COURTNEY McCLURE, The Standard
NORTH DURHAM: Did you know Durham Region has a long-term waste management plan? The plan, approved by Durham Regional Council, started this year and runs until 2040. The Long-term Waste Management Plan was created between many of Durham Region’s stakeholders, and acts as a roadmap, describing the Region’s “guiding principles and objectives” for waste management. The plan guides the Region, helping them develop innovative ways to use waste as a resource, in a “circular economy.” A circular economy refers to a “closed-loop” economic system. The goal is to minimize waste while making use of available resources. In a circular economy, all waste is recovered and can be reused to make many new products. The guiding principles for the waste management plan include how people within Durham can reduce, reuse and recycle effectively. According to the guiding principles, outlined by the Region, this is one of the first steps for reducing waste generation. Durham Region is also working on delivering a cost-effective waste management system to Durham and they would like to work with producers and importers to adjust the Durham Region’s waste programs as needed. One of their goals is to demonstrate leadership in sustainability. They will do this by reducing greenhouse gas emissions from waste management activities. Durham Region also has a vision for the waste management plan. “Together, with our residents, we will reduce the amount of waste we create and manage the generated waste as a resource,” wrote the Region. Their objective for this plan is to engage with residents and build an understanding and awareness of the “5Rs”. The 5Rs include Rethink, reduce, reuse, recycle and recover. The Region wants all Durham residents to reduce the amount of water they use and create as waste water at home. They are also trying to increase the diversion of waste from disposal and support the Circular Economy. According to Durham Region, following the 5Rs will help them support greenhouse gas reduction and reduce climate change through mitigation efforts. You can find more information about Durham Region’s waste management plan online, at durham.ca.