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Province of British Columbia
For Immediate Release
May 21, 2015
Ministry of Environment
Changes coming to solid waste management planning process

VICTORIA – The Ministry of Environment will be updating its guideline for the preparation of regional solid waste management plans to remove red tape for local governments and make the planning and approval process more efficient.

The guideline has not been updated since 1994 and outlines the process for regional districts to develop and consult on solid waste management plans while acting as a blueprint for reducing municipal solid waste disposal.

Changes will reflect core review objectives and the overall desire of local governments to have a streamlined process. By providing clarity on ministry requirements and having a results-based focus, a new planning guideline will give local governments more autonomy and modernize the process.

Proposed changes are timely given MLA Marvin Hunt’s recent review of solid waste diversion in B.C. Hunt was asked to do this review as part of the Minister of Environment’s decision on Metro Vancouver’s proposed bylaw 280 in October 2014.

Hunt’s final recommendation includes six guiding principles for the future of solid waste in B.C. The six principles are:

  1. Promote the 3 R’s (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle)
  2. Maximize beneficial use of waste materials and manage residuals appropriately
  3. Separate organics and recyclables out of garbage wherever practical
  4. Establish and enforce disposal bans
  5. Level playing field within regions for both private and public companies
  6. Manage tipping fees

An intentions paper outlining proposed changes, including new guiding principles that will incorporate Hunt’s recommendations, will be released for public input later this summer. The ministry will be consulting with stakeholders and local government throughout the intentions paper process. A final guideline is expected to be implemented in 2016.

This work also supports the ministry’s service plan targets for 2020 which include lowering the municipal solid waste disposal rate to less than 350 kilograms per person and having 75 % of B.C.s population covered by organic waste disposal bans.


Mary Polak, Minister of Environment –

“By modernizing our planning guideline, we are aiming to reduce environmental impacts associated with waste disposal throughout the province, streamline the process and support our service plan goals. By incorporating Marvin Hunt's recommendations, we will be able to provide clarity for the development of necessary bylaws.”

Learn More:

BC Newsroom – Ministry of Environment:

Media Contact:
Ministry of Environment Communications
250 953-3834

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