Composting for All! Vancouver to Ban Food Scraps from Landfills


Image:  Panphage | Wikimedia Commons

Image: Panphage | Wikimedia Commons

Vancouver is about to get even greener. Vancouver city council recently mandated that all food scraps and green waste will have to be recycled as of January 2015.

As reported by the Vancouver Sun, Vancouver began food scraps recycling two years ago for single-family dwellings and some city-serviced, multi-unit buildings, but that only accounts for a third of all organic waste in the city.

In July, city council agreed to include privately-serviced multi-unit residential buildings, hotels, restaurants, grocery stores and other commercial and industrial waste generators in a plan to divert all compostable materials from the city’s landfill and transfer stations.

Why do it? Vancouver is on a mission to reduce waste at landfills by 50 per cent by 2020 (compared to 2008 levels). Food scraps and compostable material going into the landfill create methane gas. Methane is far, far more potent as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, which comes from composting. Want to know more about why food scraps don’t create methane when they’re composted? Here’s the science behind it.

For the 152,000 Vancouver apartment-dwellers who now don’t have organics collection, the process won’t be significantly different than that faced by house-dwellers. They will have to put their wet waste into buckets and take them down to collection bins in their building’s garbage area.

The one big difference: the city doesn’t offer pickup service for multi-unit buildings and the ICI sector. Managers and strata corporations of privately-serviced buildings will have to work with their commercial waste haulers to implement the new city directive.

Read up on Vancouver’s compost and green bin guidelines here.

Read more on how enforcement works here.

Last modified: September 2, 2014

One Response to " Composting for All! Vancouver to Ban Food Scraps from Landfills "

  1. Peter says:

    What a bunch of garbage. The greener you make the city the more expensive it is to live there. Vancouver is a play ground now for wealthy immigrants , who will eventually be the only ones who can afford to live here.