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New rules for food scraps in garbage collection

Metro Vancouver is changing the way we manage our waste. 

As of January 1, 2015 food waste must be separated from other garbage. 

Already, 95% of Metro Vancouver residents living in detached homes separate food scraps from garbage using the Green Can program for curbside collection. 

Now, businesses and multi-family residential buildings must develop a plan to separate food scraps from garbage by June 30, 2015. 

Business owners

Talk to your private garbage collector about setting up an organics collection service. Metro Vancouver has many useful tips for business owners. 

Property managers

Managers of multi-family residential buildings, condos and stratas or mixed-use (commercial and residential) buildings already receiving municipal garbage and yard waste collection service may also be suited for municipal food scraps collection. Talk to your municipal or private garbage hauler. 

Condominium owners

Condominium owners should contact their strata council, property manager, or municipal government for more information on the local organics collection program. 

Learn more about food scraps collection for multi-unit buildings (in Metro Vancouver). 

Watch a video on how to set up your green bin. 

Why is this necessary? We waste too much food

The level of food we waste is unacceptable. 

“Almost a third of the food we buy ends up in the garbage, according to Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie, who also chairs Metro Vancouver’s Zero Waste Committee. 

“Reducing the amount of food we waste and recycling our scraps we can keep tonnes of food out of the landfill,” said Mayor Brodie. 

In the City of Vancouver alone, if every resident recycled food scraps for just one year, a total of 5,500 trucks worth of food scraps would not go to the landfill. 

Note: each municipality is dealing with how the food waste ban is implemented. For information contact your local municipality. 

Put these items in your green bin

Detached homes – put all your food scraps, plate scrapings and food-soiled paper in your Green Bin for weekly collection.

Green bin 1

Do not put these items in your green bin 

Green bin 2
Source of Graphics: City of Vancouver


The rules are enforced when waste haulers deliver garbage to regional facilities for inspection. 

For the first six months, penalties will not be charged to give residents and businesses time to implement effective plans for separating food waste from the garbage. 


Watch this video (available in five languages) about the organics disposal ban. 

For general information about Metro Vancouver’s Organics Ban. You can also phone the Recycling Council of BC hotline at 604-RECYCLE or 604-732-9253. 


Information about other Metro Vancouver disposal bans

Note: each municipality is dealing with how they implement Metro Vancouver’s new rules. For information contact your local municipality. 

For the City of Vancouver

Learn what can go in the garbage.

Learn what can go in the recycling bin.

In the City of Vancouver get a larger Green Bin

Drop off extra year yard waste (no food scraps) at the transfer station or landfill for a fee

Get bins, boxes, bags and stickers. 

For information, go to and in the search box type Green Can Program and the name of your municipality, for example, Green Can Program North Vancouver.


March 9, 2015 - Metro Vancouver is changing the way we manage our waste. As of January 1, 2015 food waste must be separated from other garbage. 

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