The Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine's Terrace Area Integrated Solid Waste Management Program is the 2018 winner in the waste category of FCM's Sustainable Communities Awards.

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Building a new waste management facility can be a hot topic in any community. The Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine, BC, discovered that taking the time for thorough consultation with residents, businesses, First Nations and other stakeholders really made a difference to the project. Incorporating the community's interests and concerns into the plan resulted in the construction of a waste management facility that provides strong economic benefits for the Terrace Area of the Regional District, and is a model for small or rural communities across Canada.

Addressing stakeholder concerns enhanced the project plan

The Regional District's project team applied state-of-the-art techniques to address concerns raised during extensive community consultation. For example, a composite liner with leak detection protects nearby bodies of water, and a comprehensive monitoring program exceeds provincial standards. Steel plates cover garbage 95 per cent of the time, preventing birds from feeding and improving the view from a nearby recreation site. A top-of-the-line fence keeps animals out, protecting the black bears hunted by the local First Nations community.

Integrated program increases waste diversion

The Regional District's new integrated waste management program includes a variety of strategies to increase waste diversion, such as expanding the curbside collection program, and leading community education and awareness campaigns. The program now diverts 532 tonnes of paper and packaging, 100 per cent of sewage sludge, and has a goal of 50 per cent diversion of organics and recyclables in 2018. Liquid discharge (effluent) from waste at the facility will be nearly zero once the phytoremediation orchard on site is fully mature.

Program keeps more money in the community

The Regional District ensured local contractors could bid on the project and, as a result, 83 per cent of the construction work and an ongoing $1.1 million annual contract were awarded locally.

The Regional District can amortize costs over a longer period, since the diversion programs extend the life of the landfill. Plus, the project was designed to meet Recycle BC requirements, making it eligible for future funding, and the Regional District can also generate GHG offset credits.

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FCM's Sustainable Communities Awards recognize and celebrate sustainability leaders and trailblazers in municipalities of all sizes across Canada.

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