Regional District of Nanaimo approves $300,000 for zero-waste projects

Regional District of Nanaimo approves $300,000 for zero-waste projects

Four local organizations in the Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) will soon have access to thousands of dollars to help reduce waste through the Zero Waste Recycling Funding program.

Gabriola Island Recycling Organization will receive $103,044, Loaves and Fishes Community Food Bank will be given $95,000, $52,973 will be going to Habitat for Humanity, and Nanaimo Recycling Exchange is set to get $48,983 through the program.

The RDN says the money will be used to reduce the amount of waste heading into the landfill by recycling materials that are currently not part of a stewardship program or an established commercial market and would otherwise end up in the trash.

“We were impressed with the quality and diversity of all proposals that were submitted for consideration,” said Chair Tyler Brown. “The four projects selected to receive funding will best contribute to the RDN’s goal of 90 per cent diversion of waste from the landfill by 2029.”

Each organization applied for the grant, presenting proposals on how each would use the money to reduce waste. The RDN says the projects were evaluated using several criteria, and once selected, they were compared to decide how much of the grant should go to each organization.

RELATED: Recycling organization on Gabriola Island plans to repurpose tossed clothes

Each of the organizations is taking a different role in trying to reduce waste.

The Gabriola Island Recycling Organization will establish a textile recovery and clothing recycling program to divert up to 23,600 kilograms of textile waste from the landfill.

Loaves and Fishes Community Food Bank will expand its infrastructure and facility to help divert 50,000 to 120,000 kilograms of food waste from the landfill every year.

Habitat for Humanity will start its ReVive program that will aim to repurpose and fix donated items, both of which will generate revenue and divert material from the landfill.

Nanaimo Recycling Exchange will carry out waste audits in the industrial, commercial and institutional sector and educate participants about waste diversion alternatives.

“All applicants presented innovative ideas and we appreciate the thought put into each project proposal,” said Director Ben Geselbracht, Solid Waste Committee Chair. “Ultimately, the four projects receiving funding will have the greatest impact on the development of a circular economy in our region.”

The Zero Waste Recycling Funding program is an initiative of the Solid Waste Management Plan which proposes that grants be available through 2023.

The RDN says further Information on the progression of the program is expected to be posted on the district’s website in the last quarter of this year.

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Rebecca LawrenceRebecca Lawrence

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