Greening Your Community
Municipal governments can help make their communitiers more environmentally sustainable in many ways that go beyond municipal operations.
Greening Your Community
Municipal governments throughout Newfoundland and Labrador can play an active role in improving the environmental sustainability of communities. This can include taking action to improve the energy efficiency of houses and buildings, increasing waste diversion, and engaging community members on each of these issues.
What can you do?
Administering the National Building Code
Municipalities throughout Newfoundland and Labrador are responsible for regulating development and construction within their boundaries. As per current legislation, they must adopt the National Building Code of Canada under their bylaws, along with any supplements or amendments. In 2012, this code was updated to include energy efficiency requirements for houses and small buildings (Part 9.36). While enforcement mechanisms vary across the province, municipalities can play an active role on this issue by:
- Ensuring these requirements are met when completing plan reviews or inspections
- Updating permit documentation to explicitly reference these requirements.
- Making building contractors aware of the "Guide to Building Energy Efficient Homes."
Guide to Building Energy-Efficient Homes and Small Buildings - The Provincial Government developed this guide in 2016 to assist municipalities, building designers and contractors in meeting the new energy efficiency requirements of Part 9.36 of the National Building Code.
In Newfoundland and Labrador, 8% of our total greenhouse gas emissions are generated as a result of the waste we produce. While we have taken significant steps to modernize waste management services in this province, more action is needed. Given municipalities are responsible for delivering waste management services in Newfoundland and Labrador, there is much that can be done at the community level to increase waste diversion. This could include:
- Working to improve access to recycling services in an area
- Promoting the uptake of recycling services
- Launching community composting project to reduce organic waste
The Multi-Materials Stewardship Board (MMSB) is the province's authority on waste diversion. If you're interested in obtaining more information on possible waste diversion initiative, including any available programs, visit the MMSB's website or contact them at 1-800-901-6672 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Municipal governments can help create the momentum needed within their communities to take action on climate change and energy efficiency. When many parts of a community get involved and push in the same direction, there can be real progress made on these challenges. Possible actions include:
- Forging partnerships with local businesses or organizations to share information with residents
- Creating a community Green Team to implement local initiatives, including awareness-raising activities
- Reducing waste during community events, such as meetings and festivals
- Raising awareness of the issues in their community
- Leading by example
Turn Back the Tide offers a variety of tools and resources that households, businesses and schools in your community can use to improve their energy efficiency and reduce. Share these resources with individuals within your community and use our videos and posters to promote action.
Everything you need to know about managing your waste in Newfoundland and Labrador is now online. Check out RethinkWasteNL.ca for more information about what you can do with waste in your region, as well as contact information for your local waste authority.