completion.
Check out these articles regarding the Phase I work in the Powell River PEAK entitled Resource-recovery centre takes shape in Powell River and  Phase one of resource-recovery centre in Powell River comes in under budget
Prior to PHASE I
For more information on all Phases of the project, see the qathet Regional District page.
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