Burnaby food compost collection for apartments

First published on November 7, 2011

For a few years now, several cities in Metro Vancouver have been accepting kitchen scraps in addition to the regular garbage and recycling curb-side pick-ups. Usually this means that there is an additional, green bin, where residents place items including fruit and vegetable waste, egg shells, meat bones, tea bags, food-soiled paper, and more. However, only single- and dual-family residences were included in the programs; apartments / condos, town-houses, and other multi-family complexes — those least likely to have yards in which they can do their own composting — were excluded.

Starting in Fall 2011, the City of Burnaby is now opening up their food scraps recycling program to multi-family buildings.

Composting food scraps serves many purposes, including but not limited to: diverting waste from landfills; producing better and more efficient local soil; and reducing the need for commercial fertilizers.

If your building has not already contacted the city in order to participate in the program, send this link to your strata council or property / building manager. The City of Burnaby food scraps recycling page has a lot of good information on: what items are and are not accepted; how to wrap scraps (don’t use plastic bags!); and how to get your building to participate in the program.

According to this report, it was expected that “by 2006, single and two family dwellings will represent 43 percent of the housing stock, apartments will represent 44 percent and townhouses will account for 13 percent”. Also, between 1996 and 2006, townhouses and apartments / condos were expected to account for over 80% of new population growth. Therefore, the excluded majority can finally participate in this program!

Update: I’ve contacted the City of Burnaby, who tell me that about 80% of multi-family complexes are served by the city for waste management. For the remaining 20%, they can ask their private hauling company about food scraps recycling and pressure them to offer it if they do not already. All organic waste in Metro Vancouver is going to be banned from the regular garbage by 2015.


One Response to “Burnaby food compost collection for apartments”

  1. Nancy F says:

    *meat bones*?!?!?! REally? In the compost? I can see everything from used table napkins to tea bags to fruit and veg, and eggshells if broken up, but meat is usually a big no-no. Glad the composting is increasing though. :)

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