Over 41% of our Metro Vancouver's waste was found to be compostable organics! That's a lot of waste that we could be diverting from our landfills and instead using to build healthy nutrient-rich soil for urban agriculture and other uses.
Why Organics In Our Trash Is An Issue
- Our landfills are overflowing;
- Organics sealed in plastic bags break-down anaerobically (in the absense of oxygen) and thus produce methane gas, one of the most potent Greenhouse Gasses;
- Organics could be better used to create local soil instead of shipping that material to landfills.
How To Get Composting
Single-family Residences in Vancouver
Free Compost Pick-upOn April 1st 2010, The City of Vancouver began a curbside composting pickup service. This was something SPEC had been a strong supporter of for many years.
Learn more about Metro Vancouver's Residential Food Scraps Collection program
Composting in your backyard takes the commitment to do it right, but this shouldn't take up much of your time at all. Backyard compost boxes can be built or purchased. They are best located closer to your home so that they will be regularly used and maintained. The most important things to keep in mind are:
- To only put approved items in your bin including uncooked vegetable and fruit peels, coffee and tea grounds, rinsed egg shells and carbon-rich materials like dead leaves, shredded paper, cardboard or straw.
- To make sure your compost is well aerated by either having a healthy population of worms or aerating it with a wingdigger or pitch-fork
- To insure your compost does not contain things like meat and dairy or have wholes through which rodents can enter if you wish to avoid running into these.
Multi-family residences in Vancouver
Vancouver does not currently have a municipal compost pick-up service for multi-family homes. Compost pick-up is being phased in in Vancouver. Another reason for this is that many multi-family residences currently have contracts with private companies for recycling and compost collection. It is an area which needs further work. Companies that provide compost pick-up for a fee include: Urban Impact
, Recycling Alternative
and WCS Recycling
Consider approaching your Strata or Building Manager to inquire about installing a communal backyard composter. Be prepared to educate residents on its proper use and monitor it to make sure only allowed materials are entering and not attracting pests.
Recycling Alternative and Vancouver's Farmer's Market, with support from the City of Vancouver have teamed up to pilot a compost drop-off program at Vancouvers's Farmers' Markets. Market-goers can bring their uncooked fruit and vegetable scraps, rinsed egg-shells, coffee and tea grounds to many market locations in the city on market day. NEW: Learn more here: foodscrapsdropspot.tumblr.com/