Tools and resources

WRAP UK Tools for the Food Retail

Sector WRAP, an organization based in the UK, envisions a world where resources are used sustainably. They work with a wide range of partners, including major UK businesses, trade bodies, local authorities, and individuals looking for practical advice. A few of the resources for food retailers are

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.

Recycling Signage and Colours 

How many Green Bins does my building need?

Use this guide to estimate how many Green Bins are needed for non-residential buildings.

Food donation guidelines

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?

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 (732-9253).

Food Waste Reduction Alliance (FWRA)

This alliance, established 2011, is an initiative of the Grocery Manufacturers Association (representing food and beverage companies), the Food Marketing Institute (representing food retailers), and the National Restaurant Association (representing the foodservice industry) from the USA. Read their benchmark report released in 2013.

With good access to recycling options, food retailers in the Lower Mainland experience less barriers to recycling food scraps than those in other cities.

Closing the Loop Guide

Some of the resources developed locally for restaurants in the Closing the Loop Guide, such as getting started, staff training, and health and safety are useful to grocers. It’s a practical document to help you design, implement and maintain a food scraps recycling program.

USDA Estimates of the value of food lost at the postharvest and retail level

This report, produced by the US Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service in 2014, concludes that about 31% of the food in the US food supply goes uneaten (similar to Canadian estimates) and values this food at $161.6 billion using retail prices.

Review of technologies for treating food waste on-site

Business have asked about options for managing organics on site. These reports compare various options available in Canada. Criteria for the reviews include operational costs, corporate sustainability, footprint, and maintenance.

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 multifamily 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.