The Alberni-Clayoquot Recycling Depot is located on Third Avenue in Port Alberni. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)

The Alberni-Clayoquot Recycling Depot is located on Third Avenue in Port Alberni. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)

EDITORIAL: It’s Waste Reduction Week in Canada. What are you doing to reduce waste?

How can you challenge yourself to assist in diverting more waste from the landfill?

This week is Waste Reduction Week in Canada—a time to raise Canadians’ awareness about waste and its environmental and social impacts.

This year’s theme is ‘Back to Basics’, and the Recycling Council of British Columbia (RCBC), which looks after recycling in our province, is celebrating the ‘three Rs’: reduce, reuse and recycle.

Working that theme is a puzzle as we deal with the hands-off, socially distant, sanitization COVID-19 has ushered in for 2020. Just when many places were starting to change their plastics-first philosophy to allow people to bring their own mugs, shopping bags and in some cases food containers, along came a mysterious virus and a need to keep our germs to ourselves.

RELATED: Nanaimo moves closer to banning plastic and other single-use checkout bags

RELATED: Feds provide millions to cut plastic waste in food packaging, construction

While grocery stores and restaurants struggle with new protocols and heightened liability, what are you doing to work toward zero waste? How can we achieve that when more people are ordering items online and eating takeout meals instead of sitting in restaurants?

Liquid waste has been on provincial election candidates’ minds this week, as some running in the Mid Island Pacific Rim riding have mentioned while answering a question about how they intend to help tourism-based businesses in times of COVID-19. Some feel the Alberni Valley doesn’t have sufficient resources nor infrastructure to handle increased numbers of tourists.

The City of Port Alberni and Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District (ACRD) are tackling issues of waste reduction and disposal from all sides: from e-waste to plastics, food waste to textiles. Waste reduction on a broader basis includes looking at landfill capacity, finding a way to bring organics diversion to the Alberni Valley, and generally changing attitudes about what we use and what we throw away.

The ACRD has launched a new ACRD Collects app to assist residents in diverting more waste from the landfill. The recycling depot on Third Avenue has reopened with improvements. The Alberni Valley Waste Reduction Facebook page will have daily themes all week with ideas on how to reduce waste.

This week, why not challenge yourself to reduce your ecological footprint by coming up with ways you can reduce waste at home or at work?

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Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District

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