Update on Vancouver Food Scrap By-Law Changes

This post is to advise you of some recent updates to City of Vancouver and Metro Vancouver Bylaws regarding food waste disposal.

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Metro Vancouver Organics Disposal Ban

As you are likely aware, in 2015, a Metro Vancouver Organics Disposal Ban on disposing food scraps and other compostable materials in landfills and incinerators will come into effect across the region.  A phased implementation strategy for the Organics Disposal Ban was approved by the Metro Vancouver Board on October 10, 2014. Starting in July 2015, following a 6 month education period, a surcharge will be applied to loads of garbage if the quantity of organics exceeds 25% of the load. Typically only loads from large generators such as grocery stores and food processors without effective organics recycling programs would exceed 25% organics. The threshold will be reduced over time to provide businesses and residents the opportunity to put organics recycling systems in place.

City of Vancouver Solid Waste By-Law Changes

Vancouver City Council has also put in place complimentary regulations around food scrap disposal.  Council approved updates to City By-laws on October 14, 2014 which will come into effect on January 1, 2015. The approved amendments restrict the disposal of food waste with garbage and require that all holders of business licenses, and owners or occupiers of either residential or non-residential properties in Vancouver have a food waste diversion plan and ensure that food waste is disposed of according to that plan.  The food waste diversion plan must be to the satisfaction of the City Engineer. This means that businesses, and other property owners and occupants that produce food scraps, should develop and put in place plans to divert those materials from garbage in 2015.

A report outlining Vancouver’s approach to managing organics may be found here: http://former.vancouver.ca/ctyclerk/cclerk/20140722/documents/rr1.pdf

The by-law amendments (By-law amendments 11-13) as approved are available at http://former.vancouver.ca/ctyclerk/cclerk/20141014/regu20141014ag.htm


Enforcement of the City of Vancouver bylaw amendments requiring that all buildings have a food scraps collection plan in place will also be phased in.  The City’s focus in 2015 will be to continue to provide information on how buildings can get a food scraps collection program in place. Priority will initially be placed on the highest generators of food scraps, such as restaurants and grocery stores.

For more information on the upcoming changes and to access resources available to help you transition, please visit:

http://www.metrovancouver.org/foodscraps  or http://vancouver.ca/home-property-development/food-isnt-garbage-2015-organics-ban.aspx

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