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Serving BC Since 1991

July 2021


Message From Matthew

Dear Readers,

We hope you have been enjoying the news, information and stories in our Info Letter (all our past issues can be found here)—and hope you recommend it to colleagues. We will return in September with more interesting insights, opinion and events.

Have a happy and a safe summer.

Matthew Pederson
Municipal Relationship Manager

Sustainability Spotlight

National Circular Cities Initiative aims to help develop Canadian circular economy

RCA to collaborate with NZWC and Recyc-Quebec in a pilot program to advance circular economy knowledge sharing and capacity building among Canadian local governments

The Circular Cities and Regions Initiative (CCRI) launched this past spring with the goal to provide Canadian federal, provincial and municipal governments with the tools to accelerate circular economy solutions. The Canadian Circular Cities and Regions Initiative is an equal collaboration of the National Zero Waste Council (NZWC) and Recyc-Quebec, Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), and the Recycling Council of Alberta (RCA).

The initial pilot program chose 15 cities, large and small across Canada, in order to advance circular economy knowledge sharing and capacity building among Canadian local governments. See who is participating here.

The CCRI also offers a national webinar series on innovative approaches and provides direct support, and guidance through a peer-to-peer (P2P) exchange between the 15 local municipalities. Hosted by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation the Kick-Off Webinar and Information Session was held on March 18. Recordings are free and open to all for the 7-part series, which ran through the end of April. They may offer a great high-level overview of circular economy ideas for your town or city, over a range of topics. More details, and to register here.

Register Here

Recycling News

Can ad campaigns help reduce food waste?

Or are big brands cashing in on "cause marketing”?

The organics waste stream issues that municipalities and regional districts have to deal with shouldn’t just start at the grocery store or after a meal. Food waste is a social responsibility issue that encompasses economic inequality, food sustainability and environmental concerns. Big food brands know the pressure is on to improve their own practices at the producer level, and now, pushed by consumer research, are making efforts to prioritize their corporate social responsibility. Will their programs for reducing food waste—at the corporate, wholesale, retail and consumer levels--bear fruit?
Read Article

Innovation News


Opportunities for Reusables in Retail Settings During the Covid-19 Pandemic in Canada

The National Zero Waste Council (NZWC) recently released Opportunities for Reusables in Retail Settings During the Covid-19 Pandemic in Canada: A Review of Guidance and Evidence. Recognizing that reuse is aligned with waste prevention and the principles of the circular economy, this report explores the perceived public health risks of reusables during the pandemic, and the long-term implications of the pandemic on their viability in retail settings. Before the emergence of COVID-19 the use of refillable coffee mugs, reusable shopping bags, and containers at bulk food and zero waste retailers had been expanding, reflecting at least in part, public concern about the prevalence of single use items and the negative impact of plastic waste in freshwater and ocean ecosystems. As of the release of this report in June 2021, the available research findings of other organizations, including the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), are consistent with the findings of this study. As the US CDC states, “current evidence strongly suggests transmission from contaminated surfaces does not contribute substantially to new {Covid-19} infections."
Read Report

Industry News


What Municipal Leaders Discussed at US WasteExpo

WasteExpo brought together public works and municipal recycling officials from across the country, creating the opportunity to discuss — in person — lessons from the last year, post-Covid implementing technology and how to reduce contamination.

While dramatic rises in recycling tonnage and public participation in zero waste programming in cities like Atlanta and Austin were welcome, those municipalities also experienced escalating challenges in the rising costs of fuel and equipment, as well as labour shortages, in order to handle the increase of materials.

Recycling contamination was also an issue with so many more people at home during the pandemic--social media educational programs and better coordinated cart tagging have helped.

A wide array of new laws around single plastic bag that would have started in 2020 but were pushed back due to Covid are now starting to be rolled out in many cities in the North-East. As noted, local governments in the States who bear the brunt of plastic waste, are able to take action if their state legislatures will not.

Read More

Policy Place

We’ve all heard about various ideas to reduce single-use plastics from federal initiatives to what’s happening in some of our communities. It’s importantto know that these efforts are connected to a wider community of concerned citizens than we may have thought.

Plastic Free July® is a global movement that helps millions of people be part of the solution to plastic pollution. 326 million participants worldwide in 2020 did their bit by choosing to refuse a single-use plastic item during the month. Amidst the global pandemic, participants avoided using 904 million kg of plastic waste in 2020. Even in these turbulent times, news outlets chose to report on Plastic Free July generating 1.7k pieces of media coverage with potential global reach of 7.2 billion people.

Closer to home, based at the Vancouver Aquarium, Ocean Wise is exploring the sources and impacts of plastic pollution, diving into current research and solutions, and providing tips on how each of us can take action to #BePlasticWise and reduce plastic pollution in our lives and in our oceans.

For ideas on how to plug in this year, visit:
Ocean Wise |  |  Plastic Free July – Be Part of the Solution

Plastic Free July® is a key initiative of the Plastic Free Foundation working towards a vision of seeing a world free of plastic waste. From humble beginnings in 2011, the award-winning Plastic Free July campaign is the result of years of their hard work.

Read Report

Upcoming Events

Relevance of Deconstruction Design to Enable the Renovation Wave

Understanding today's deconstruction practices is crucial to understanding the challenges and opportunities of the renovation wave - this #EUCircularTalks will explore the relevance of deconstruction design to enable the renovation wave.

Virtual Event
July 19th, 2021

Learn More

Ocean Wise Conservation Roundtables

Reuse, Repair, Redesign

There are many important actions each of us can take to tackle this growing problem, but to create real systems change, we also know we have to move beyond individual action. We need everyone working together at all levels of our communities, businesses, and governments to break the cycle of plastic pollution.

Virtual Event
July 29th, 2021

Register Now

Government of Canada

Virtual Governance Conference

In one single year, many assumptions of normalcy have been upheaved and organizations now need to face challenges which call for a new breed of innovation, resilience, risk management and oversight. From overseeing and thinking about the purpose of your organization to better understanding diversity, ethical and new economic issues, to managing your voluminous reading materials and cyber risks, this conference will help better prepare 21st century boards. 

Virtual Event
August 17th-18th, 2021

Learn More

Second International Conference on Circular Packaging

The conference aims to connect industry, academia, design studios, brand owners and anyone involved in the packaging life cycle. It will focus on sharing knowledge, good practices and ideas, and forging new links in the shift from linear to circular packaging supply chains and business models.

Virtual Event
September 9th - 10th, 2021

Learn More

About Republic Services

Republic Services, Inc. is an industry leader in recycling and non-hazardous solid waste disposal. Through its subsidiaries, Republic's collection companies, transfer stations, recycling centers, landfills and environmental services provide effective solutions to make responsible recycling and waste disposal effortless for its customers across North America. Its 36,000 employees are committed to providing a superior experience while fostering a sustainable Blue Planet® for future generations to enjoy a cleaner, safer and healthier world. For more information, visit
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