Charitable Choices: Sue Maxwell of Zero Waste BC

We recently had the pleasure of interviewing Sue Maxwell, the Chair of the Board at Zero Waste BC, a non-profit society that has been championing Zero Waste since its formation in 2008. Zero Waste BC focuses on providing research, analysis, and guidance to inform policies related to materials consumption and solid waste. They also convene conversations with leaders across various sectors to develop innovative solutions and present practical, fact-based ways forward. Their mission is to reduce material consumption to sustainable levels, respecting planetary boundaries and the needs of all species.

Zero Waste BC

Describe your charity/non-profit/volunteer work in a few sentences.

Zero Waste BC is a non-profit society and has been championing Zero Waste since 2008. Our work focuses on three areas:

–> We provide research, analysis and guidance to inform policies and practices related to materials consumption, solid waste and more.

–> We convene conversations with leaders from academia, business, communities, government & environmental sectors to develop solutions.

–> We present practical ways forward based on facts and innovation. Our network within the community helps to ensure we help create action-oriented solutions.

What problem does it aim to solve?

We are trying to ensure that consumption of materials is reduced to sustainable levels, respecting planetary boundaries and the needs of all species. We are aiming for Zero Waste

When did you start/join it?

2008 is when it was formed and I have been with it since the start

What made you want to get involved?

My thesis was on Zero Waste and there was a strong need for an organization to advocate for it.

What was the situation like when you started?

Interest in Zero Waste was growing but there were plans to build more incinerators in Metro Vancouver.

How has it changed since?

Many more communities and organisations have adopted Zero Waste as a goal and have been implementing solutions. At the same time, our global consumption of resources has only increased and the effects of that in terms of climate change, loss of biodiversity and other impacts are becoming more dire.

What more needs to be done?

We need action at every level of government to ensure that we can make the changes necessary to achieve a healthy planet.

How can our readers help?

Advocate for Zero Waste policy, support businesses that offer quality Zero Waste products, and try to live with a smaller footprint. Sign up for our newsletter to hear about opportunities to provide feedback (like the current survey the province has out on packaging in businesses and institutions)

Where can we follow you?


PAY IT FORWARD: What is an awesome local charity that you love?

Zero Waste Canada


About Emilea Semancik 155 Articles
Emilea Semancik was born in North Vancouver. Emilea has always always wanted to work as a freelance writer and currently writes for the Vancouver Guardian. Taking influence from journalism culture surrounding the great and late Anthony Bourdain, she is a recipe author working towards publishing her own series of books. You can find her food blog on Instagram: