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Residents sound off on solid waste management plan

Regional government body releases survey results asking for feedback on solid waste management

Over 1,200 responses were returned to the RDEK for a public survey process seeking feedback on a solid waste management plan, with a majority of respondents in favour of setting waste reduction goals in line with provincial targets.

“While the intention of the first survey was to find out how people are using the current system and what ideas they may have that they’d like the RDEK to look into further, this follow-up survey was aimed at delving a little deeper into some of the areas identified in the first survey,” explains RDEK Environmental Services Manager Kevin Paterson. “For example, in the first survey over 88% of respondents supported investigating the expansion of recycling, reuse and reduction programs in the region. In this survey, we asked how much more per year they would be willing to pay for these increased opportunities.”

Breaking down the results, 62.6 per cent were from rural areas, while 37.4 were from municipal residents. Respondents also support increased diversion opportunities and new curbside collection options within municipalities where curbside is currently offered. Additional feedback included introducing new user fees due to concerns over illegal dumping, along with some divided support for organics management.

“The results of the survey have been shared with the Advisory Committee, the RDEK Board and consultants who are helping us prepare the draft plan. They have provided us with valuable feedback that has helped inform the preparation of the draft plan,” adds Paterson.

The draft plan is expected to be presented to the RDEK Board for review at the July Board meeting this week. Additional consultation from an advisory committee, First Nations and other stakeholders will also be considered before the plan is endorsed and adopted by the board.

For more information on the Solid Waste and Recycling Costs Survey, a summary of what is in our waste, and more, visit the website.

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Trevor Crawley

About the Author: Trevor Crawley

Trevor Crawley has been a reporter with the Cranbrook Townsman and Black Press in various roles since 2011.
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