Zero waste—diverting waste from the landfill— is critical to solving today's climate crisis.
Read about the:
These priority actions represent important systemic and behavioral changes that can be achieved through engaged partnerships. They support moving to a closed-loop, cradle-to-cradle economy where resources are put to the highest and best use.
Demolition of pre‐1940 homes in Vancouver must comply with the new Green Demolition Bylaw: 75% of the demolition material must be reused or recycled (90% in the case of character homes).
More than 96% of single-family home demolitions have complied to the Green Demolition Bylaw, with an average diversion rate of 86%, compared to a typical demolition which only diverts around 50%.
In December 2015, Council approved expanding the Green Demolition Bylaw to include:
Since we began collecting food scraps from residences as part of the Green Bin program, the amount of:
Nearly 100% of all apartment and condo buildings with City waste collection now have access to the Green Bin program or alternative measures. Seven out of 10 businesses that generate food waste in the city have set up an organics-recycling program.
We established the Keep Vancouver Spectacular (KVS) program with Tourism Vancouver to empower residents who want to help keep Vancouver clean, green, and spectacular.
In 2015, over 12,000 bags of litter were collected by volunteers; one volunteer alone collected 560 bags!
Over the years, more than 225,000 volunteers have taken to the streets to keep the city beautiful for those who visit and live here.
We teamed up with volunteers from the Keep Vancouver Spectacular program, ElectroRecycle, and Encorp to set up electronic recycling drop‐off events throughout the year.
In 2015, over 11,000 electronics and small appliances were diverted from disposal and recycled through our drop-off events.
Get more details about our successes: Read the implementation update for 2015-2016 (8 MB)
Initiatives that brought us closer to reaching the Zero Waste goal from 2014 to 2015.
In early 2015, Metro Vancouver placed a regional ban on the disposal of food scraps in the garbage. In preparation for this, over the last year 93% of multi-unit residential buildings serviced by us switched over to our Green Bin program for organics.
We worked with buildings that are serviced by private haulers to start an organics disposal program for their buildings. A regional awareness program, led by Metro Vancouver and supported by us helped spread the word that “food isn’t garbage!”
As of May 2014, materials such as milk cartons, Tetra Paks, paper cups, ice cream tubs, and paper/metal containers such as frozen juice cans can go into our curbside recycling program. Styrofoam and plastic bags can be dropped off for recycling at our depots.
More than 50,000 bottles have been dropped off daily since GreenHUB opened in July 2014. The new facility—a collaboration between Recycling Alternative and United We Can—processes hundreds of tonnes of recyclables each month and runs its vehicle fleet on biodiesel. The collaboration improves the efficiency of both operations through shared space and resources.
As part of the Heritage Action Plan, the Green Demolition ByLaw was approved in June 2014. The bylaw states that pre-1940 homes for one or two families must divert 70-90% of waste during demolition. The expected waste that will be diverted from the landfill is around 6,000 to 9,000 tonnes each year.
Get more details about our successes: Read the implementation update for 2014-2015 (2 MB)
The metrics for Zero Waste rely on city and regional waste collection data and models.
Solid waste data is compiled first at a regional level and then at the city level. As a result, Vancouver’s data is always one year behind the reporting period.
These metrics are maintained by the Waste Management and Resource Recovery Division within Engineering Services at the City.
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Demolishing a building in Vancouver often requires at least one permit. Find out the requirements for your project, including for reusing and recycling demolition materials.
Food isn't garbage. Learn more about food scraps recycling and what other items go in your Green Bin.
Make your event more sustainable with our Green Events Planning Guide. How will you manage garbage and recycling? Hire the City, a business or do it yourself.