Four local event spaces will step up their focus on hosting gatherings that result in less garbage, thanks to the Sunshine Coast Regional District’s (SCRD) Waste Reduction Initiatives Program. This year’s program grants will see such efforts supported at xwesam/Roberts Creek community hall, the Gibsons Art Gallery and the elementary school and community hall in ts’ukw’um (Wilson Creek).
A total of $4,400 is to be dispersed to six successful 2023 applicants according to a Nov. 14 press release from the regional district. Along with projects aimed at lowering the amount of waste produced by serving food and beverages at gatherings, the Sunshine Coast Resource Centre has been awarded $500 towards its program aimed at re-directing e-waste. That initiative re-purposes used electronic devices donated in the community and re-distributes them to people in need.
This is the second consecutive year that the Roberts Creek Community Association will be using this SCRD program to reduce landfill-destined materials generated at its hall. Over the coming months, that group will be using $1,375 to improve how beverage containers, cans and cigarette receptacle waste are handled at that site. Last year, it was awarded $1,250 to make reusable food and table service dishware available to all hall rental clients so that there is less reliance on single-use items.
The Davis Bay/Wilson Creek/Selma Park Community Association will also focus on the reduction of single-use food and beverage service items by using a $650 program grant to improve access to reusable dishware available at its hall site.
With a grant of $1,300, the Gibsons Public Art Gallery will promote the hosting of more environmentally friendly events by introducing reusable dishware and better food waste diversion at that venue.
The purchase of reusable cutlery and bowls by the Davis Bay Elementary Parent Advisory Committee was supported with a $575 grant. That effort will eliminate the need for single-use items for use during school hot lunches, gatherings and celebrations. In 2022, a grant was awarded for a similar project at Langdale Elementary. Other school-based programs that have been funded also included paper towel composting, up-cycling workshops for students and replacement of whiteboard markers with more durable alternatives.
According to the release the regional district has provided over $27,000 to such waste reduction projects since 2015. It states the program’s goal is to provide funding to community groups, non-profit societies, charitable organizations and school groups to implement waste reduction or garbage diversion programs and is open to such organizations throughout all areas of the SCRD.