Preview of the Committee of the Whole (COW) Presentation

Trash Talk with the District of Sooke – Sept. 12 at the Municipal Hall

A Zero Waste Sooke team led by coordinator Wendy O’Connor will be presenting our Open Space report to the District of Sooke’s Committee of the Whole on Monday, Sept. 12 at 6 p.m.  ZWS volunteers, supporters and anyone interested in local waste management, reduction and recovery issues are invited to attend the session at the Municipal Hall, 2205 Otter Point Road.

The full report, attached here, will be presented to Sooke council along with three priority recommendations for short and mid-term action:

  1. Resource Recovery Centre: District of Sooke to take a lead role in exploring a public/private partnership that will ensure Sooke residents have access to a full-service resource recovery centre that might also include a compost facility, yard-waste depot and related, job-creating cottage industries.
  2. Plastic waste reduction: DOS to legislate a ban on single-use plastic checkout bags at retail outlets in Sooke as part of a comprehensive campaign to reduce plastic waste locally.
  3. Drinking fountains: DOS to install water drinking fountains in strategic locations around town, the most logical spots being …
    1. Town core (at site of the info map at Evergreen Centre)
    2. John Phillips Memorial Park (as part of new washrooms planned for the park)
    3. Ed Macgregor Park
    4. Sooke Flats campground
    5. Broomhill Park playground

In the report’s final pages, we’ve listed the 50 or so individuals who participated in the April 17 session at the Community Hall. Our sincere thanks to everyone who sacrificed their Sundays to attend and contributed such thoughtful, practical and often visionary input.

We’d also like to send a warm muchas gracias to event facilitators Christiana and Tony St-Pierre along with the organizing team led by Wendy, Jo Phillips and Bev England. Hat tips as well the folks who supplied chili, soup and salads for lunch, and the local businesses that provided us with tasty day-old breads and baked goods — namely Kelz Bakery, the Little Vienna, the Stick in the Mud Cafe, Village Foods and Western Foods. Gratitude to the District of Sooke for advertising support.

Read the Open Space Report

Confessions of a Waster

My 28-year-old son does not hold out much hope for the future of our planet in his lifetime.

I am an optimist and his attitude really bothers me, but a lot of what he says does ring true. Our society is now purchasing more stuff than ever before, and much of it ends up in landfills. I’m trying to figure out a way to inspire my son not to give up, and obviously the first way is by example. Over the past few months I have become much more aware of my own habits of purchasing, what I throw away as waste and how I am recycling. As a family we have always “done our bit” with recycling for the past 20 years. With recent examinations of our lifestyle, I realize that as a family we could be doing so much more. We are good with putting our blue bin curb-side, but anything not accepted in the blue bin program has been going into the garbage because we considered it too much trouble to find out where it can be dropped off for recycling.

If something breaks it was easier to throw it away and buy new rather than to try and fix it. I had my re-usable bags for grocery shopping, but more often than not they were forgotten when I needed them. It is time for me to change some of my attitudes and actions.

I am now making a deliberate effort to make sure my cloth grocery bags are always returned to my vehicle ready for the next stop for shopping, and that means all shopping, not just for groceries. I am starting to realize that the two R’s before Recycle are very important, and I need to pay more than just lip service to Reduce and Reuse.