Das Soligo, Manager of Solid Waste Services, County of Wellington

Alison Springate
Alison Springate Guelph Smart City Office • 3 February 2021

If Das Soligo has one piece of advice for anyone interested in Our Food Future, it is to “approach food with mindfulness.”

As the Manager of Solid Waste Services with the County of Wellington, Das sees firsthand the extent of food waste. In fact, in Canada as a whole, almost 2.2 million tonnes of edible food is thrown away each year, according to a 2017 study by the National Zero Waste Council.

There are easy steps we can take to change that statistic, he says.

“Re-considering our relationship with food is simple and intuitive. Be mindful with your shopping habits. Take time to plan your meals and use up the ingredients in your fridge. Eat leftovers. Support local farms and businesses. When you need to throw out food, compost it or place it in your green bin.”

A passionate environmentalist and volunteer, Das is always looking for opportunities to participate in conversations about circularity and sustainability. In December 2020, he was elected president of the Ontario Chapter of the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) where he can lead these conversations at a provincial level. He also sits on Our Food Future’s Waste as a Resource workstream. He’s excited that Guelph-Wellington is on the leading edge of these concepts.

“We’re part of something innovative here,” he says. “Our relationship to food is somewhat flawed in my opinion. Most of us are disconnected to food production and distribution. Trying to help our community re-imagine how food arrives on our plate is exciting. Trying to keep food waste out of a landfill site in order to realize a higher value is a worthy mission.”

Five questions with Das

  1. What’s the best advice you ever received?

    “Anyone can point out all that’s wrong in the world. Real leaders find solutions to those problems.” My stepfather.
  2. What was your first job, and what one thing did it teach you?

    I worked summers for my grandfather’s construction business. My co-workers were Italian and didn’t speak much English. I learned how to creatively communicate and work as a team despite these challenges. Working long, sometimes lonely days provided me a lot of time for contemplation and imagination picturing the type of career I wanted to have one day.
  3. What television show do you drop everything for?

    Not a TV show per se but always Toronto Raptors games!
  4. What song do you always play at full volume?

    Stir It Up by Bob Marley. You have to listen to Bob loudly!
  5. What drink is your guiltiest pleasure?

    Craft beer! I do have a mental note of the ranking of who makes the best margaritas in the area, so I guess margaritas are a close second.

Connect with Das

Email: dass@wellington.ca

Website: wellington.ca

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