Solid Waste Management Plan Amendment No. 4

We are happy to announce that the CVRD’s 2018 Solid Waste Management Plan Amendment 4 was approved by the BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy in August 2020. The Ministry’s approval allows the CVRD to work on the 13 strategies recommended in the Plan to move our region closer to Zero Waste. Read the new Plan and Public Consultation Report.

What is a Solid Waste Management Plan?

The Solid Waste Management Plan (SWMP) provides a vision for managing waste for the next 20 to 30 years, with clear actions set out for the next ten years. It covers all forms of municipal solid waste including garbage, recycling, organics and construction/demolition waste. It does not include agricultural, industrial, forestry, liquid, or hazardous waste.

The Plan sets out how waste will be managed in the region including collection, garbage, recycling, composting, processing, waste reduction, education, financing, and disposal. To learn more about the plan and how waste is managed in the Cowichan Valley, read our Citizen's Document.

Toward Zero Waste

Zero Waste won’t happen overnight, but we can get closer by putting the right strategies in place. The CVRD’s 2021 waste disposal rate was 463 kg per person. That’s much better than the 2019 provincial average of 501 kg per person, but there’s always room for improvement. Waste audits (as shown below) indicate that more than 33% of the garbage sent to landfill is actually made up of organic material: 19% is wasted food, and another 14% is compostable organic material. Plastics, paper, and other recyclables make up another 15% of our garbage. Strategies proposed in the new Solid Waste Management Plan will help to reduce these figures and help us meet our proposed regional targets, which are shown in the graphic below.

Updated SWMP goals

The Process

The Plan Advisory Committee (PAC), made up of 16 representatives from the local business community, First Nations, institutions, non-profit groups, members of the public, and CVRD staff, met nine times in 2018 to review the waste management system, identify gaps and areas for improvement, and develop a set of guiding principles and regional waste reduction targets. Ultimately, the PAC recommended 13 strategies to help the region meet its waste reduction targets. These are set out in the amended Solid Waste Management Plan. The CVRD Board approved the updated Plan on October 25, 2018, and final approval was provided by the BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy in August 2020.

Additional Resources