Total waste to landfill in 2022 marked the second lowest level on record, with the landfilled waste generated per population equivalent decreasing to 318 kg/person. COVID impacted Whistler’s average daily population which caused the per capita levels to increase in 2020 and 2021, but as the population levels return closer to 2019 levels, it is encouraging to see Whistler return to decreasing annual trend. The zero waste target for 2030 is still a long reach, but the trajectory of total waste is heading in a promising direction if Whistler can continue to lower its per capita waste generation.
The manner in which we currently offer visitors and residents the services and products required to fulfil their lifestyle needs leads to the degradation of nature, high energy use and can result in rapid ‘waste’ production. Diversion through recycling and composting of these materials reduces the amount of waste sent to the landfill and can become new sources of material for products. Landfills occupy large parcels of land, emit greenhouse gases, act as wildlife attractants and, among other threats, can leach harmful materials into the surrounding environment. Landfills also emit methane gas, contributing to climate change.
This indicator measures the total kilograms of solid waste material sent to the landfill from the Nesters and Function Junction waste depots and the Waste Transfer Station in the Callaghan. While most demolition waste is included in the measure, some demolition waste skips Whistler’s transfer station and as a result is not captured in this measure. Whistler’s landfill was closed prior to 2010 and waste currently goes to the Campbell Hill Landfill in Cache Creek.
The Resort Municipality of Whistler no longer has an operating landfill but continues to monitor the site for impacts to the local environments. The former landfill site is located approximately 8 km west of Whistler Village and is accessed off Highway 99 on Cheakamus Lake Road. While the landfill site was closed in October 2005, annual environmental monitoring and reporting is required as per the Landfill Operational Certificate and Whistler Landfill Closure Plan.
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