British Columbia

Going green backfires at sports facility in Kamloops

It was with the best of intentions that the world-class Tournament Capital Centre in Kamloops, B.C. swapped out paper towels in its workout rooms for yellow reusable cloth wipes.

The Tournament Capital Centre's switch from paper towels to cloth wipes causes huge pile-up of laundry

The facility swapped paper towels for reusable cloth wipes, but the laundry soon began piling up. (Tara Copeland/CBC)

It was with the best of intentions that the world-class Tournament Capital Centre in Kamloops, B.C. swapped out paper towels in its workout rooms for yellow reusable cloth wipes. 

But instead of an improvement in its sustainability goals, it saw a huge pile-up of dirty laundry that quickly began sucking up water, power and staffing. 

"It resulted in a lot more laundry, which has put a strain on our resources and other costs associated with doing laundry, like energy," said Glen Cheetham, sustainability services supervisor with the City of Kamloops. 

The idea was part of the recreational facility's 'zero waste' initiative.

It was designed so that each guest uses one cloth per visit to wipe down equipment, but Cheetham says that hasn't been the case. 

The idea was that each client would use one cloth per visit, but Cheetham says that hasn't been the case. (Tara Copeland/CBC)

Draining staff time

Instead staff are spending a good chunk of their time doing laundry.

"They have some other very important duties to do through the day, providing supervision, support, orientation for new clients," he said, "so laundry support is in some cases compromising their ability to fulfil their other duties."

The facility is now working with suppliers to look for other green alternatives.

With files from the CBC's Daybreak Kamloops and Tara Copeland. 

To hear the full story listen to the audio labelled: Tournament Capital Centre irons out zero waste cloth-wipe program.


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.