Waste Reduction Tips

Want to reduce waste at your home or office? Here’s how:

Love Food Hate Waste.  Food waste is an urgent, but solvable, global challenge. One third of all food produced globally is wasted.  To put that in perspective, every day in Canada we waste:

  • 470,000 heads of lettuce,
  • 1,200,000 tomatoes,
  • 2,400,000 potatoes,
  • 750,000 loaves of bread,
  • 1,225,000 apples,
  • 555,000 bananas,
  • 1,000,000 cups of milk
  • 450,000 eggs

Food isn’t garbage and keeping food out of the garbage is good for our environment and our pocketbooks.  For the average Canadian household our wasteful habits amount to 140 kilograms of wasted food per year – at a cost of more than $1,100 per year!

Want to know how to make food go further and waste less?

Check out Love Food Hate Waste for great tips on meal planning, recipes for using up food before it expires and how to keep things fresh.  lovefoodhatewaste.ca

Compost.  Composting food scraps and yard trimmings reduces the volume of garbage being sent to landfills, cuts down on greenhouse gases and creates composted soil product for farms and gardens.  Composting is also a cost savings opportunity On average food scraps make up 40% or more of the waste stream.  By diverting food scraps out of the garbage, you can save money on disposal fees.
Here’s where to compost food scraps and yard waste for FREE:

  • Town Centre Recycling Depot (in the parking lot area behind RONA).
    Drop-off during hours of operation only (Monday-Saturday 8:00am-5:30pm). Loads must be under 50L/20 lbs
  • Tla’amin Recycling Depot (Near Salish Centre 4885 Hwy 101). Drop-off during hours of operation only (Tuesday-Saturday 9:00am-5:00pm).
    Loads must be under 50L/20 lbs
  • Loads over 50L/20lbs must be taken directly to Sunshine Disposal and Recycling Wednesday and Saturday ONLY 10:00am-4:00pm at 4484 Franklin Ave. Maximum load is 2 yards.

 

 

 

 

Say No to Single Use Items.  It’s time to go beyond “bring your own bag” and add metal straw, reusable cup, metal or wood utensils and to-go ware for leftovers and so much more.  You can have a great cup of coffee without using a single serve coffee pod or paper to-go cup with a lid.  even if you only buy one takeaway coffee a week, that’s still 52 disposable cups gone to waste over a year.  Say no to plastic produce bags.  What are we worried about? That our apples won’t get along with our broccoli during the trip home? Or is it that the produce will get dirty? Hey, it grew in the dirt, and we’re going to wash it anyway, right? At the grocery store, you can put produce directly into your cart and then into your reusable basket or bag. Check out 100 tips to a plastic free life at https://myplasticfreelife.com/plasticfreeguide/

Give up shampoo in plastic bottles. There are several plastic-free options:
The No-Poo method uses a baking soda & water wash and an apple cider vinegar rinse.
If No-Poo seems too hard-core, there are solid shampoo bars you can use that both shampoo and condition your hair plastic free.

Make every Lunch a Zero Waste Lunch.  If you are packing a lunch for work or play pack it in a reusable container with your cutlery, reusable water bottle and cloth napkin (just to be extra classy).  Try natural beeswax coated cloth wraps instead of plastic cling film which you can purchase or make yourself! Click here for the DIY version.

Join the slow Fashion Movement.  Slow fashion promotes a more ethical and sustainable way of living and consuming. It encompasses the whole range of ‘‘sustainable,’’ ‘‘eco,’’ ‘‘green,’’ and ‘‘ethical’’ fashion movement. This movement is practiced through clothing swaps, borrowing or renting clothes, buying vintage, redesigning old clothes, shopping from smaller producers, making clothes and accessories at home and buying garments that last longer and are made with natural fibres with sustainable processes and dyes.

Drink Tap Water.  Around the world, one million plastic bottles are bought every minute. This figure is expected to increase by 20% by 2021. In Canada, most communities have access to high quality drinking water– and it’s from our taps.  Fill your water bottle at home and on the go.  If you are a local business or facility join the Refill Revolution. All you have to do is put a put up a sticker or poster inviting people to come refill their empty water bottle at your establishment.  Make your business an agent for change.

To learn more about the Refill Revolution or to start a local Revolution in Powell River check out refill.org.uk or info@letstalktrash.ca  We have some stickers to give away.

 

 

 

ATTENTION RECYCLERS

Attention Recyclers! 
There is an alarming rise in the number of explosive and hazardous materials British Columbia residents are placing in their recycling bins. Recycle BC post-collection processors have seen an increase in fires in 2019, with several of them having endangered lives and forced the temporary closure of facilities.

