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5,000 meals and one bag of garbage – innovative waste management happening at BC Winter Games!

Author: BC Winter Games/Friday, February 21, 2020/Categories: Front Page, News, 2020 News, BC Winter Games, 2020 BC Winter Games

5,000 meals and one bag of garbage – innovative waste management happening at BC Winter Games!

The Northern Environmental Action Committee (NEAT) is working hard to keep the environmental impacts of the BC Winter Games as low as possible. Since Wednesday, approximately 5,000 meals have been served to athletes, coaches and officials and it has created only one bag of garbage. 

Karen Mason Bennett is the Executive Director for NEAT, and the Environment and Sustainability Chair for the BC Winter Games. NEAT provides education on recycling to individuals and businesses. “Education is key,” said Karen, who did this interview while redirecting waste following a meal. Often, Karen herself would have to reach into a bin and sort the garbage, recycling and organic waste. 

“Our goal is to get the Games as close to Zero Waste as possible,” Karen said. 

All organic waste from the games will also be composted through a method called vermicomposting. A vermicomposting pilot project will be taking place at the North Peace Regional Landfill this spring. In the spring, 150 lbs of worms will be transported to site from Fort Nelson to start the vermicomposting process here. The Northern Rockies Regional Municipality has a fully implemented vermicomposting program already and the one in the PRRD is being modeled after it. 

“This is the first time the PRRD has tried this type of organic composting,” said Gerritt Lacey, Solid Waste Manager for the Peace River Regional District. “Material will be accepted at the North Peace Regional Landfill during the week of the 2020 BC Winter Games and covered until spring when the temperatures are more favourable to the worms. 

Depending on the results of the pilot project, this could lead to further waste diversion in the PRRD,” he said. 

This means, the management of waste at the BC Winter Games will not only result in very little actual garbage going to landfills, it will also lead to education on waste management for athletes and a vermicomposting pilot project with the Peace River Regional District, which may lead to an entirely new, and more environmentally friendly, way to process organic waste in the PRRD. A win all around! 

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