Reducing waste on base

recycling image
Each year Waste Reduction Week encourages Canadians to divert more of their waste away from the country’s landfills.

This year Carrie Johnston of Formation Safety and Environment is asking CFB Esquimalt personnel to participate in a program that could significantly reduce waste at work.

“It can be easy to forget the amount of waste we produce throughout the course of our day, but it’s important we stay aware,” says Johnston.

Due to its size CFB Esquimalt is one of the more significant waste producers in the region and employees have a responsibility to exercise environmental stewardship in their daily duties, she adds.

“CFB Esquimalt alone was responsible for more than 3, 300, 000 kilograms of waste material last year, of which over 1, 900, 000 was diverted from landfills,” she says. “We need to be proactive and diligent in finding more ways to reduce, reuse and recycle as much material as possible.”

In the coming weeks Formation Safety and Environment in partnership with other units within Maritime Forces Pacific (MARPAC) will be initiating a number of pilot programs to further increase the streams of recyclable waste. These programs involve the separation and diversion of various types of recyclable materials such as soft plastics and Styrofoam, and compostable materials.

“For example, with the exception of cafeterias like Nelles Block or the Wardroom, there aren’t facilities for composting kitchen and food scraps or really any organics at all,” says Johnston. “With the Capital Regional District’s looming ban of all kitchen scraps at the Hartland landfill by 2015 this is something we have to get in place as soon as possible.”

Until these pilot programs are in place Johnston is challenging all units to start separating more of their recyclable and compostable materials now. By separating different materials into different containers in these pilot projects, she says it will be easier to gauge how much additional material MARPAC can divert from landfills through due diligence and increased availability of special containers for each material.

“Right now it’s up to the units how they choose to manage materials like soft plastics and styrofoam, since we don’t have the programs in place yet,” she says. “However, with a little dedication and resourcefulness we should be on our way to making a change.”

For Waste Reduction Week, Johnston is asking people to separate these materials into a separate container to see how much is gathered:

  • Kitchen waste (all compostable materials including paper towels)
  • Styrofoam
  • Sheet plastics such as plastic bags
  • Shrink wrap and bubble wrap

Materials currently recyclable within MARPAC include:

  • Paper/Cardboard
  • Mixed containers (e.g. plastics, metal and glass)
  • Scrap Metal
  • Used Cooking Oil
  • Wood
  • Tires
  • Used Motor Oil
  • Batteries
  • Electronics
  • Small Appliances

For more information on MARPAC’s recycling programs, visit:

For more ways you can participate in Waste reduction week, Oct. 21-27, visit

-Shawn O’Hara, Staff Writer

Filed Under: Top Stories

About the Author:

RSSComments (0)

Trackback URL

Leave a Reply

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a Gravatar.