Wildsight works with council

Cranbrook city council supports environmental initiatives brought forward by local organization

Cranbrook city council has pledged support for a number of Wildsight initiatives.

Two representatives of the environmental organization made a presentation to council on Monday, October 22, which reminded mayor and councillors what Wildsight does, who they are, and what they have achieved.

Robyn Duncan and Helen Sander, Wildsight program managers, also ironed out some myths and misconceptions about the group.

“We want to do a lot more work with you and that is why we have come in this evening,” said Sander.

“We would like to receive some guidance on what the process would be to start a dialogue to work together with you to promote sustainability in Cranbrook.”

At the Monday meeting, Wildsight also asked for council’s support of a new program it hopes to initiate: the Cranbrook Clean Bin Project.

“The goal of the project is to reduce the volume of waste going into the landfill and to promote education both among students and in the community on ways to reduce waste,” said Sander.

Wildsight will seek funding from the Columbia Basin Trust’s Environmental Initiatives Projects program for its planned 2013 project.

The Clean Bin Project is inspired by a Vancouver couple who went on a year-long challenge to create as little waste as possible. They made a film about their experience and travelled across Canada promoting the idea, including a visit to Kimberley.

“It’s a very moving but lighthearted film. A young couple decided they just don’t want to be producing garbage anymore,” said Sander.

“It’s a friendly way and it moved a lot of people. It makes an emotional impact on people.”

After the visit, 10 families in Kimberley decided to try the challenge themselves for one month. At the end of the month, through recycling and composting their waste, the winning family managed to fit their garbage into one sandwich bag.

If Wildsight is successful in obtaining funding from CBT, the Cranbrook Clean Bin Project would bring in the Vancouver couple that started the initiative and who the film at schools, community groups and public screenings, and set up a public challenge for Cranbrook residents. The project would also promote home composting.

Cranbrook council decided to support the grant application because the project fits into the city’s recent decision to decrease the weekly bag limit for garbage pick-up from five bags to three per household.

“I followed the Clean Bin Project as it went along in Kimberley and it sounded like a real challenge. That’s something I would like to support here in Cranbrook,” said Councillor Sharon Cross.

“Given that there are already concerns about our landfill, I think a project like this would really be a huge awareness-raising project and I’m in support of that.”

Also on Monday, council agreed to take part in Wildsight’s 2013 Wood Stove Exchange Program.

During the program’s eligibility period, the city will waive the $50 inspection fee if a Cranbrook home installs a new wood stove.

See future issues of The Townsman for more information on the Wood Stove Exchange Program.