Comox Strathcona Waste Management wants the province to encourage more reduction of construction and demolition waste.
The CSWM board, made up of Comox and Strathcona regional and local government representatives, had made a successful resolution at the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities (AVICC) convention in April, and the expectation is now to bring up the issue province-wide.
At the convention, staff submitted a CSWM board resolution that this type of waste be included as part of the Extended Producer Responsibility approach under the province’s Recycling Regulation. AVICC supported the measure, and the plan now is to get it on the agenda for the next Union of B.C. Municipalities AGM, but in the meantime, the board wants to contact provincial government ministers about the issue.
Last June, staff had provided the board with background about the current management of construction and demolition waste. One of the ideas during the discussion was to look for more ways to encourage deconstruction of old homes and other buildings in the hopes of reusing materials and keeping them out of landfills.
Daniel Arbour, one of the CVRD directors, brought up the item during a CSWM staff report on a number of round table discussion items from recent years during Thursday’s board meeting. In response, chief administrative officer Russell Dyson suggested CSWM could contact the provincial government.
Others on the board agreed on the need to make a wider issue of this. Colleen Evans, a Campbell River council member, talked about touring a deconstruction site as well as connecting with the provincial government.
“I do think we need to do some advance work,” she said. “I think it’s the right time.”
Doug Hillian, a Courtenay council director, cited some local examples where buildings were being deconstructed and suggested these cases need more attention.
“I think it’s really important we highlight where this is happening,” he said.
Charlie Cornfield, another Campbell River representative, provided a word of caution, saying while he agreed with the aim, they had to consider the potential costs such work can have on new housing and what this means when it comes to having affordable housing in communities.
“I think it’s important that we look at costs,” he said. “As those costs keep going up, it takes a whole lot of people out of the housing market.”
In the end, the board passed a motion to contact provincial ministers about the issue about how the motion succeeded at the AVICC level, though in reference to Cornfield’s comments, the motion included references to looking at potential costs.