On April 16th, 2015 the EMA of BC hosted a Waste Management Speaker Session. The event was well attended and attracted a wide variety of environmental professionals including government, consultants, industry, and technical service providers. The session was highly interactive as attendees engaged in question and answer periods for all three presentations. The social mixer afterwards was also very successful with all attendees and speakers engaging in further discussion around waste management.
The first speaker was Lucas Harris, a Senior Policy Analyst with the Waste Prevention Branch of the Ministry of the Environment. Lucas provided an informative presentation on Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Programs particularly in British Columbia; the objectives and benefits of these programs, and the measures used to gage the performance of these programs. He also discussed the roles and responsibilities of consumers, industry, local government, producers, and provincial government. He spoke to the 2015 and 2017 goals of these programs and to end it off discussed how British Columbia is leading the pack particularly for the blue box program. Mr. Harris’ presentation.
Second, Andrew Marr, Acting Director with the Solid Waste Planning Division of Metro Vancouver provided an interesting presentation on waste flow control programs in Metro Vancouver. He touched the current goals of the program, Bylaw 280 and the newly revised tipping fees for Metro Vancouver facilities. He also discussed the recent introduction of the organics disposal ban, the benefits of this program, time frame in which it took to implement, and the response from residents and business. To end the presentation Andrew noted that in the coming years Metro Vancouver will focus on educational outreach programs for communities and business’s as well continue to monitor and enforce to ensure that organic waste continues to diverted from the landfills. Mr. Marr’s presentation.
Lastly, Dr. Tony Sperling, President of Sperling Hansen Associates, gave a presentation that focused on how waste management objectives in Metro Vancouver can be achieved by focusing on full utilization of existing facilities and strategic and much smaller investments in upgrading existing WTE capacity and enhanced processing of construction demolition waste. Dr. Sperling’s presentation.