From Waverley to Whistler- What’s the Situation?

Location

Waverley

Waverley Municipal Council is a Local Government Area in the eastern suburbs of Sydney located approximately 7km east of the city’s Central Business District, in the state of New South Wales (NSW), Australia.

View Waverley Council’s website via the following link:

http://www.waverley.nsw.gov.au/

 

Interactive maps can be accessed via the following link:

http://mapping.waverley.nsw.gov.au/Exponare/PublicApplication.aspx

 

Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 12.45.02 PMAdministrative boundaries

Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 12.45.07 PMAerial imagery

 

The Local Government Area of Waverley is a mostly residential area that hosts 63, 487 residents in a total of 27, 389 occupied private dwellings (Australian Bureau of Statistics- ABS, 2011; Hyder Consulting, 2010).

 

Demographics of the population of Waverley can be viewed via the following link:

http://www.censusdata.abs.gov.au/census_services/getproduct/census/2011/quickstat/LGA18050

 

Whistler

Whistler mountain is Canada’s top ski destination. Situated 120 km from Vancouver, Whistler is actually one of two side-by-side mountains that make up Whistler Blackcomb resort.

Screen Shot 2016-04-07 at 8.01.44 PM

(Google maps)

 

Whistler Blackcomb trail map.

 

Interactive map of Whistler village

 

Located right outside Blackcomb Glacier provincial park, these mountains and valleys are not subject to the same regulations and guidelines as a protected provincial park. These mountains have a vertical drop of about 1 500 m and over 8 000 acres of accessible terrain (Tourism Whistler, 2016). Whistler village is only about 25 square km, but greater city area is over 120 km square with 9 824 residents (Resort Municipality of Whistler, 2016).  2.1 million visitors each and every year make Whistler Blackcomb the busiest ski resort in North America (Resort Municipality of Whistler, 2016).

Screen Shot 2016-04-07 at 8.03.47 PM

(Google Maps)

 

What’s the situation?

Whistler and Waverly contrast in both population and size, and the list of differences extends as far as topography, geography, and climate. Both are tourist destinations, but while one is beach side, the other is in the mountains. Furthermore, Waverley is a local government council of one of the world’s greatest cities, whereas Whistler is it’s own governing town, remotely located a few hours from Canada’s most livable city.

 

Research Questions

 

Waverley

Aim- What’s the Question?

To determine if either Source Separated Organics (SSO) waste processing or unseparated Mechanical Biological Treatment (MBT) organics waste processing is more environmentally beneficial, in dealing with the food organic fraction of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) in the Local Government Area (LGA) of Waverley.

 

SSO waste processing:

Waste collection systems where recyclable and/or organic fractions of the waste stream are separated by the householder, are collected separately and sent to separate treatment plants (Defra, 2005).

 

Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 12.48.41 PM.pngCheck out SSO waste processing via the following link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VKOVbD9Lng

 

MBT waste processing:

Waste collection systems where mixed wastes are transported to a plant for mechanical sorting/separation via the use of technologies in conjunction with biological treatment processes (Defra, 2005).
Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 12.48.48 PM.png

Check out MBT waste processing via the following link: http://www.resourcerecovery.biz/features/alternative-waste-technology-australia

 

Preliminary Research Questions- Specifics

Is Source Separated Organics (SSO) waste processing or unseparated Mechanical Biological Treatment (MBT) organics waste processing is more environmentally beneficial in terms of:

  • Operations:

–         Energy consumption in transportation?

–         Energy consumption in processing?

 

 

  • Output:

 

–         Contribution to landfill?

–         End resources?

 

Significance- Why is this Important?

Government institutions of Australia have increasingly put forward a number of policies and legislation based on the ‘waste hierarchy classification system’ (Food and Garden Organics Best Practice Collection Manual, 2012).

Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 12.48.55 PM

Landfill disposal of waste in is the least desired strategy in managing waste for various reasons. Landfilling of waste can lead to unrestrained discharge of leachate and gaseous emissions which can pollute surrounding waterways and atmosphere (Zach, Binner & Latif, 2000).

 

Check out what discharge of leachate and gaseous emissions look like via the following link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AEyj5-HxRDo

 

Studies have estimated that between 2006-07 approximately 2.7 million tonnes of household food organics were disposed to landfill across Australia (Food and Garden Organics Best Practice Collection Manual, 2012). Composition percentages of municipal solid waste (MSW) examined across Australia show that food organics are the single largest component of MSW, approximately 35% by weight (Food and Garden Organics Best Practice Collection Manual, 2012).

Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 12.49.04 PM.png

Therefore it is becoming increasingly important that food organics contained in MSW need to be managed in order to avoid landfill. Determining which of the two food organic waste processing systems is more environmentally beneficial may shed light as to which future waste management scheme should be pursued in the local government area of Waverley in order to reduce the overall quantity of MSW contributing to current landfill estimates.

 

Whistler

Aim? What’s the question?

Each and every one of the 2.1 million tourists annually has an ecological footprint that is dictated by the hotels, restaurants, infrastructure, and regulations of Whistler. What are the best practices, policies, and strategies to promote sustainable tourism at Whistler mountain mountain resort?

Tourism is inevitable. My aim is to study how Whistler can maintain its ecological integrity while allowing the development necessary for an increase in visitors.  

 

Significance- Why is this Important?

Tourism has nearly quadrupled in size in almost thirty years. The below graph shows how it has gone from nearly zero to a projection of billion tourists by 2020 (Pollock, 2014). Some reasons for this increase are economic growth in certain countries, changing consumer values, and globalisation.

 

Annual Worldwide Increase in Tourists

6a011570e2b453970b011570f58918970b

(Pollock, 2014)

 

Statistics also show that British Columbia has witnessed a steady growth in tourism revenues through the 21st century (Government of British Columbia, 2015). As the B.C. Government plans to double tourism revenues from those of 2005, making it a 18 billion dollar industry, it’s more important than ever to come up with sustainable strategies that would not only make this growth possible, but also protect the landscape tourists pay to see (Government of British Columbia, 2015). Because Whistler is British Columbia’s most visited city besides Vancouver, it is essential for Whistler to have a vigorous plan for ecological sustainability.

goal_1_obj_1.2_measure_1_graph

(Government of British Columbia, 2015)

 

What’s the situation?

Both projects are primarily concerned with facets of waste management. The Waverley project is concerned with municipal solid waste, concentrated in a residential area context. While the Whistler project focuses on the more general impacts of tourism, waste generated by ‘commercial activity’ will among the primary focuses of the research. Waste management is a big problem in such a remote village, and reducing it essential to sustainability. The quantity and composition of waste produced will be of key interest, as well as the transportation of such waste to designated waste treatment facilities.

 

Research Methods

 

Methods:

A literature review in both projects will be conducted to address the project aim and answer the specific focus questions. In the Waverley project, case studies will be analysed and used to help determine which waste management process is more environmentally beneficial in similar contexts (i.e. developed residential areas). In the Whistler project, case studies from similar resorts will be studied to determine what practices are most effective in implementing sustainable tourism strategies.

 

Sources:

Secondary sources such as journal articles and government documents will being used to perform a literature review in both projects. Credibility will be demonstrated in such sources as the journal articles being used will be peer-reviewed, and the government documents will be officially approved. Because sustainability practices in Whistler aren’t as intensely documented as in the Waverley project, first hand information from primary sources will be necessary to conduct a comprehensive research. In the this project, it will be of interest to use primary sources from specialists currently working in sustainability projects at Whistler.

 

Data:

In the Waverley project, data analysed within these journal articles and government documents will mostly be quantitative. Both quantitative and qualitative data will be of interest in the Whistler project. Because in the Whistler project we are dealing with behaviors, awareness, and a more descriptive measure of data, it will be necessary to introduce these types of findings to our discussion. Such quantitative data will provide a numerical means to formulate conclusions. Qualitative data will help formulate recommendations for Whistler’s sustainability plan.

 

Conclusion

At first glance, the Waverley and the Whistler project have very little in common. One deals with a coastal municipality in Australia, while the other studies a remote mountain resort town in Canada. There is without a doubt a difference between a researching municipal waste management and sustainable tourism, but their are also similarities. For one, both aim to ‘clean up’ and implements better strategies of waste management. Second, the notion of ecological footprint is at the backbone of both projects. Reducing the impact of municipal waste creates a society with a smaller ecological footprint; as does reducing the negative environmental impacts of tourism. It will be interesting to see if these two projects will find common ground in the parts of their research that intertwine.

 

References:

 

  • Australian Bureau of Statistics (20012) Waverley Census 2011. Australian Government. Canberra.

 

 

 

 

  • Hyder Consulting (2010) Waverley, Randwick and Woollahra Councils: Evaluation of home composting project. Sydney, Australia (unpublished report-printed version only).

 

 

  • Resort Municipality of Whistler. (2016). About the Resort Municipality of Whistler. Available: https://www.whistler.ca/about. Last accessed 7th April 2016.

 

 

  • Zach, A., Binner, E. and Latif, M. (2000) Improvement of municipal solid waste quality for landfilling by means of mechanical-biological pretreatment. Waste Management Resolutions, Vol. 18, pp. 25-32.

 

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