ISSUE 8 - Fall 2007Green Cities Award
This fall, the Province recognized the Regional District of Nanaimo for the many steps we are taking toward building more sustainable communities. At the Union of British Columbia Municipalities Convention in September, Premier Gordon Campbell presented the RDN with one of the Provincial Governmentís seven inaugural Green Cities Awards. The Premier established these awards in the fall of 2006, to encourage local governments to think green in as many areas of their operations as possible.
In choosing the first-ever Green City Award recipients, the Province evaluated nominated communities on criteria including liveability, climate change, and innovation, as well as the extent to which social, environmental and economic values are integrated throughout the communities.
In its size category, the Regional District of Nanaimo competed successfully against Metro Vancouver (formerly the Greater Vancouver Regional District) for the Green Cities Award. According to Premier Gordon Campbell, the RDN was chosen because of its green thinking in terms of solid and liquid waste management, regional transit, and regional development including urban containment.
This is a tremendous achievement for the Regional District of Nanaimo Board of Directors, as we have worked hard over the past few years to maintain our commitment to environmental, social and economic sustainability. We will continue to make improvements in our operations as we work toward this important goal.
Residential food waste collection pilot program
This fall, Cedar residents who live on the Regional District of Nanaimoís solid waste collection route 52 began participating in a residential food waste collection pilot project. Other participants include a collection route in the City of Nanaimo and a collection route in the Chartwell area of the Town of Qualicum Beach. This important pilot project is part of the RDNís Zero Waste plan to eliminate garbage, reduce greenhouse gases and create a more sustainable region. Food waste and other compostable organics comprise up to half the household garbage generated in the Regional District of Nanaimo. The goal of the RDN Board is to divert 75 per cent of the region's waste from the regional landfill by 2010. Turning compostable organics from waste into a resource is a key step in reaching this important milestone.
In June 2005, the RDN banned commercial food waste from the landfill. Restaurants, grocery stores and other businesses now divert almost 500 tonnes of commercial food waste per month to International Composting Corporation, the region's only licensed composting facility. Residents participating in the residential food waste collection pilot program are now building on that success.
The pilot project is coordinated by the RDN, in partnership with the City of Nanaimo, the Town of Qualicum Beach, Waste Services Incorporated and International Composting Corporation. The Federation of Canadian Municipalities; Green Municipal Fund has contributed up to half the cost of the pilot project, and the RDN has provided matching funds.
The pilot project will provide the information required to develop and potentially operate a municipal or region-wide curbside food waste collection program. It will last 12 months to ensure reliable data and account for seasonal changes. Evaluation criteria include costs, reliability, volumes of waste diverted, ease of implementation, resident participation and program acceptance.
The Regional District of Nanaimo is proposing an alternative for fire protection services to property owners in the Yellowpoint/Waterloo Fire Protection service area.
Property owners in the southern portions of both Electoral Area A (Yellowpoint) and Electoral Area C (Cassidy/Spruston Rd.) currently receive fire protection services through a contract with the Cowichan Valley Regional District and their North Oyster Volunteer Fire Department. Following the relocation of the North Cedar firehall, the Regional District and the Cowichan Valley began looking at the response boundaries. The RDN Board is recommending that the contract with the Cowichan Valley be terminated and that fire protection services for these areas be transferred to the North Cedar and Cranberry Fire Districts.
Property owners will be directly represented through the Boards of the North Cedar and Cranberry Fire Districts for taxation, delivery and management of fire protection services. Both improvement districts have agreed in principle with the proposal. Detailed planning on the transfer will take place in 2008 and needs to be confirmed by a vote by the affected property owners. The transfer of services is expected to be effective by January 1, 2009.
Electoral Area A Recreation Commission
I am pleased to announce that the Regional District of Nanaimo Board has appointed a Recreation Commission for Electoral Area A. There are eight of us in total: myself, Dawn Burnett, Grant Fong, Wendy Herrington, Dee Hutt-Randen, Shelagh Gourlay, Krista Seggie, and Shannon Wilson. I am looking forward to working with these dedicated community members to address the recreational needs of our Electoral Area.