Hazardous waste like propane canisters, lithium-ion batteries included in cell phones and laptops, and other items can catch fire or explode during the recycling process, turning a regular household item into a deadly weapon. In fact, last year in North America, there were 365 fires, 113 injuries. 3 deaths reported.

Hazardous items like these can cause serious harm to recycling staff and facilities. Ensure they don’t end up in your recycling bin:
Propane canisters
Needles
Flammable liquids
Helium tanks
Knives
Flares
Electronics
Batteries for e-cigarettes
Cell phones and laptops (lithium-ion batteries)
Butane canisters
Bear spray
Ammunition
Lighters and matches
Household batteries
Paint
Household hazardous waste including propane canisters are accepted at Augusta Recyclers. Please check with the scale house attendant or call 604.485.4072.

 

Woodstove Exchange Program

The Woodstove Exchange Program was established with the intent to provide incentive for replacing old woodstoves (high particulate emissions) with more efficient, low emissions models or alternatives through rebates.  This program is funded by the BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy with rebate funding top-ups from the qathet Regional District and overseen by the BC Lung Association.

Check out the brochure here for more information and visit the qathet Regional District webpage for further details if you’re interested and would like to apply.

Plastic Barrels Available!

Some plastic barrels from this summer’s beach cleanups have been set aside for reuse opportunities.  If you would like one or a few, let us know!  Send us an email (info@letstalktrash.ca) or call 485.2260.  Interesting in making a rain barrel?  Check out this informative Youtube video to glean some ‘how to’ ideas.

 

Beach CleanUps

Want to get involved in a cleanup or conduct one yourself?  It’s easy! Contact Let’s Talk Trash (info@letstalktrash.ca, 604.485.2260 ext 308), and then stop by to pick up an events manual (#105 – 4675 Marine Ave).

Marine debris continues to litter our coastlines.  If you’re keen to help clean it up, we can support your efforts!  Check out our Beach CleanUp page for more information.  You can choose to organize a clean up event or simply go out yourself on any occasion.  Either way, contact us to find out what items and material can be collected separately for recycling. We are working in collaboration with the Ocean Legacy Foundation based in Vancouver to not only clean up, but also repurpose and recycle most items collected.

There is a central collection facility in our regional district where items can be dropped off year-round to help assist clean up efforts.  Please get in touch with us to find out more!

Let’s Talk Trash lends you a hand with recycling!

Check out these fun videos that offer a helping hand in understanding what items are accepted and not accepted at our local recycling depots!

Note that there have been a few updates since these videos were published, including:

  • A NEW category of flexible plastics are now accepted at all depots.
  • Paper lined with plastic is no longer accepted.  This includes some dogfood bags, chip bags, coffee bags, etc.

Click link to view LTT Recycle BC Videos

A 10-Year Plan

The Powell River Regional District is in the final stages of updating the Solid Waste Management and Resource Recovery Plan (SWMP); which includes more opportunities to recycle; compost yard, garden and food waste; clean up our contaminated waste incinerator site off Marine Avenue; and build a Resource Recovery Centre (including waste transfer station).  The public consultation phase took place from September 1 – October 15th 2017.  A newsletter was mailed out in early September, you can still view an online version.  Online surveys and public feedback has been consolidated, an updated draft will be heading to the Regional District board for approval, which will then be sent to the Ministry of Environment for approval. 

If you were unable to attend an open house, check out the online version of the presentation here.  Each open house featured a series of display panels, a presentation, q&a and opportunity for input.

Food Waste Reduction

Food – too good to waste!  How many times have you thrown out food that could have been eaten? Maybe it was in the back of your fridge and went undetected until it turned to mush.  Or, a case of your eyes are bigger than your stomach leading to food being tossed.

It happens, so much in fact that as a nation, approximately 40% of food grown for human consumption finds its way to the trash or compost pile unnecessarily.  While significant wastage occurs at the agricultural level and at grocery stores, much of the waste happens in our homes. When we add to this the reality of food insecurity in our nation, it can motivate us to consider changing some simple habits to reduce our contribution to this global issue.

Interested in a food waste challenge?!  Take the BC Ministry of Environment’s Challenge – a 6 week challenge designed to help you measure how much food (and money) you are really throwing away!

Into apps?  Check out these mobile apps and web tools for meal planning!

And lastly, some storage tips!  To find out more visit the BC MoE’s Residential Food Waste Reduction Toolkit.

Food that isn’t edible for humans can sometimes still be eaten by domestic animals…maybe you have a farmer in your neighbourhood that might like some of your kitchen scraps?  And, if the food is beyond animal feed, be sure to compost it.  Use the Community Composting program if you need – meat, bones, dairy, cooked food, kitchen scraps and food soiled paper (napkins, facial tissue, paper plates & towels) are all accepted!

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