By Michael Jessen
Each tourist visiting the Regional District of Central Kootenay may produce as much as 1.5 pounds of garbage per day. With many campgrounds displaying full signs, that amounts to tons of extra garbage.
Since the RDCK recently implemented a user-pay system for garbage disposal, many campground, RV park, and motel owners are paying an unexpected high cost to dispose of their guests' garbage.
Hospitality sector managers have responded by implementing recycling programs at their establishments, but find not all tourists willingly recycle. While everyone is part of the problem, it is clear that everyone can also be part of the solution.
Last year, the garbage disposed of at RDCK landfills would fill a seven kilometre stretch of Kootenay highway to a depth of three metres. The residents of the RDCK are trying hard to reduce their garbage by half. We need the help of tourists to do their part to keep the Kootenays green and clean.
If your campground, RV park, or motel has a recycling collection area, please use it. If it doesn't have one, ask why. There are 27 recycling drop-off locations in the RDCK, many accessible 24 hours a day. Ask a local citizen where the nearest one is to you or call 1-800-268-7325 for information.
The RDCK is establishing recycling dropoffs in downtown Nelson during the July 25-27 Streetfest weekend. We are providing waste reduction information packages to all campgrounds and RV parks.
If you're a tourist in the Kootenays, you're welcome to make less garbage overnight.
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