Town of Erin tries for waste reduction

ERIN – The Town of Erin is hoping to reduce the amount of plastic and other waste generated within its borders.

Council approved two motions from Mayor Allan Alls on the issue on July 22.

The first requests recommendations on plastic waste reduction from the town’s Environment and Sustainability Advisory Committee (ESAC). A report is expected in September.

The second motion authorizes the town to become a member of the National Zero Waste Council.

An initiative of Metro Vancouver, it brings together organizations to advance waste prevention in Canada, including reform to packaging methods and strategies to reduce food waste.

It advocates transition to a “circular economy,” a closed loop for the flow of materials that would minimize the wasteful use of plastics, produce plastics from renewable sources, be powered by renewable energy, and reuse and recycle plastics within the economy without leakage to the environment.

“Joining allows us to capitalize on shared resources,” said Alls.

Councillor Mike Robins said any plan to reduce waste within the town should include targets.

“What gets measured, gets done,” he said.

The Town of Erin carried out a waste reduction education campaign and installed dual plastics recycling and garbage bins in public spaces last year, in a partnership with the Canadian Beverage Association (CBA), funded partly by financial contributions from Nestlé Waters Canada.

In addition, councillor John Brennan, an EASC committee member, has long advocated that the provincial government bring in a deposit return system for plastic bottles.