Thursday, July 14, 2011

City of Vancouver Finally Gets Behind Composting

Quest volunteer, Kelsey, has done research on the City of Vancouver's improved composting program. 'Bout time!

It was announced this week that Vancouver City Council has approved plans to expand the multi-family food scraps collection pilot project throughout the city by next fall. The project will work toward decreasing the amount of waste the city produces through mass compost collection.
By next September, 2,000 homes in the Riley Park and Sunset neighborhoods will be able to compost dairy products, meat, and bread in addition to conventional compostable food scraps like fruits, vegetables, eggshells, coffee filters, teabags and yard trimmings. Additionally, residents and business owners in the area can expect their garbage pick-up to decrease to once every two weeks.

While changing one's household routine no doubt takes some getting used to, it is evident that the benefits far outweigh the costs. Currently, in Vancouver alone, about 130,000 tonnes of food go to waste every year; about 20 per cent of that comes from residential properties and subsequently the project being approved can be viewed and a significant political and environmental gain for the city. At Quest, we know all about how much food goes to the landfill unnecessarily!

The program will not affect homeowners other than changing which bin they put their garbage in. There have been concerns that a bi-weekly garbage collection will draw rats and vermin, but Chris Underwood, Vancouver's manager of solid-waste management has assured people that this will be minimal.

If the pilot is deemed successful the project will be expanded to other surrounding areas next year and will be a significant step towards creating a sustainable waste management system in Vancouver.

What are your thoughts on the composting program? We love it!


  1. An amazing improvement over the current Garbage Collection system in BC,
    and a much needed one at that, looking forward !

    Only the details have to be worked out though,
    but it is clear that most if not all food scraps should go to compost, not landfill .

  2. I live a block from the Quest Food Exchange on Dundas Street and they have tons of descent enough food that can feed a number of families that is not in the GARBAGE DUMPSTER. What a waste of food when people are going to the food bank. It could also be given to the Union Gospel Mission which feeds hundreds of people each day.