Organics Ban 2015

Beginning in 2015, ALL food waste and food-soiled paper products will be banned from the landfill.

All residences, businesses, institutions and organizations will be required to separate organics from their regular garbage.

Waste distribution

Overview


Why?

1/3 of waste in landfills is compostable organics!

Food scraps that end up in landfills get buried under masses of garbage and are unable to break down.  Instead they create methane, a greenhouse gas which contributes to global warming.

One of the goals of Metro Vancouver as a region is to get our recycling rate from 55% up to 70% by the year 2015. This organics ban is one of the key actions to making this target happen.

What do I do?

Everyone will need to contact their garbage hauler or landlord to determine how the organics will be collected and if they will supply bins.

Restaurants/Food Service (includes cafes, fast food restaurants, etc.)

  • Metro Vancouver has provided some helpful resources to assist restaurants, food service providers, and grocers. You can view this guide they have provided called Closing the Loop here
  • Once the ban is in effect (2015), your business will be required to separate organic materials from regular garbage, organics will be brought to facilities and turned into compost or biofuel.
  • You should have separate bins both in the kitchens and in customer areas  for garbage and organics with clear signage of what goes in what.
  • We suggest color coding your bins.  Green is the standard color for organics.

A Note about Take-Out

Styrofoam can’t be either recycled or composted. To reduce waste and in order to allow customers to recycle their take-out, purchase containers that are recyclable or compostable.  A list of products that can be used for composting take-out containers can be found on page 11 of the Closing the Gap guide.

 

Other businesses (offices, banks, retail, automotive, etc.)

  • You will need to place a couple extra bins for organics in your organization’s lunch room, kitchen, or wherever else there may be food consumed to ensure organics go in separate containers from other garbage.

Benefits of Recycling Organics

Protect the environment

  • 60% of waste in landfills is organic and could be diverted to recycling facilities and turned into biofuel or compost.
  • Recycling organics reduces greenhouse gas emissions, returns nutrients to the soil and conserves waterways.

Cost savings

  • Recycling organics can reduce volumes of garbage; your hauler may adjust your waste removal contract to reflect the reduced volumes of garbage leading to cost savings.

Brand enhancement

  • You can enhance your brand by building customer loyalty by being green.
  • Nine out of ten Canadians rate the environment as one of their top concerns, customers will appreciate and be loyal to your organization if they are aware that you are being sustainable.

Employee retention and recruitment

  • Research shows that more and more job seekers are seeking work with environmentally friendly practices (Source: Metro Vancouver).
  • Shared values between employees and employers leads to easier employee recruitment and higher retention.

What can go in organics?

fruits & vegetables

fruits & vegetables

meat, fish, shelfish & bones

meat, fish, shelfish & bones

egg shells & dairy

egg shells & dairy

bread, pasta, beans & rice

bread, pasta, beans & rice

wax coated paper products & fast food packaging

wax coated paper products & fast food packaging

sauces, salad dressing, cooking oils & jam

sauces, salad dressing, cooking oils & jam

sauces, salad dressing, cooking oils & jam

plain uncoated plant fibre-based plates, bowls & clamshells

plain & food grade wax-coated wooden cutlery, chopsticks & stir sticks

plain & food grade wax-coated wooden cutlery, chopsticks & stir sticks

What NOT to put in organics?

  • Styrofoam
  • Aluminum paper
  • Foil Paper
  • Plastics (lids, wrap, trays, packages, cutlery, etc.)

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