Food Scraps Recycling Regulation Update
We are heading towards the end of our education phase of the organics disposal ban, (January 1 to June 30, 2015), where loads with high food volumes are identified but not charged. This has allowed businesses and residential buildings time to put recycling systems in place. For further details on the program, visit metrovancouver.org/foodscraps.
The next stage begins July 1, where enforcement will advance from education-based to a financial penalty. Waste haulers (either municipality or private collector) will receive the surcharge at the waste facility. They will determine how it is transferred back to clients.
In April 2015, Metro Vancouver lowered the fees charged at regional facilities, and most commercial haulers have seen their rates reduced.
Positive Results to Date:
Since the Organics Disposal Ban came into effect January 1, 2015, thousands of tonnes of food scraps have been recycled. In the first four months of 2015, only 58 loads (15 per month) were out of compliance. Early results are encouraging, and indicate that in general large generators of food waste are successfully recycling food scraps.
The Organics Disposal Ban is a commitment on the part of all of us to change the way we manage our waste. By taking food scraps out of the garbage we are:
· Reducing the amount of methane coming from our landfills, generated when food decays in poor conditions.
· Taking the pressure of landfill space, which is limited. Currently about 30% of our food ends up there.
· Making our waste to energy facility, which takes about a third of the region’s waste, more effective by reducing the moisture content of the waste being incinerated.
· Turning the food scraps into compost and biofuel, which can grow more food, or help avoid using fossil fuels.
The ban applies to all garbage generated across the region, from Lion’s Bay to Langley.
The way we manage our waste is changing. Metro Vancouver is responsible for long term planning and disposing of the waste generated by residents and businesses in the region. Managing the waste system needs to be responsive to our citizen’s expectations of high environmental stewardship, as well as being kept affordable.
Organizations and individuals have demonstrated commitment to the success of this regulation, through establishing residential and commercial food scraps recycling programs throughout the region. Member municipalities are supporting residents so that most single homes have a food scraps collection program available.
An expanding resource collection is available to you, including:
- how-to guide to getting a food scraps recycling program for apartments and condos started, as well as a companion brochures for residents (order copies at 604-432-6200);
- a guide for restaurants, generated by the local restaurant operators;
- an online guide to improving recycling in residential buildings;
- recommended colour schemes for recycling programs, to promote region-wide consistency;
- online posters and artwork from the ‘Food isn’t garbage’, talking food campaign, which is popular in classrooms, staffrooms, and institutions;
- online resources on food waste reduction from the popular Love Food Hate Waste campaign.
For More Information about the regulation:
If you have questions please contact the Metro Vancouver Information Centre at 604-432-6200.