Canada figures prominently in a survey of North American cities that have moved "beyond recycling" and are providing composting programs for organic wastes—but B.C. is hardly on the map.
Of the 121 cities surveyed, 55 were Canadian, but only one was British Columbian. (The B.C. city that made the survey? It was Mission—a community that has been collecting food scraps separately since the 1990s.)
The major cities in B.C. are late entrants to food scrap composting. None had the track record to make the EPA survey. Vancouver, which touts itself as the Greenest City, hasn't even left the starting blocks.
The EPA report offers a rich mix of lessons learned by these 121 communities over the years.
While our waste management officials dither about what kind of incineration technology to choose, other cities are cutting their waste in half at a fraction the cost to burn it.
Helen Spiegelman is a Vancouver-based environmentalist and blog coordinator. Read more at Zero Waste.