The Squamish Climate Action Network is encouraging the District of Squamish to take immediate action on construction and demolition waste.
Below is a letter Squamish CAN recently sent to the District of Squamish, urging the district to proactively work towards implementing guidelines for construction and demolition waste diversion.
On behalf of the Squamish Climate Action Network (Squamish CAN), we are writing to you to encourage the District of Squamish to implement Diversion Guidelines for construction and demolition waste.
According to the District’s Zero Waste Strategy document of 2016, construction and demolition waste made up 14% of all Industrial, Commercial and Institutional waste in Squamish.
The strategy also noted an 80% increase in the quantity of demolition waste compared to 2015. The total tonnage of construction and demolition waste arriving at the landfill continues to rise in tandem with the rate of construction activities and development in the District.
In the 2017 Zero Waste Strategy, construction and demolition waste diversion was listed as one of the top 4 priority initiatives to implement with an estimated timeframe of 2017.
The priority states: Develop recycling targets as part of the construction, renovation and demolition permit process. Establish waste diversion guidelines to set specific recycling goals for construction and new build sites, set up a rebate program to link to construction permits and add incentives for on-site diversion systems, develop an enhanced fee structure for sorting at the landfill site (or other off-site location), and establish an advanced deconstruction permit option.
This initiative coincides with future disposal bans on construction-related recyclable materials including clean wood and product stewardship materials such as paint and electrical products. Council’s 2019-2022 strategic plan states that the District of Squamish will ‘increase the diversion rate of waste from landfill to 80% and reduce per capita landfill waste to 300 kg by 2021.’
Taking action on construction and demolition waste will have a significant impact towards meeting this goal.
Establishing recycling targets for construction and demolition waste allows for irreplaceable old growth lumber, windows, doors, cabinets, fixtures and appliances to be salvaged and reused, while decreasing the need for virgin materials in the construction sector.
According to David Daniels of Squamish based Phase One Dismantling Services, 95% or more of materials from a home demolition can now be successfully diverted from the landfill if the structure is properly dismantled. Under current demolition practices, these high quality materials end up in the landfill where they decrease the lifespan of our landfill.
Thus, Squamish CAN would like to strongly encourage the District of Squamish to take immediate action on construction and demolition waste. Thank you for your time and attention to this important issue.