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Archive for the ‘New West Environmental Partners (NWEP)’ Category

Metro Vancouver just launched a free new iPhone app to help people keep resources out of their trash.  Check out weRecycle on iTunes:

http://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/werecycle/id502866356?mt=8

With weRecycle all you have to do is enter a material and hit search.  You’ll get a list of the closest donation and recycling facilities and a Google map that uses your iPhone’s current location.  Or you can enter another location like your home address.

I’m hoping you agree that weRecycle will help the region’s residents find convenient locations to donate and recycle unwanted materials, and that you’ll be kind enough to tell your social networks about it.

It’s fast, it’s free, it’ll move us closer to zero waste and we think it’s pretty awesome.

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Download Trash Tracking Form here:  NWEP tracking

The Trash Talkers are a group of NWEP volunteers who found they are spending too much time talking about solid waste and decided to do something about it. Rallying together during the 2009-2010 consultations around the Metro Vancouver Solid Waste Resource Management Plan, effectively lobbying the City to consider smaller options when they rolled out the automated trash bins for single-family dwellings, promoting the City’s recycling, composting, and organic waste collection programs at community events, and buoyed by the success of two “Neighbourhood Zero Waste Challenges”, the trash talkers have been doing more than talking in the last two years.

The next project is to take lessons from the Neighbourhood ZWCs, and apply them out in the larger community. One of the take-home lessons of the Neighbourhood ZWC was that people started to think about garbage as something other than that stuff that magically disappears after you take to the curb once a week. This was precipitated by making people actually sort and weight their garbage.

In reality, most people don’t want to weight their garbage. It is time consuming and has a certain “yuck” factor. However, all single-family homes and duplexes in New Westminster now have automated trash bins. That means we can estimate the amount of garbage we produce over a few months just by counting the number of bins that go to the curb. It is hoped that this information will be helpful to the City in planning further waste-reduction strategies, without the expense and hassle of a full trash survey. This is where you come in.

The NWEP have put together a simple garbage-tracking form. It is designed to be either attached or posted next to the garbage calendar you receive from the City. All you have to do to fill it out is make a check mark every time you take one or both of your trash bins to the curb. You can mark if the bin was “full”, about half full, almost empty, or if you didn’t take it out that week. The same for the Green Organic Waste bin.

At the end of the survey, you can scan, e-mail, or drop your tracking sheet off (or we can come by and pick it up from you). We will collect this data, post it on our website (the names and addresses of all participants will remain anonymous) and present it to New Westminster Council and Staff in the Fall.

What do we hope to get out of this?

Many people in New Westminster are already very conscious of their waste stream, and take efforts to reduce the amount of garbage they take to the curb. One of the reasons the NWEP fought to make the 120L garbage bins available as an option (the City was leaning towards 180L or 240L bins) was that the City’s own older studies showed the average household put out less than 75L of trash a week.

If this is the case, then perhaps the 120L bins are too large for many people. If the 75L bin were available (as they are in Vancouver) for people, then perhaps the City will see some further reduction of waste, and the concomitant reduction of garbage collection costs can be passed onto the residents with the smaller bins. Or, with the organics (i.e. “stinky stuff”) now removed from the regular waste stream, perhaps many residents would prefer to only have their trash picked up once every two weeks, or less frequently.

But to change “status quo” of the garbage magically disappearing (the magic part only exposed when you get your annual Solid Waste Utility Tax bill in the mail), we need more than ideas: we need numbers to support these ideas.

Please, download and print off the garbage tracking sheet. If you don’t have a printer, drop us a line and we will get one to your house. Each line on the sheet corresponds with the first day of the week as shown on your City Garbage Calendar. We would like to start keeping numbers in March, mostly to work out any kinks in the system, but if you can’t start until April, that is OK too!

Any questions? Comments? Concerns? Curiosities?

You can email Jane at jearmstrong@shaw.ca, or Patrick at pdjohnst@telus.net.
You can call Jane at 604-524-6112
You can comment to the trash talkers mail list (this is an open mail list, so don’t post anything you would like to keep confidential!) trashtalk@nwep.ca.
Or keep up to date with progress on the NWEP website (www.nwep.ca).

Happy counting!

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GREEN DRINKS @ THE HERITAGE GRILL

Come to the Heritage Grill in New West and talk about sustainability issues, have a beverage (alcohol or non-alcoholic) some good food,  discuss some of the sustainability related issues that are on your mind and meet like-minded people meeting in the New Westminster area who are also passionate about sustainability. 

This is a non-partisan meeting group and anyone is welcome who wants to contribute to the betterment of the sustainability dialogue regarding local and global issues of sustainability.

Green Drinks for New Westminster is being held at The Heritage Grill every 1st Wednesday evening of the month at 6:00pm till later… ( July 7, August 4, September1, October 6, November3, December1, 2010).

The Green Drinks at The Heritage Grill is sponsored by the New Westminster Environmental Partners who are:

“…a group of concerned citizens who work with residents, businesses and government agencies within the city, to achieve environmental, social and economic sustainability in New Westminster through the identification of issues, education, public advocacy, the promotion of best practices and the implementation of effective projects”

The Heritage Grill is several feet away from the Columbia Street Station.  You truly can’t miss it just listen for the good music!

The Heritage Grill
447 Columbia Street
New Westminster, BC V3L 1A9
Canada

604-759-0819

DIRECTIONS: http://www.theheritagegrill.com/main/contact.html

Contact NWEP www.nwep.ca or greendrinks [at] nwep [dot] ca to get on the reminder list.  Come on out to Green Drinks at The Heritage Grill and meet up with others concerned about our common future!

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About Us

New Westminster Environmental Partners are a group of New Westminster residents from all walks of life who believe in thinking globally and acting locally. We are greatly concerned about the city’s long-standing lack of leadership in environmental issues. NWEP is non-partisan and we support sustainability being embraced by all political parties, organizations and individuals as “the right thing to do.”

Membership in NWEP is open to all residents and community stakeholders who support our mission and are willing to work with us in a cooperative, consensus based-decision making process to promote sustainability in the City.

Our Mission

New Westminster Environmental Partners will work with residents, businesses and government agencies within the city, to achieve environmental, social and economic sustainability in New Westminster through the identification of issues, education, public advocacy, the promotion of best practices and the implementation of effective projects.

Why is sustainability important?

It’s about supporting fundamental values that most of us hold. In general terms, sustainability means looking after our own needs in an environment of clean air, water and land without affecting the ability of future generations, that’s our children and grandchildren, to meet their own needs. Sustainability also means balancing social, environmental and economic needs; having a pristine environment is a good thing, but while achieving that goal, we also need to look after those who are less fortunate and try to provide decent and secure employment so people can make a living.

What influence does NWEP have at the local level?

Recent census data shows that 85% of British Columbians now live in urban areas such as New Westminster. Cities like New Westminster consume quantities of natural resources from the non-urban parts of the province and generate enormous wastes into the air, watercourse and landfills to sustain our urban lifestyles. It is also estimated that approximately half of all energy consumed and emissions can be influenced by local governments through land use patterns, transportation systems and building codes. While cities can lobby provincial and federal governments to introduce environmental legislation and standards, local government has a significant ability to influence overall sustainability and is the level of government closest to residents.

NWEP will also team where appropriate with like-minded groups to make positive changes for sustainability throughout the region, province and country.

For more information please visit: http://www.nwep.ca/

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