FAQ

Please contact the BC SWRC Coordinator at hello@bcswrc.ca.

The BC Solid Waste Research Collaborative is a network of participants from industry, government, academia, and other non-profit entities and associations. The Collaborative’s network allows participants to connect and engage in applied research that addresses key needs and knowledge gaps in minimizing municipal solid waste and enhancing sustainable resource management.

The Collaborative facilitates research projects in three main ways:

  1. Events Coordinating round table discussions throughout the year, gathering participants face-to-face to generate connections and research projects.
  2. Website and Newsletter Providing an online interface and quarterly newsletter to catalyze project connections and increase information sharing.
  3. Participant Database Maintaining a database of interested participants/organizations and research interests/questions, then making introductions where appropriate.

Ideally, the research and collaboration efforts supported by the Collaborative will lead to waste reduction initiatives within the region. The Collaborative was founded by Metro Vancouver and the University of British Columbia in the fall of 2013.

The Collaborative’s focus is on building collaborative research opportunities to move the region forward in minimizing waste and maximizing re-use, recycling, and recovery. While the Research Collaborative is focused primarily on regional priorities, the overall goals of the Research Collaborative complement and support the nation-wide goals of the National Zero Waste Council.

The specific objectives of the Collaborative are to:

  • Bring together academic, public and private collaborators to focus on waste challenges, and opportunities to promote a Circular Economy
  • Increase the region’s expertise/knowledge base on solid waste minimization through education and research projects; sharing both new and historic research
  • Strengthen relationships between stakeholders
  • Strengthen BC-based reduction and recycling initiatives
  • Leverage research activities to spin off into BC green products/ initiatives/ businesses

The Collaborative is guided by a multidisciplinary Steering Committee with 4-8 members. The roles of this committee are to:

  • Plan and guide activities/events for the Research Collaborative, and
  • Ensure that research discussions and potential projects are on-topic, and relevant to the participants as a whole.

A part-time Coordinator assists participants in forming research partnerships by managing the network and activities of the Collaborative. The Coordinator’s activities are guided by the Steering Committee and at this time, the Coordinator’s activities are funded by Metro Vancouver.

If you are interested in serving on the Steering Committee, please fill out our Participation Survey.

Participants select and direct their own research. The Collaborative helps participants conduct research by making introductions to potential partners, providing events, hosting project ideas, and holding webinars to discuss potential research projects and results. Since the Collaborative functions as a convening and facilitating body only, the organizers of the Collaborative are not involved in selecting or judging research proposals.

Using 2008 numbers, the Conference Board of Canada named Canada last out of 17 OECD countries in total municipal waste generated. Municipalities experience this issue firsthand as our landfills are increasingly full and yet the production of consumable (and disposable) goods is nonstop.

By combining the forces of industry partners, who need solutions to their solid waste issues, and researchers with shared values and interests, the Collaborative hopes to accelerate progress on solid waste minimization and enhanced recovery in the Metro Vancouver region. As the Collaborative grows, research results can be shared for benefit across BC and Canada.

 

There are a number of organizations providing funding for solid waste research in Canada. This list does not include opportunities limited to specific regions.

Do you know of other bodies providing research funding on solid waste in Canada? Let us know.

Since the Collaborative is primarily a convening body to support the work of its participants, the Collaborative measures its success as an organization by hitting its activity targets on an annual basis. Beginning in 2017, these targets include:

  • 3+ roundtable discussions per year
  • Quarterly newsletters covering upcoming events, new and existing projects, funding opportunities, and participant highlights
  • Quarterly meetings of the steering committee
  • 1+ results webinars (dependent on participant project completion and interest in presenting)

The success of research projects themselves is up to the participants conducting the research. The Collaborative provides an optional post-project survey that asks participants to report on:

  • Completion on time, on budget
  • Results published
  • Contractual agreements met in full, or to the satisfaction of all parties
  • Impact of the Collaborative on the project

The Collaborative is informally organized, and open to anyone interested in contributing to the focus of the BC Solid Waste Research Collaborative.

We are looking for participants who want to:

  • Make presentations at upcoming events
  • Propose and participate in research projects and partnerships
  • Share information about minimizing solid waste, and enhancing recycling, reuse and recovery

You can fill out our Participation Survey to share your contact details and research interests. Your information will be entered into our network database and when research opportunities or potential partners emerge, our Coordinator will make introductions.

You can sign up as a Participant on this website, or you can Propose a new project idea without signing up.