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FVRD Gets Green Light From Victoria on Solid Waste Plan

Chilliwack, BC – On the heels of the Valley receiving the news that Metro Vancouver will not push ahead with a Waste to Energy incinerator in the Fraser Valley, the Fraser Valley Regional District (FVRD) has received approval of its new solid waste management plan by BC’s Minister of Environment.

All regional districts are required to prepare and submit a solid waste management plan to the ministry to ensure it meets provincial rules and expectations for waste management. The FVRD’s updated solid waste management plan will guide the FVRD and its member municipalities in their efforts to reduce and manage the region’s garbage over the next 10 years, including progressive diversion initiatives that will ensure the integrity of the fragile Fraser Valley airshed.

“We applaud Minister Polak’s decision which will allow for the establishment of policy and regulation that will encourage private sector investment, innovation and competition, while meeting the plan’s target of 90 percent diversion in the next 10 years,” said FVRD Chair Sharon Gaetz.

A key component of the plan includes the establishment of a mixed waste materials recovery facility, also known as a MRF. MRFs use a sophisticated combination of mechanical, optical, and manual sorting to remove leftover recyclable or compostable material from the waste stream. This facility will compliment continued growth in the FVRD’s traditional recycling efforts. Compared to garbage incineration, MRFs are more cost effective and have no negative impact on air quality. Combined with job creation opportunities and higher waste diversion, a MRF will be a strategic part of the FVRD’s new approach to solid waste management.

The FVRD is seeking partnerships with other regional districts and municipalities who also plan to maximize materials recovery from waste before disposal. By working together with the private sector, and taking advantage of economies of scale, the FVRD hopes to lead by example and implement a true Zero Waste management system in British Columbia.

“The FVRD is excited about this long-anticipated plan approval, and Minister Polak’s endorsement of our common sense, diversion-focussed efforts in solid waste management,” said Chair Gaetz.

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