Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Solid Waste Management - Food Waste in the City of Langley

As a region, Metro Vancouver has adopted the aggressive goal of diverting 70% of solid waste (garbage) from going to landfill by 2015 and 80% by 2020. This is an aggressive goal, but important in reducing our region’s ecological footprint. To meet the 2015 diversion goal, the region expects that 30% of waste from multi-family housing and 65% from single-family housing will be diverted from landfill (the 70% goal is met by higher diversion rates in the commercial, industrial, and construction sectors.)

Food waste comprises 21% of the solid waste that goes to landfill. Metro Vancouver set the goal of requiring municipalities to setup curb-side kitchen scrap removal by 2012 for single-family housing and 2015 for multi-family housing. Municipalities like Surrey and the Township of Langley have implemented this system for single-family housing, and now the City of Langley will be rolling out a program. According to a press release from the City:

The City of Langley is pleased to announce the start of the New GreenCan Program for Kitchen Organic Waste beginning January 2nd, 2013 for all Single Family Residence’s in the City of Langley.

1. Add Kitchen Food Scraps to your GreenCan
- Beginning January 2, 2013, mix food scraps in with your yard trimmings and reduce the amount of garbage going to a landfill.

2. REVISED Garbage Collection Schedule
- Beginning January 2, 2013, garbage will be collected every other week (bi-weekly)
- Watch for the 2013 Recycling, GreenCan and Garbage Collection Schedule delivered to your door this month.

What’s really sad though is that the multi-family housing has such low diversion rate goal especially for a compact region like Metro Vancouver where a good portion of us live in multi-family housing. Maybe it is because those big garbage bins are just so easy to put things into. Clearly, something needs to change with how waste is handled with multi-family.

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