Food Scraps 101: Tips for hassle-free food scraps recycling

Did you know that, since the Green Bin Program started, Vancouver households have reduced the amount of garbage going to the landfill by 40%?

But we can still do better!

Read on for no-fuss, no-mess tips for easily recycling your food scraps – without odours or pests – and help us become the greenest city in the world by 2020!

Tips for your kitchen container

Watch this video with Chinese subtitles on YouTube

Line it

Use it

  • Drain excess liquids from your food scraps down the sink.
  • Wrap your food scraps in newspaper, paper towel, or a paper bag before placing them into your kitchen container.
  • Shut the lid when you don't use it.
  • Freeze smelly food scraps in a container or zipper-top bag until collection day.
  • Capture fruit flies in a bowl of vinegar covered with plastic wrap, pricked with a few holes. 

Empty it

  • Empty it often into your Green Bin.

Clean it

  • Rinse your kitchen container after emptying it. 
  • Sprinkle baking soda in the bottom to remove odours and deter insects.

Tips for your Green Bin

Store it

  • Store your bin outside in a shady, flat, and ventilated location.
  • Keep the lid closed.
  • Place the bin away from fences and deck railings to avoid animals getting inside or knocking it over. Otherwise, secure the bin with a bungee cord.
  • If animals chew on the bin, rub peppermint oil, hot sauce, cayenne, or chili powder on the chewed spot.

Use it

  • Line your bin with newsprint, cardboard, or yard trimmings before adding your food scraps to absorb liquid.
  • Keep the contents of your bin dry by alternating a layer of food scraps with a layer of leaves, grass clippings, or dead plants. Let the leaves and grass clippings dry first.
  • Set your bin out for collection every week, even if it isn't full.
  • Eliminate maggots with salt or vinegar.
  • Capture fruit flies in a bowl of vinegar covered with plastic wrap, pricked with a few holes.

Clean it

  • Rinse your bin occasionally with a garden hose, mild detergent, or vinegar and water solution. If you want to, hire a private company to clean your bin (see below).

Hire a company to clean your Green Bin

This list of bin-cleaning companies is for information only. The City does not support or guarantee the services of these companies.

Bin Bath


Happy Bin Cleaning


No plastic in Green Bins

No plastic bags in food scraps The composting facility in Richmond can’t process any kind of plastic, even bags marketed “biodegradable" or "compostable" as it degrades the quality of the finished compost.

If there is too much plastic contamination, the truckload of yard trimmings and food scraps might simply go to the landfill.

Help your garden grow

Backyard Compost Bin

Garden composters

Buy an affordable backyard compost bin and get composting tips. Composting your food scraps and yard trimmings is a great way to reduce your household waste and create nutrient-rich fertilizer for your garden.

National Food Policy

In September 2017, we submitted a response to the National Food Policy consultations.

Read our submission  (500 KB)

Read the Federal Government's response  (115 KB)