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Solutions & sustainability - July 9

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Recovery parks, free geeks and plasma: Vancouver debates zero waste

Julia Steinberger, World Changing
Can we imagine a day when, having sorted out our recyclables and compost-ables, then responsibly earmarked our "still perfectly good" stuff for reuse, we'll have no trash left to drag to the curb? What are the solutions that will take the developed world from our current rates of over-consumption to zero waste?

British Columbia, one of Canada's most progressive provinces, faces some difficult decisions. Estimates warn that the Cache Creek landfill, where Vancouver sends about 1/3 of its garbage, will fill to capacity and close by 2010; current disposal rates will also fill the Vancouver landfill by 2038.

... In response, Vancouver is pursuing an ambitious citywide zero-waste goal. Last week, I attended the annual conference hosted by the Recycling Council of British Columbia (RCBC), one of the hardest-working groups out there in the realm of waste solutions, to learn more about the region's plan.

The strategy encompasses a lot of programs, and over the course of the conference, analysts, city officials and guests from successful organizations like San Francisco's Bay Friendly Landscaping and Gardening offered ideas for ramping up recycling compliance from businesses and individuals, and increasing composting of organics.
(2 July 2008)

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