Zero Waste Action Plan

In 2018, Banff town council adopted targets to divert 70% of waste by 2028 and send zero waste to landfill by 2050. Several tactics to advance waste diversion, including a communications campaign, capital investments, and regulatory changes, were also approved..  

The Zero Waste Action Plan (PDF) is a strategic update that builds on existing waste diversion initiatives, along with Banff’s Environmental Master Plan, which was adopted in 2019. The updated action plan includes emergent focus areas, data insights, and pandemic impacts. It also acknowledges the importance of adopting a circular economy lens to effectively address the root cause of our waste problem and its connection to climate change.  

The Zero Waste Action Plan has seven priority focus areas, along with actions the municipality, residents, and other partners can take to help our community move toward zero waste. A summary of those focus areas and some of the key actions are outlined below. 

1. Residential Waste Diversion 

  • Ensure all Banff residents have easy access to every waste stream, along with tools to participate in zero waste initiatives  
  • Work with staff accommodations to improve & share best practices on lending/sharing economy initiatives 
  • Provide grant funding and/or rebate for staff accommodations to set up community fridges, to prevent edible food from becoming waste  
  • Explore possibilities such as technology solutions or a bylaw that would increase accountability in Banff’s residential waste system  

2. Non-Residential Waste Diversion  

  • Work with hotel sector toward better waste sorting options in guest rooms & enclosures, to improve diversion rates  
  • Continue working with non-residential sector representatives to lead by example in moving toward zero waste 

3. Single-Use Items & Packaging Reduction  

  • Ongoing implementation of SUI bylaw, focusing on getting businesses “back to the basics” with reusables  
  • Collaborate with business and non-profit sector partners to work toward a Banff-wide reusable system for takeaway cups & containers  
  • Collaborate with non-residential sector representatives on procurement & other solutions to eliminate packaging waste at the source  
  • Reduce consumption of bottled water in Banff & the broader park area

4. Reducing Consumption  

  • Advance Banff’s sharing opportunity through ongoing collaboration with, and funding support for, the Library of Things  
  • Increase diversion at the Drop-Off Yard, as well as access to “take it or leave it” style reuse opportunities, like the Reuse It Centre
  • Seek centralized, accessible space (possible circular economy “hub”) for additional Reuse It Centre and/or “pay it forward” program where people can donate items for new residents who do not come to Banff with anything    

5. Pedestrian Bin Waste Streams 

  • Maximize reduction & diversion in pedestrian waste streams by creating a more intuitive user experience  
  • Integrate a financial disincentive for non-residential sector entities who generate waste that ends up in the public realm  

6. Construction, Renovation & Demolition Materials 

  • Use existing DP & BP processes to reduce waste generated by projects  
  • Allow permit-based scavenging at the Waste Transfer Site to increase the amount of material reused and recycled, resulting in high indicators for energy saving, pollution prevention, landfill lifetime extension, and community economic benefit- particularly to small-scale artisans. 
  • Investigate the possibility of a small-scale Material Reuse Facility, possibly integrated with the Reuse-It Centre, to provide Banff residents, businesses, and small-scale artisans with the opportunity to access a range of high-quality, low-cost building materials selected from materials dropped at the Waste Transfer Site.  
  • Integrate CE Building Principles into the Banff Design Guidelines through highlighting the importance of on-site waste prevention and diversion, design for disassembly, and responsible material sourcing.

7. Material Management & Emissions 

  • Continually monitor the way in which Town of Banff collects, transfers, and processes materials to maximize waste diversion potential and minimize emissions