BOW VALLEY – A new strategic plan for the new board of the Bow Valley Waste Management Commission (BVWMC) will see the organization continue with its priorities of waste recovery, but also for the three-member municipalities to work collaboratively when it comes to waste.
The BVWMC's board unanimously approved the new strategic plan – its first as a board since the October municipal election – and will move forward with its vision.
“The core of what we do remains the waste recovery and it will remain that,” said Grant Canning, the commission’s chair. “There’s also a renewed commitment from the board members and the member municipalities to work more collaboratively together, to identify new opportunities where we may not have moved forward in the past, but moving forward it’d be really important to look into opportunities.”
Following the municipal election, all but one member left politics or was not voted back into office. The commission went from one of the more veteran groups of politicians to having several new members.
While people may see the loss of veteran voices as a loss, Canning said it’s a chance to look at goals through a new set of eyes.
“Boards change and this board saw a huge amount of change. Change brings opportunity and it’s a chance to look at things differently,” he said. “To me, that’s what I was proud of – is we have a new board and a willingness to look at things differently.”
Canning noted there continues to be a chance for more regional collaboration and the possibility of a regional processing facility for organic waste.
He emphasized it’s only in the suggestion phase, but strategic planning is the type of setting that allows for new ideas to come forward.
“This is an opportunity to discuss it on a more regional basis. I think that was a good suggestion at looking at a regional organics recycling facility of sorts. It’s not to say we will, but at this point, we flagged it as an opportunity to think about,” he said.
“That’s what strategic planning is about in identifying opportunities, the board gives its opinions, and we can see if it makes sense for the organization and if it does then we can pursue it. It’s a regional services commission and anything regional makes sense to work collaboratively among the member municipalities.”
Andrew Calder, the commission’s CAO, said there were no substantial changes, but it’s vital to get board members' goals and vision moving forward.
“It’s an incremental process and it’s good to get the guidance from the board and reaffirm the path we’re on,” he said.
The commission’s board met Aug. 31 for its annual strategic planning and outlined three visionary concepts to follow with a total of 21 goals and 46 objectives. They range from administrative tasks, engaging the province on specific goals and continuing existing programs.
Human resources, the extended producer responsibility and the energy from waste initiative are among the highlights from the plan as well as commercial composting in Canmore and improving waste management collaboration in the Bow Valley.
“We all have our own objectives for waste recovery such as organics and for me personally, I think it’s important for the commission to take an active role in that,” Canning said. “We should look at these as much as we can on a more regional basis.
“When you have individual municipalities doing different things … those are the type of things that should come more through this organization because the more you can do regionally the better off it is for everyone involved.”