Towards Zero Waste

The first community conversation about reducing our waste footprint was a success! On Thursday, June 21st, we hosted a community conversation centered around reducing waste in the Flathead Valley. Joined by a fantastic panel of six speakers representing local businesses and government agencies, it was a honest and inspiring discussion on moving towards a local Zero-Waste economy. For a busy Thursday evening in the valley, we were energized by the turnout from the public and how many of you are dedicated to this topic. Thank you to those that were able to join us.

If you couldn’t make it, don’t worry — this wont be your only chance! This event was the launch of a new program for Citizens that we’re calling Towards Zero Waste. Through this program we’ll work to have a larger impact on local policy and business decisions to reduce our valley’s waste footprint. As was discussed between the panelists, real change must come before post-consumer waste management, and that’s where we’ll be focusing our efforts.

Our next step on this path Towards Zero Waste is to perform a Community Waste Assessment to determine how our waste system is currently operating and find opportunities for improvement. Stay tuned on this effort.

Click here to read the follow-up Press Release: Sustainable Solutions Event Launches New Program for Local Non-Profit.

Sustainable Solutions Event Info:

Thursday, June 21st, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm in the Arts & Technology building at Flathead Valley Community College.

This free community Q&A event will focus on practical solutions for today and the future to reduce waste in the Flathead Valley, in the face of recent changes in the global recycling industry. The evening will feature six panelists from varying industries who are working towards minimizing waste, including:

  • Dave Prunty, Public Works Director, Flathead County
  • Chase Jones, Energy Conservation & Climate Action Coordinator, City of Missoula
  • Matthew Folz, Director of Risk & Sustainability, Xanterra Glacier National Park Lodges
  • Jay Frisard, Regional Manager, Glacier Restaurant Group
  • Ryder Delaloye, Director of Curriculum, Whitefish School District
  • Alissa LaChance, Owner and Operator, Dirt Rich Compost

The discussion will be moderated by Richard Turbiak, Executive Director, Citizens for a Better Flathead.

The conversation will open with an introduction and brief background from each of the panelists, and then move into a Question and Answer format. Audience members can ask questions by writing them on an index card and passing to a volunteer.

In addition to the panel discussion, we will be giving away six door prize baskets filled with items to help you “Reduce Your Use!”

This event is the launch of a new program for Citizens called “Towards Zero-Waste.” While we will continue the classroom presentations, recycle bin loan program, and community education that’s part of the collaborative “WasteNot Project,” we want to expand upon this foundation to work towards larger solutions for local waste issues. This new program will focus on the root of the problem — manufacturing and purchasing — and realistic steps we can take to make a difference and bring our community closer to Zero-Waste. Stay tuned for more details.