Zero Waste Canada (ZWC) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that promotes solid waste solutions that eliminate the use of landfills and waste-to-energy plants. ZWC advocates at all levels of government for responsible resource management and policies, legislation and initiatives that eliminate waste and support continuous reuse of resources. ZWC provides resource management demonstration projects and education, and is a reliable go-to resource that collaboratively promotes social, environmental and economic well-being.Berkeley ZWIA

When waste can’t be eliminated Zero Waste Canada adheres to the Zero Waste International Alliance’s Principle of Highest and Best Use. That is: “We continuously evaluate our markets and direct our discarded products and packaging to recover the highest value according to the following hierarchy: reuse of the product for its original purpose; reuse of the product for an alternate purpose; reuse of its parts; reuse of the materials; sustainable recycling of inorganic materials in closed loop systems; sustainable recycling of inorganic materials in single-use applications; composting of organic materials to sustain soils and avoid use of chemical fertilizers; and composting or mulching of organic materials to reduce erosion and litter and retain moisture.”

We are inspired by the progress that has been made with diversion efforts around the globe but demand higher level upstream solutions that avoid and prevent the creation of waste in the first place. Resource recovery is good but avoidance of waste is best and is our ultimate goal.

It is important to note that incineration or waste-to-energy projects do not comply with our zero waste standards. Such projects are ineffective, inefficient and dangerous methods to deal with our waste. Incineration destroys the highest value, the function of objects and leaves nothing but unusable sludge and ash. Incineration is a short-sighted approach to waste whereas zero waste offers a sustainable method by which we can ensure the highest quality of environmental, planetary, animal and human health.

We believe that zero waste is a visionary and perpetual goal that requires creative and unconventional solutions that fundamentally challenge the status quo and ‘business as usual.’

In declaring our goal of absolute elimination of waste we join the zero waste community in asking “If you’re not for zero waste, how much waste are you for?”


Buddy Boyd
Buddy the Logbutcher

Buddy Boyd founded the award winning Gibsons Recycling Depot in 2003 (which includes Going Green Business from the Town of Gibsons and the Best Green Business in British Columbia for 2013), and created BC’s first and largest non-government funded Resource Recovery Centre. Amongst his many firsts is Styrofoam® Recycling. His plans include mattress deconstruction, Textile and Glass recycling and up-cycling, organics diversion which is linked into other local businesses interested in composting and community gardens.

Buddy has learned over the years that it takes persistence and innovation to drive success in addressing solid waste management responsibly and developing financially viable solutions is critical. His centre is a successful operational model for today and tomorrow, and Buddy brings a wealth of practical, hands-on operational experience to our team.


Barb Hetherington
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Barbara Hetherington is part of the Gibsons Resource Recovery Center team. With her partner, Buddy Boyd, she runs the award winning resource recovery centre in BC. The most recent recognition the GRRC has received is the coveted Best Green Business Award from Small Business British Columbia.

Barb has been a Zero Waste advocate and waste reduction educator in her community for years, and introduced the Zero Waste store five years ago, which has since become a regular meeting and exchange centre for her community. In addition to diverting resources from the landfill, the Zero Waste Store provides a great service to those with limited or fixed incomes.

Barb would rather talk about Zero Waste than herself.


Jamie Kaminski
Jamie Skywalking

Jamie started out recycling at the young age of nine where he collected cardboard and paper with his father from local businesses in order to take them in for recycling. In 2001 his father Stan Kaminski appointed Jamie the General Manager of HSR Services, running the first single stream recycling facility in BC, located in his home town of Port Coquitlam. Jamie later got involved with electronics recycling, showing industry leadership by being the first private company to set up a contract with Tech Cominco in Trail, BC in order to recycle the CRT monitors from the electronics. By doing this, Jamie made sure that anything hazardous was processed in region and not shipped to developing nations.

Since then Jamie has worked on a number of projects and committees, including the Communications and Policy Committee for the Recycling Council of British Columbia as well as their EPR working group.

Today Jamie’s main focus of expertise is the commercial industrial sector, working with LEED certified facilities so they can be leaders in environmental sustainability. Jamie’s future projects include moving material up the value chain from recycling to re-use and repair.


Dirk Beckerdirkbecker

Dirk has been an environmental activist for over 25 years. His primary interest is sustainability - the true definition of which is being able to engage with our biosphere in a manner that can be performed perpetually (forever). He states, "Clearly, this is not our current direction. How we consume our ecosystem like a parasite or cancer is ample evidence. The byproduct of our behaviour is what we produce, what we waste and how we waste it. What gets discarded, land-filled and burned is a metaphorical manifestation of our culture's madness. Think 100 years into the future. How will we feel about our legacy?"

The reason Dirk chooses to make his living as an organic farmer is because he has found it to be the single most powerful tool to reach people and have deeper conversations in order to facilitate change through real action.

Dirk's interest in "ZERO WASTE" is as a key component and tool we can employ to wake ourselves out of our coma of unsustainability and create the badly needed shift our culture must make - and quickly - if we want to survive, let alone thrive as a species.

Over 20 years as an environmental advocate on Vancouver Island and an agricultural advocate for the past seven years, Dirk Becker’s passion for creating positive change is infectious and has benefited the community in a number of ways from working to create local provincial parks to inspiring young adults to grow much of their own food. Sustainability for Vancouver Island by lowering our personal ecological footprints is a large part of his volunteer work from doing talks on rainwater collection for the RDN (Regional District of Nanaimo), and Growing Food workshops for Seedy Sundays and Saturdays.

  • Public speaker and educator on sustainability, rainwater collection and local food (www.dirkbecker.ca)
  • Currently a director of the Farmland Defense League
  • Currently sits on the advisory panel for GMO-free BC
  • Founder and past President of the Bowen Road Farmers’ Market in Nanaimo, BC
  • Named among “Nanaimo’s Top 20 Most Powerful People” three years in a row - 2009, 2010 and 2011
  • January 2009 LiveSmart BC Community Hero
  • Interviewed by newspapers over 25 times in past three years discussing global challenges, including the connection between fossil fuel, world conflict, agriculture and food
  • Founding member of many groups such as the Greater Nanaimo Cycling Coalition, Yellow Point Community Shared Agriculture project and past board member of Nanaimo Recycling Exchange and Nanaimo Family Life
  • Co-host of “Tools for Change” radio talk show


Erich Schwartz
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Erich is a consultant and entrepreneur focused in developing and implementing strategic plans and solutions for a variety of organizations globally and across industries. Specifically, he has been highly successful with sustainability programs, large scale information and educational technology projects, and telecommunications infrastructure integration projects for Fortune 500, Crown Corporations, Governments, and mid-size businesses throughout the world.

Erich is an experienced leader, working with business, government, and community stakeholders to develop long term strategies and influence policy. He has managed globally distributed teams of professionals across functions, including hardware and software engineering, program and project management, training, communications and marketing, and business owners. Working with these teams Erich has been able to successfully conceive, design, implement, and transition projects while meeting quality, time and budget requirements.

Over the last few years, Erich combined the breadth and depth of his business experience with a life-long passion for a sustainable environment by establishing and running Greenomics Corporation, a consultancy that combines business, education, and community leadership to help transition businesses and communities to sustainable practices while maintaining or increasing profitability. Erich is passionate about pursuing sustainable businesses and the Green Economy.


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Zero Waste Canada
Resource recovery is good, but avoidance of waste is best...
and is our ultimate goal.