Businesses in the RDOS urged to reduce their waste

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen wants to help businesses recycle more of their waste

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen are urging businesses to reduce their waste to put less pressure on landfills.

Working on new regulations and programs, the RDOS hope businesses will recycle more paper, plastic and other materials. The RDOS said businesses have let them know they are facing multiple obstacles, including lack of service, confusion about what is recyclable and high costs.

“When we speak to businesses they all agree that recycling is important,” said Cameron Baughen at the RDOS. “Their individual reasons why they don’t recycle more are unique. The RDOS is committed to help businesses and multi-family units divert waste from landfills. Learning more about their issues is the first step.”

Related: PIB leading the charge to target illegal dumping in the region

To help understand these barriers, the RDOS hosted workshops for businesses in August to understand their barriers to recycling and ask for ideas on how to overcome them.

“We have heard some interesting feedback from businesses about why they aren’t recycling more. Issues they are facing include cost, space and storage issues, lack of service, inconvenience, and lack of education,” said Andrea Mackintosh, who has been consulting directly with the business community. “They also have some creative ideas on how to overcome these barriers, and we want to hear more from businesses all across the RDOS.”

The RDOS and is now encouraging businesses throughout the region to participate in an online survey to ensure that the voice of the business community is heard in advance of any new bylaws, policies, or programs being created for both recycling and potentially composting.

“The Downtown Penticton Association is in agreement with reducing the amount of waste being sent to the landfill and to do this we need a workable and cost-effective waste/recycle program in place,” said Lynn Allin, Downtown Penticton Association executive director. “We look forward to being part of the solution to create expanded efforts towards creating and maintaining cleanliness in all public places of the downtown core.”

Businesses that would like to voice their concerns with regards to business recycling and composting are asked to visit www.recyclesurvey.ca to complete a 10-minute survey and enter to win a $100 gift card from the local business of their choice. The regional district is also looking to hear from managers and residents of multi-family buildings. Businesses that are interested in a waste audit can contact Andrea Mackintosh at 250-212-5523 or andrea@greenstep.ca.

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