Less Food Waste Means Less Garbage From Single-Family Homes

Taking food waste out of the garbage has made a huge difference in the amount of Metro Vancouver garbage going to landfill.

By putting food waste and leftovers  into their green carts instead of garbage bins Metro Vancouver residents of single-family homes have reduced their garbage by almost 30 per cent in the last three years.

Keeping these hundreds of thousands of tonnes of organic material out of landfills dramatically reduces the environmental impact of our garbage . Organic material in landfills creates methane, a potent greenhouse gas, but when this material is composted properly no methane is produced.

Curbside collection programs take green-bin contents to industrial-scale facilities that turn this natural resource into nutrient-rich composts that helps grow the next cycles of food, flowers and garden plants, and energy-rich biofuel. This municipal service is now available to more than 95 per cent of single-family homes in Metro Vancouver.

As a region, Metro Vancouver has set recycling goals of 70% by 2015 and 80% by 2020. To help us achieve these ambitious goals, in 2015 Metro Vancouver will further encourage recycling of food and other organics by banning the disposal of food waste and clean wood from regional disposal facilities. This disposal ban will apply to all sectors, including single-family homes and multi-family housing, restaurants, supermarkets, retail food stores including bakeries, butchers and fish shops, and institutions like schools and hospitals.

Organics recycling not only conserves a valuable resource, it helps us build a livable region by reducing, reusing and recycling as much waste as we possibly can.