Local governments have been active in climate action for twenty years, but we need to do more. Metro Vancouver is working with residents, municipalities, and other partners to develop a roadmap for climate action for waste management in this region.

In 2020 Metro Vancouver published a Discussion Paper exploring opportunities for climate action related to waste management. This paper supports an ongoing conversation on the bold actions required today to achieve a carbon neutral region by 2050.

What you will find in this discussion paper

Waste management facilities in the region handle the solid waste (i.e., garbage, recycling, etc.) and liquid waste (i.e., wastewater from toilets, sinks, etc.) of half the population of BC. These facilities are a multibillion-dollar investment that protects people and the natural environment. As we advance our waste management practices to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, we can also reduce the vulnerability of waste management infrastructure to climate hazards like floods and wildfires, and contribute to a more resilient economy.

Greenhouse gas emissions from solid waste are driven by the end-of-life management of goods and products, including disposal, recycling and composting. Air contaminant emissions from liquid waste are linked to population size, which is expected to rise. We need to accelerate our climate actions to reduce consumption-related emissions, improve air quality, and achieve carbon neutral waste management.

We are creating a roadmap to help us reach a carbon neutral, resilient future. By 2050, we can reduce solid waste emissions by preventing waste from being created in the first place through transitioning to a circular economy that designs out waste. We can also reduce emissions by further diverting waste through reuse and recycling, and recovering more low-carbon energy from solid waste sources. Liquid waste management can continue to focus on generating more low-carbon energy.

This roadmap development will align with the upcoming update to Metro Vancouver’s solid waste management plan and liquid waste management plan. 


Feedback on the Waste Management Discussion Paper is open to July 31, 2021.

Have questions or need information? Email the project team

If you are interested in Waste Management beyond climate action considerations, Metro Vancouver will begin processes to update both the region’s Liquid Waste Management Plan (Liquid Waste mailing list) and Solid Waste Management Plan (Solid Waste mailing list) in 2020/21. To get involved, sign up for the mailing lists.