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Waste less, celebrate more this holiday season

December 23 2015

Recycling boxes and bag

This season's festive events are often filled with food, decorations, parties and presents - all of which produce waste. This season, waste less and encourage family and friends to reduce, reuse and recycle to help keep holiday waste out of the landfill.

Waste-less food holiday tips

  • Make your list and check it over, groceries are nice but not needed twice.
  • Buy local, seasonal ingredients. Food less-travelled is easier on the environment.
  • Bring your own shopping bags.
  • Eat or share leftovers to reduce food waste (check out love food, hate waste)!
  • Recycle all food scraps and food soiled paper, like napkins, in your Green Bin or backyard compost.

Create memories, not garbage

  • Give experiences - most memories of Christmas past are about activities and time spent with others.
  • Give gifts that last and can be used again and again.
  • Wrap gifts using reusable materials like a scarf or a gift bag.
  • Hosting a party? Ask your guests to bring their own reusable containers to take some favourite leftovers home.

Finding out how to recycle common holiday items is easy with our Waste Wizard. Download VanConnect to have the Waste Wizard at the touch of your fingers or, visit vancouver.ca/recycle.

Recycling this holiday season

Reuse Next Year

  • Decorations
  • Lights
  • Foil gift wrap, ribbons and bows

Yellow bag or mixed paper cart

  • Paper gift wrap and paper bags
  • Greeting cards
  • Cardboard and boxboard gift boxes

Green bin (food scraps)

  • Turkey meat and bones
  • Coffee filters, coffee grounds, and tea bags
  • Food soiled paper plates, and napkins
  • Dish, seafood, and shells

Blue box or mixed containers cart

  • Eggnog cartons
  • Plastic trays
  • Tetra Pak cartons
  • Frozen dessert boxes
  • Aluminum + steel cans

Garbage collection during the holidays

If your collection day falls on Saturday, December 26 (Boxing Day) your garbage, Green Bin and recycling will be collected on Sunday, December 27.

Greenest City 2020

Successes during 2014-2015 that have helped bring us closer to reaching our Zero Waste goal as part of the Greenest City 2020 Action Plan include:

  • Banned organics from the landfill: the implementation and successful participation in the Green Bin program has helped to reduce the amount of garbage going to the landfill by over 40%.

  • Expanded recycling program: with an expanded list of materials now accepted as part of the curb-side recycling program - such as Tetra Paks, dessert containers and single-use coffee and tea pods - more materials are being recycled and diverted from the landfill than ever.
  • Mandated deconstruction and wood waste recycling: Metro Vancouver's Clean Wood Waste Disposal Ban will be implemented at our transfer stations and landfill, and is expected to divert approximately 15,000 tonnes of wood regionally each year. This clean wood can be used as alternative fuel, composting, landscaping, or in select cases, reuse in construction.