Zero Waste is the Only Real Solution to Our Incineration and Landfill Problems

Waste incinerator in Powell River series - #4

Everyday each of us exercises our free will as we make decisions that determine how much garbage we send to the landfill, or ultimately on to an incinerator. So we, as individuals, are both the problem and the potential solution to our overflowing waste stream. The concept of Zero Waste, which first came into public awareness back in the 70s, is both an excellent goal and catch phrase that governments and businesses have adopted for years.

We here in Powell River are no exception. Our Powell River Regional District, who is in charge of waste management, has a 'Sustainability Charter' that who's goal is Zero Waste and who's committee is made up of dedicated and knowledgeable folks. The goals therein are very important for us as residents of the Powell River area, especially right now, because of the garbage incinerator being proposed by Wheeabrator on the paper mill site. There are alternatives to incineration such as recycling, repair, reuse and composting that can create far more jobs and small business opportunities for Powell River and the Zero Waste movement is a tool to get us there.

Their are a number of great Zero Waste resources online. Metro Vancouver's Zero Waste Challenge has a great website full of excellent/practical ideas about how to reduce waste including their Six Great Ideas for how to reduce waste in our homes section. The Recycling Council of British Columbia [RCBC] also has a great site full of wonderful information.

Implementation of the the various tactics and strategies of the Zero Waste philosophy inevitably boil down to us as individuals and the choices we make everyday. As in so many things including garbage, the first steps toward effective action are turning on to the situation's existence. Then tuning into knowing the how's and why's of it. Then acting consciously to be part of the solution. Only by realizing that is in our self-interest to empathetically include the flora, fauna, microbes, minerals, forces and faeries that share our existence is it possible for us take action, to change our habits and to create the world we want here in Powell River and beyond.