Tools and Resources

2 minute video explaining the new rules

This video explains the new rules about recycling food scraps, including the phasing in and enforcement. It was designed to inform business operators, staff and even customers on why separating food from regular garbage is part of the way we manage our waste in this region. Available in English, French, Japanese, Mandarin, Punjabi, Tagalog and Korean.

Restaurant Food Waste Reduction Guide

The Restaurant Guide explains how to reduce food waste through prevention, donation, and recycling. It also contains a 7 step guide to help you design, implement and maintain a successful food waste recycling program.

For more detailed guides please consult the following:

How many Green Bins does my building need?

Use this guide to estimate how many Green Bins are needed for a restaurant, food retail space, office building, or large venue.

Recycling Hotline

The Recycling Council of BC staff can answer your questions about the organics disposal ban, and provide a list of commercial hauling and depackaging services. Contact the Recycling Hotline at 604-REC-YCLE (604-732-9253).

Food donation tips

Metro Vancouver estimates 13,000 tonnes of healthy, edible food is thrown out in the region’s transfer stations each year. Increasing donations may help reduce what you throw away.

NEW Industry Food Donation Guidelines now available on the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) website here:  (click the “Donation Guidelines” tab and scroll to “Industry Food Donation Guidelines”)

The BC Centre for Disease Control (the Provincial authority on donating food), in partnership with the Greater Vancouver Food Bank, Food Banks BC and Metro Vancouver, published the Industry Food Donation Guidelines to encourage donations of safe, healthy food to local food banks and charities. The Guidelines help business owners, managers or other decision makers answer these questions:

  • Why donate food?
  • How to start and manage a food donation program? – step by step guide
  • What foods are suitable for donation?
  • What about risk and liability?


Food waste prevention is a way for restaurants to realize savings, fine tune menu planning and engage staff in improving kitchen efficiency. A successful food waste prevention program begins with an assessment of your waste. Both the US EPA, and WRAP UK have conducted extensive research and developed tools that can help with waste assessment and provides recommendations on how to improve operations.

On-site Technology options and reviews

On-Site Organics Management Options Review, 2014

Businesses have asked about options for managing organics on-site. This report is for businesses and institutions that produce 10 to 1,000 tonnes of food waste per year (360 L to 40 cubic yards per week) and multi-family buildings with at least 50 units. The technologies include methods to store, de-water, condense, or process food waste on-site, and are available in Canada. Technologies that discharge an end product to the sewer system were excluded. Criteria for the reviews include operational costs, corporate sustainability, footprint, and maintenance.

On-Site Composting for Multi-Family, Businesses, and Institutions

City Farmer, operates the regional Compost Hotline and also maintains a web resource of some currently operating smaller on-site technologies.

‘On-Site Composting’ for Multi-Family, Businesses and Institutions

On-site composting technology review, 2012

This report examined seven on-site composting operations ranging from low tech traditional bin systems in multi-family residential buildings to high tech automated systems in institutions. Detailed case studies are presented. All technologies produce compost, and are best suited to sites that can use the finished compost in local landscaping, and require a committed operator.


Consistent colours and icons for recycling facilities

Seeing consistent recycling signage whether at work, school, or a common recycling room, helps staff and customers quickly sort their recycling, reduces contamination and increases recycling rates. You’re encouraged to use these materials to help with your own waste reduction initiatives. There is no copyright. Materials are free to download and use.

Recycling Signage and Colours