The Zero Waste International Alliance has chosen Nanaimo, BC for its upcoming conference to be held October 2-4. Alternatives to Incinerators & Landfills, Zero Waste International Alliance Conference and Dialogue is a solutions based conference that unites local Zero Waste advocates with international experts. Sunshine Coast business owners and Zero Waste Canada directors Buddy Boyd and Barb Hetherington of Gibsons Recyling Depot are helping to organize the event. Reuse, salvaging, repurposing and conserving materials and resources will be important topics in the diverse program of presentations in the three-day conference. 

Dan Phillips, of Phoenix Commotion, reuse innovator and popular Ted Talks presenter will be a featured speaker at the conference. Phillips is a builder and designer from Huntsville Texas, who started Phoenix Commotion with his wife Marsha, in 1998, that proves that constructing homes with recycled and salvaged materials has a viable place in the building industry. With a mission to divert landfill waste while teaching building skills, Phoenix Commotion creates affordable housing that are creative masterpieces. In 2003, the company received the award for the most innovative housing worldwide from the Institute of Social Invention in London.

“Ten percent of the average landfill is reusable building materials,” says Dan Phillips, “In a town of 30,000 people, we throw out enough materials to build a house every week. When we have families who can’t afford a home; that is the height of arrogance.”

Another featured speaker will be Dr. Paul Connett, scientist –turned- Anti-Incinerator activist. Connett taught environmental chemistry and toxicology at St. Lawrence University in Canton. New York. Since 1985, Connett has devoted himself to researching the dangers of incineration. As a crusader for Zero Waste, he has not only promoted Zero Waste solutions but gathered information from 49 states in the US, seven provinces in Canada and 51 other countries. On January 12, 2010 Dr. Connett had the honor of giving a presentation "Zero Waste for Sustainability" to the Division for the Sustainable Development at the United Nations.

Early bird registration is open to all members of public now. Registration and additional conference information can be found here zwia14. The Coast Bastion Hotel will be the main venue for the conference.

Zero Waste Canada is a not for profit, non-partisan organization that promotes genuine Zero Waste solutions. 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.”