Vancouver expands food scraps recycling program to include all food waste

Mayor Gregor Robertson demonstrates the various items that can now go into Vancouver's green bins. Photos by Beth Hong.

Anyone who lives in a house or duplex in Vancouver can now add all food scraps and food-soiled paper into their green bin along with their yard waste, and expect a weekly green bin pickup every week by spring 2013.

Mayor Gregor Robertson announced the expanded food scraps recycling program in a back alley in Fairview with the city's general manager of engineering services Peter Judd. 

Robertson said that there is no additional cost to the expansion, but council will be hearing shortly from the city's engineering staff about any potential costs.

Other municipalities who have implemented similar programs are New Westminster, Coquitlam, West Vancouver and Surrey. 

"People realize we can't continue to endlessly use landfill," Judd said, noting that this food scraps expansion program is part of Metro Vancouver's solid waste plan which would ban organic materials (including food scraps) from landfills by 2015. Organic food waste at landfills releases methane gas, which is one the leading greenhouse gases.

The city began a food scraps recycling program in 2010, but it was restricted to uncooked fruits, vegetables, coffee grounds, egg shells and tea bags. The expanded program covers all food scraps, such as meat, fish, bones, dairy, bread, cooked items and food-soiled paper such as napkins, pizza boxes and paper plates.

The city plans to expand this program to all residences in Vancouver. By spring 2013 garbage pick up will occur every two weeks, and green bin pickup every week, reversing the current routine of garbage pick up every week and green bin pick up every two weeks.

The food scraps expansion program is based on a pilot project in two Vancouver neighbourhoods whose outcomes were better than expected. Judd said his engineering staff at city hall will forward recommendations for the final phase of expanded food scraps recycling for approval in the next few months.

More in City

Living in an apartment with kids? Share your experiences

The City is seeking input from apartment-dwelling families with children to help plan for spaces that better meet their needs. As part of an update to the High-Density Housing for Families and...

Your water wise summer starts early this year

Today City Council approved a new Drinking Water Conservation By-Law to align with the Metro Vancouver Drinking Water Conservation Plan. Under the new by-law, watering restrictions will start on...

Temporary modular housing approved for Kaslo Street

The Director of Planning for the City of Vancouver, Gil Kelley, announced today the approval of a development permit to build 52 new temporary modular housing units at 4480 (formerly 4410) Kaslo...
Speak up about this article on Facebook or Twitter. Do this by liking Vancouver Observer on Facebook or following us @Vanobserver on Twitter. We'd love to hear from you.