Watch Your Waste

compostcontainerMany years ago I recall telling a Metro Van staffer that if they really wanted people to compost, they should ban organics from the landfill. She laughed. Not going to happen. Well lookee here. Although with all this infrastructure and convenient pick up, sadly the numbers of backyard composters are diminishing. At any rate, try to watch your waste in 2015. Happy New Year everybody!

The Organics Disposal Ban begins January 1st, 2015. This new rule aims to encourage residents and businesses to separate food waste from regular garbage.

Initial education and enforcement will focus on large generators of food waste such as supermarkets, and major restaurants and hotels.

Here is current information about the implementation and enforcement of Organics Disposal Ban, and available tools and resources.

Implementation Schedule
The Organics Disposal Ban will be phased in throughout 2015 to 2017.

Continuing Education 
(January 1 to June 30)

  • Loads of waste brought to a transfer station with over 25% food will be identified, and the hauler of that load reminded of the ban and provided with information.
  • All businesses and residential buildings are encouraged to plan and introduce food scraps recycling programs during this time frame.
  • No penalties will be charged during this phase.

Financial Enforcement Begins
(July 1 to December 31)

  • Waste loads with more than 25% visible food will be penalized an additional 50% of the cost of disposal. (e.g. a $100 load will be charged $150). In general, this type of load is generated by a grocery or large restaurant that does not have an effective food scraps recycling program.
  • All businesses and residential buildings are encouraged to introduce and improve food scraps recycling programs during this time frame.

Full Implementation of Organics Disposal Ban 
(January 2016 to 2017)

  • The amount of food scraps allowed in the garbage will be lowered as planned to 10% and then 5% as with other disposal bans.
  • By 2017, most places should have food scraps recycling programs in place.

Information and Resources
Metro Vancouver and member municipalities have and continue to work with residents and businesses to initiate and encourage organics recycling.

As part the ongoing regional education campaign, resources and tools about organics recycling are available on Metro Vancouver’s website, including an introductory video available in five languages.

There is also a short information brochure translated into 5 languages, available for download or printing by Metro Vancouver (if you would like sets of 50, call 604-432-6200), and a popular restaurant guide to recycling called Closing the Loop.

Additional support materials will be available on the website in the near future, including a guide for multi-family residences.

Information is also available by contacting the Recycling Council of BC hotline at 604-RECYCLE.

Feedback and Questions
If you have questions about the Organics Disposal Ban, please contact Metro Vancouver at

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