Regional Solid Waste Management Plan (SWMP)
The City of Nanaimo is one of four municipalities, along with seven unincorporated Electoral Areas, which form the Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN).
In our region, the RDN provides big picture oversight of solid waste management and sets solid waste disposal goals and targets through their Solid Waste Management Plan (SWMP). The City of Nanaimo's role is to support the development, implementation and monitoring of the SWMP and it's new and ongoing programs. The City provides services including residential curbside collection and operates waste receptacles in public spaces, and administers Zero Waste initiatives such as bylaw regulation to reduce Single Use Carryout Bags.
A New Target: Keep 90% of waste out of the landfill by 2029
In 2019, the Regional Board adopted an updated SWMP. This SWMP sets a new target to reduce the amount of waste going to the landfill by 90% by the year 2029, equal to the average person throwing away 109 kg of garbage per year. Currently, the average RDN resident disposes 347 kg to the landfill each year. That's a big reduction in waste!
How does the SWMP involve City of Nanaimo residents?
There are new programs that will assist Nanaimo residents, businesses and institutions in reducing waste heading to the landfill:
- Expanded Zero Waste Education: to enhance existing education, awareness and enforcement programs to broaden focus on multi-family and commercial sectors, adult audiences, advocacy with senior governments, and more guidance for sorting of construction and demolition waste.
- Household Hazardous Waste: to expand collection of non-stewarded residential household hazardous waste which may include sponsor and/or run residential drop-off events.
- Expanded Industrial, Commercial and Institutional (ICI) Waste Management: to enhancing education, enforcement and assistance for multi-family and commercial, new regulations are proposed that require waste generators to separate garbage from recycling and food waste.
- Expanded Construction and Demolition Waste Management: to strengthen current landfill disposal bans on cardboard, gypsum (drywall), metal and wood by improving and reintroducing education and communications regarding Construction and Demolition waste.
- Mandatory Waste Source Separation Regulation: to require all existing and new commercial, institutional and industrial businesses to have separate containers for recyclables, organics and waste.
- Waste Haulers Licensing: to change the existing financial model to one where the waste industry is more profitable if they divert waste rather than dispose of it. The intent is to promote the “business of diversion” and foster industry innovation to achieve the lowest system cost with the highest waste diversion.
- Zero Waste Recycling: to fund a research and recycling hub for recycling items currently not part of a stewardship program or are not part of an establish commercial market and end up in the landfill.