Vancity sponsors zero-waste events to keep garbage out of landfills
July 29, 2014, Vancouver, B.C. – A new initiative called Zero Waste Events is aiming to divert up to 94 per cent of summer event waste from local landfills.
The first Zero Waste Event – Car Free Day on Commercial Drive in June – diverted 63 per cent of its waste from the landfill. This saved more than 700 kg of greenhouse gas emissions which is equivalent of keeping two cars off the road for one month.
The Vancouver Food Cart Fest has diverted more than 90 per cent of waste during the first four weekends of the festival, saving 134 large bags of waste from the landfill. The reduction in greenhouse gas emissions would be equal to taking seven cars off the road for a month.
The Zero Waste Events initiative is a joint effort between Vancity and two local recycling service providers. It started this summer with several popular community events sponsored by the credit union, including the Food Cart Fest in both Vancouver and Surrey, Uptown Live festival in New Westminster, Car Free Day on Commercial Drive, and Vancity Member Day at the PNE on August 27.
The credit union’s sponsorship of these events provides funding for Green Chair Recycling to be on site to help festival-goers sort food scraps, bottles and other materials into bins. Recycling Alternative collects, pre-processes, and delivers the materials to composting and recycling facilities.
With more than 1,000 events taking place in the Lower Mainland this year, the trash produced can pile up. Currently, most events have limited recycling, so materials that could be composted or recycled are picked up by private contractors who haul it to local landfills. But Zero Waste Events aims to eventually reduce that pile to nothing.
The credit union hopes its new Zero Waste Events sponsorship model will encourage other event sponsors to take the zero-waste approach and consider the full impact of their sponsorship, and like any good host, help to clean up after the party is over.
“This initiative helps us to create greater community impact through our event sponsorships,” says Linda Morris, senior vice-president, Vancity. “Events are a great way to build a strong sense of community and we want to leave behind great memories – not great piles of trash.”
“We’re thrilled to be working with Vancity and Green Chair Recycling to help reduce waste at community events,” says Louise Schwarz, co-founder, Recycling Alternative. “The Zero Waste Events initiative is raising the bar in terms of best practices and setting a standard for the way recycling and waste reduction is done at public events.”
“Green Chair is very excited to be a part of this Zero Waste Events partnership,” says Nicki Casley, Green Chair Recycling. “Together we’re already making a big difference and proving that through hard work, flexibility and persistence, zero-waste can be a reality.”
Visit vancity.com/ZeroWaste for more information on Zero Waste Events.
Vancity is a values-based financial co-operative serving the needs of its more than 501,000 member-owners and their communities through 57 branches in Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, Victoria and Squamish. As Canada’s largest community credit union, Vancity uses its $17.5 billion in assets to help improve the financial well-being of its members while at the same time helping to develop healthy communities that are socially, economically and environmentally sustainable.
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