Project Overview

Metro Vancouver is responsible for waste reduction, recycling planning, and the operation of a series of solid waste facilities in the region.

Its current Integrated Solid Waste and Resource Management Plan (2011) is due for review and we are actively engaging with governments, including Indigenous Nations, government agencies, waste and recycling industry, waste producers, businesses, communities of interest, and Metro Vancouver residents to guide updates to the plan.



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Waste Management Today

Metro Vancouver is a North American leader in waste reduction and recycling because of the committed local residents and businesses who work hard to recycle; leading policy in regulatory framework supporting waste diversion; and public and private infrastructure working together to maximize recycling opportunities.

Today the Metro Vancouver region recycles 65% of the waste generated (compared to a Canadian average of 26.5%) and by reducing, reusing, and recycling, the people of the region have managed to decrease the amount of waste generated by 11% per person since 2010. Even so, we produce 490 kg (0.49 tonnes) of garbage per person per year and there is much work to be done.

The region is guided by its commitment to environmental stewardship and affordable and accessible waste management services. The Integrated Solid Waste and Resource Management Plan (2011) contains goals and objectives for the management of garbage and recyclable materials. The plan was approved by the BC Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy in 2011, and is due for an update.  

Why Update the Plan?

Provincial guidelines recommend initiating a plan review on or before the 10-year anniversary of the current plan's approval.

Metro Vancouver's current Integrated Solid Waste and Resource Management Plan (2011) established goals and targets for waste reduction and the recovery of materials and energy from waste, and supporting strategies and actions for Metro Vancouver and its member jurisdictions.

Metro Vancouver is updating its solid waste management plan, building on the strengths of the current plan, and identifying opportunities for accelerated waste reduction and diversion while reducing greenhouse gases and promoting a circular economy.

The plan update process is expected to take 2-3 years and will be supported by robust Indigenous and public engagement.

Your Opinion Counts

Metro Vancouver is committed to engaging audiences who may be impacted by or have an interest in the review and update of the solid waste management plan, they will be asked to provide feedback during all phases of engagement. Key examples include:

  • Government and regulatory agencies, including Indigenous Nations in BC*, provincial and federal governments, member municipalities, adjacent regional districts, crown corporations, airport and port authorities, and health authorities
  • Waste and recycling industry, including haulers, processors, extended producer responsibility programs, disposal facilities, waste / recycling industry associations, binner community,  and reuse / repair organizations
  • Waste producers, including various sectors such as food service, grocery, construction, tourism, office and property management, real estate, retail, residents, and educational institutions
  • Industry and business associations, professional associations and academic institutions
  • Community, environmental and non-profit groups, NGOs, youth and students, and Urban Indigenous Peoples
  • Metro Vancouver residents

* While Indigenous and Urban Indigenous Peoples will be invited to participate in public engagement activities, a separate Indigenous engagement strategy focuses on government-to-government engagement with Indigenous Nations.

The solid waste management plan public engagement program was brought to the Zero Waste Committee GVS&DD Board in November 2021:

* The engagement program is an iterative document and will be adapted and updated with each engagement phase as the solid waste management plan is developed.

Metro Vancouver has formed a Public/Technical Advisory Committee made up of individuals with relevant personal qualities and experience, from a range of backgrounds, who will provide advice and input on the development of an updated solid waste management plan. Learn more.

  • Technical Research and Studies Supporting the Plan Update

    Metro Vancouver is undertaking technical studies to support the solid waste management plan update. This evidence-based information will be used to inspire idea generation and guide the analysis of options to accelerate waste reduction and diversion while reducing greenhouse gases and promoting a circular economy region.

    The studies will provide information on:

    • the performance of solid waste facilities in the Metro Vancouver region
    • current challenges and opportunities
    • global best practices
    • the latest research and new technologies, the financial, social and environmental impacts of options and initiatives

    The technical studies will be shared as background information during Indigenous and public engagement to help Indigenous peoples, local residents, businesses and communities of interest propose ideas, compare options and support actions that will be incorporated into the plan.

    Circular Economy and 3Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) Study

    The study will:

    • define circular economy and highlight the opportunities for our region;
    • estimate the economic value, job creation and greenhouse gas reduction potential of reducing, reusing or recycling materials that are currently disposed as garbage; and
    • highlight 75 local and global recycling and waste reduction initiatives with the greatest potential to reduce waste and address climate change, equity, community cohesion, regional prosperity, ecological health and air quality.

    Solid Waste System Assessment Study

    The study will:

    • assess the current regional solid waste system;
    • profile existing programs, map regional private recycling services;
    • conduct a best practices review of design and operations for recycling and waste centres; and
    • model different facility scenarios based on drive-time, distance and greenhouse gas emissions to forecast future system demands and improvements.

    Metro Vancouver Recycling and Solid Waste Management Annual Report

    This annual report provides baseline information and data about how garbage and recycling is managed in Metro Vancouver. These reports contain updates about annual behavioral change campaigns, research, policies, events and recycling and waste quantities. It also contains a snapshot of how the region is performing against goals and aspirations set out in the solid waste management plan. View the 2020 report here.

Public Engagement Phases

  • Pre-Engagement (April 27 – May 28, 2021)

    The public pre-engagement phase ran from April 27 to May 28, 2021, with Indigenous pre-engagement extending to July 2, 2021 in alignment with Metro Vancouver’s Crown Regulatory Engagement process. We received feedback from Indigenous Nations, communities of interest, key stakeholder groups, and residents on preferred communication channels, methods of engagement, and what is needed to make participation easier.

    We heard support for:

    • early, continuous, and iterative opportunities to provide feedback
    • a variety of online and in-person (when safe to do so) engagement opportunities
    • focused, sector-specific discussions
    • sufficient time to gather and submit feedback
    • clearly defined engagement purpose and expectations, and respect for the time required of busy stakeholders
    • transparency on how input is used, and factors considered when coming to a final decision
    • collaboration with others to host engagement events and amplify communications
    • fair and collaborative engagement that fosters active listening and an open mind

    We received feedback through:

    • 335 online questionnaire submissions
    • 13 meetings with staff
    • 4 workshops and presentations
    • 8 groups presented to the Consultation and Engagement Panel
    • Written submissions from 6 organizations
    • Updates to 3 municipal committees
    • 4 social media platforms

    Metro Vancouver will use the feedback from this pre-engagement phase to help shape a multi-phased engagement program on the solid waste management plan update.

    The results of the pre-engagement phase were reported to the Zero Waste Committee on July 16:

Consultation and Engagement Panel

  • Members and Terms of Reference

    The Solid Waste Management Plan Independent Consultation and Engagement Panel, established by the Greater Vancouver Sewerage and Drainage District Board, was formed to act as an independent, third party advising staff and the Board on consultation and engagement. A comprehensive engagement program involving a broad range of stakeholders and perspectives will be a critical element in the development of an updated solid waste management plan. Recognizing this, Metro Vancouver has taken the unique approach of convening a panel of engagement experts to guide the development and implementation of a robust and inclusive engagement process. The Panel will report out to the Board on engagement during all phases of the solid waste management plan development.

    • Andrea Reimer, Chair
    • Cheryl Brooks, Panelist
    • Peter Fassbender, Panelist
    • Veronika Bylicki, Panelist
    • Metro Vancouver Director Jack Froese, Zero Waste Committee Liaison

    See full bios
    See terms of reference




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Tell us!

How would you like to be updated and provide feedback on the updated solid waste plan?

  • Email us to set up an online meeting to discuss the engagement process.

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