Curbside compost program starts in Vancouver

April 21, 2010 | Uncategorized

Mayor Robertson helped launch phase one of Vancouver's first curbside compost program, a key election promise and one of the most requested new programs by people in the city.

"With our new curbside compost program, Vancouver is taking a major step forward to reduce our waste and environmental impact," said Mayor Gregor Robertson. "We know it's working in other cities and can be a big success here. We’re asking Vancouver residents to pitch in, recycle their food scraps, and help us reach our goal of becoming the world’s greenest city by 2020."

During the first phase of the program, food scraps are confined to uncooked fruit and vegetables, eggshells, teabags and coffee grounds and filters. The scraps can be emptied into City yard trimmings carts - providing a compost service to over 110,000 households in Vancouver. There is no change to the recycling or garbage collection schedule, and there will be no additional cost to residents' utility bills.

"We are seeing a lot of support and enthusiasm for the city's green agenda.," said the Mayor. "Composting is a direct way people can make a difference in realizing the city's goal of being the greenest city."

Next steps in the program will include more frequent collection schedules and expansion to include all food scraps. When the program is fully running, it is estimated that about 15,700 tonnes of food waste will be diverted from the landfill each year. For single-family homes, this means that up to 60 per cent less waste will end up in the landfill.

About one-third of garbage produced by households in Vancouver is made up of food scraps that can be composted. With space in the landfill limited, the diversion of household food will cut down on greenhouses gases while delaying the need for new landfills. The City’s target is to reduce solid waste going to the landfill by 40 per cent for each resident by 2020 and, in time, to move to zero waste production.

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Photo credit: City of Vancouver