Vancouver looks at change in recycling collection schedule


Garbage collection service will be switched to every other week next year, if city council approves a staff recommendation to implement the final phase of its food scraps composting program for single-family homes.

Council will consider approving the transition for about 100,000 single-family and duplex households across the city at the planning, transportation, and environment committee next Wednesday (October 17).

Peter Judd, Vancouver’s general manager of engineering services, said the schedule change would come into effect in the spring or summer of next year, with a communications campaign starting earlier in the spring. He noted the change in collection frequency is what has encouraged residents to switch to composting in other cities, such as Portland and Seattle. As the frequency of garbage collection is reduced to every two weeks, green bin collection will be increased to once a week.

“That’s one of the things that all of the cities that have done this kind of thing…have found is that that’s absolutely critical and that’s what drives the change in behaviour is the change in collection frequency, and we found that in the pilot areas too,” Judd told the Straight by phone.

The motion going before council also recommends that staff report back with an approach to move toward the introduction of mandatory recycling of compostable waste across all sectors before 2015, when a regional ban comes into effect.

“What we’re…talking about is coming forward with a plan for what we’re going to do in the multi-family and commercial sector,” said Judd.

As part of the food scraps program, council is being asked to approve a loan of $10.4 million to cover operating and capital costs, including the supply of additional recycling carts and distribution of kitchen containers, the implementation of a communications plan around the program, and improvements to transfer stations.

The council discussion next week follows the city’s transition last month to allowing Vancouver single-family households to include all food scraps, including fruits, vegetables, meat and dairy, in yard trimming bins. The initiative was first launched as a pilot project in two neighbourhoods.

Comments (5) Add New Comment
Trash Talk?
Council will "consider" this on October 16th? But didn't Mayor Robertson already announce the expansion of food waste pick-up in a choreographed media circus in early September? Is the article confirming that the Mayor was making assumptions about the future decisions of Council? That Council doesn't go into these deliberations with open minds?
Rating: -4
My little test area has been doing this for about 1 year now. Just make sure you have an extra big garbage can, so you can go two weeks. It is really full by pick up time even though we use the blue boxes that we have and the green bin.
Rating: +1
I'm also in a test area..
Just wait until you see the "garbage inspectors" that come with this program. Teams of 3 bureaucrats in safety vests walking behind the truck, all carrying clipboards, poking through everyone's garbage, writing notes and leaving little infraction notices.

You can't help but laugh when you're watching a few pounds of kitchen scraps being lifted high into the air by a hydraulic arm attached to a giant diesel truck. Doesn't really smack of green efficiency. A system based around wicker baskets and kids looking for work experience would have done the job just fine.
Rating: +1
I love when the government passes the problem on to us - kind of like having fat Gordo telling people to get in shape.
Rating: -2
This is criminal. We get charged for weekly garbage collection. Is this bill going to get cut in half? Will the city provide HUGE recycling bags and bins to hold 2 weeks of garbage, the tiny blue and yellow bags are too small already! No private company could cut service in half and charge the same amount.
Rating: -2
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