About Food Scraps Recycling

Metro Vancouver and member municipalities encourage food scraps recycling because it's the right thing to do, it takes waste out of our landfills, it reduces our methane contributions, and it creates compost and bioenergy.



Metro Vancouver has developed this two minute video to explain the introduction of the food scraps recycling rules. Available in English, French, Japanese, Mandarin, PunjabiTagalog and Korean.



This short brochure is a resource developed for businesses. It prints 3 across and is available in English, French, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Punjabi and Tagalog.

Currently local municipalities collect food scraps from about 95% of the region's single family homes. Many businesses, apartments and condos are establishing food scraps recycling either through their city, waste hauler, or an occupant-driven initiative.



Why food scraps in garbage are a problem

When food and other organic materials end up in the garbage they:

  • Create methane, a powerful greenhouse gas that adds to global warming. In the landfill, buried under layers of waste and without access to oxygen, food can't decompose properly.
  • Use up a lot of precious landfill space. Space is limited, and creating more landfills is undesirable. Over 30% of what we send to the landfill in our region is compostable organics.
  • Make waste-to-energy processes less efficient because of their high moisture content. About a third of the region's waste is disposed in the waste-to-energy facility.

This video, developed by City of Calgary, tells a clear story about foods scraps in the landfill.

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What is banned

Food scraps need to be separated from regular garbage. This includes raw food, plate scrapings, leftovers, depackaged food, meat, etc.

What GOES in a Green Bin?

  • All food, including produce, grains, dairy, and meat
  • Prepared food (leftovers)
  • Shells (egg shells, seafood shells) and bones
  • Small amounts of fat, oil, and grease
  • Wooden chopsticks, skewers, popsicle sticks
  • Coffee grounds and filters, tea bags
  • Food packaging, such as food-soiled pizza boxes, waxed cardboard, and paper bags
  • Food-soiled paper, like napkins, and food-soiled newsprint (often used to line a kitchen catcher)

Check with your hauler to ensure you are recycling all that you can.

Who’s involved

  • Commercial buildings (examples include grocery stores, restaurants, hotels, retail stores and shopping malls, offices)
  • Institutional and industrial buildings (examples include health care facilities and schools)
  • Single family houses and residential buildings


This disposal ban is enforced the same as the region's other disposal bans. Waste is inspected when it is delivered to a regional disposal facility. If a waste load contains excessive amounts of recyclable materials, the hauler pays a surcharge of 50% on the cost of disposal.


The Recycling Council of BC staff can answer questions and provide contacts for commercial recycling services. Contact the Recycling Hotline at 604-REC-YCLE (604-732-9253).

Engagement and Input on the Organics Disposal Ban

The Organics Disposal Ban is an action in the region's Integrated Solid Waste and Resource Management Plan. During its development, extensive public engagement helped identify that removing organics from disposal is a highly desirable priority for this region.

Since 2011, Metro Vancouver has engaged restaurants, grocers, Business Improvement Areas, public health facilities, schools, property managers and small businesses to assess the challenges and opportunities for reducing and recycling food waste.

In 2014, Metro Vancouver engaged again on the Organics Disposal Ban, this time on the details of how such a rule would be put in place. A full report on the process and feedback is found here.