Banff, Alberta’s Commitment to Zero Waste
Banff, Alberta, is a tourist town making environmental efforts to become completely zero waste.
Banff, Alberta, is a town within Banff National Park and is one of Canada’s most popular tourist destinations. People can travel and enjoy Banff any time of the year; in the winter, they can ski at three world-class ski resorts, and in the summer, they can hike over 1600 kilometres of trails. Being located among the Canadian Rockies, Banff is known for its vibrant lakes, majestic mountains, and diverse range of wildlife. Wildlife is guaranteed to be seen in this area, depending on the time of year. Banff is home to 260 species of birds, grizzly and black bears, moose, elk, wolves and cougars. Banff National Park is committed to protecting their wildlife and has the most wildlife crossings in the world, designed to keep motorists and animals safe.
To preserve the unique features Banff National Park has to offer, the town is committed to keeping its area clean and reducing waste wherever possible. Banff plans to divert 70% of landfill waste by 2028 and send zero waste to the landfill by 2050. To do so, the town is committed to becoming a circular community by developing a share, repair and reuse economy.
Banff has developed the Zero Waste Trail designed for both commercial and residential purposes. For commercial use, the Zero Waste Banff is a program that empowers businesses to eliminate their garbage waste. Businesses are encouraged to set up business waste sorting bins and labels to promote proper sorting. They are also encouraged to donate unused food and participate in the container reuse program.
People living in Banff are encouraged to collect their food scraps and empty them into a Food Bin. Residents can also drop their recyclable materials into bins which are collected by the Town of Banff and sent to Canadian facilities where they are turned into a variety of products.
Some of Banff’s share, repair and reuse initiatives include:
- Banff’s Re-Use-It Centre: Residents can pick up donated items, including books, dishes, and furniture, for no cost.
- Library of Things: Residents can borrow various items such as cooking appliances and tools.
- Banff Food Rescue: Uneaten food is picked up from grocery stores and retailers and is donated to residents in need.
- Banff Isn’t Disposable: A reusable container program that eliminates the need for single-use containers.
- Sports Equipment Lending Program: Residents can rent equipment for various sports and activities
The Town of Banff is also looking at ways to reduce the environmental impact of transportation. Some options they are exploring are developing transportation with seasonal functionality, improving connections to the ski gondola and implementing car and bike share programs.
With the efforts implemented by businesses and residents, the town of Banff will be one step closer to achieving its environmental goals. Doing so will help preserve Banff National Park’s beauty for years to come.