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No food wasted under new Vancouver compost program


Vancouverites could soon be able to compost all their food scraps
Vancouverites could soon be able to compost all their food scraps

Alexandra Pope, staff writer

July 13, 2011 — Vancouver city council is expected to give the green light Thursday to a new pilot project aimed at making sure no food goes to waste.

Under the new program, the compost will be picked up every week
Under the new program, the compost will be picked up every week

Some 2,000 households in Vancouver will be approached to test the pilot project. Starting in September, those households will be allowed to compost dairy products, meat and bread in addition to conventional compostable food scraps like fruits, vegetables, eggshells, coffee filters, teabags and yard trimmings.

Under the new program, compostables will also be collected once a week, while other garbage will be collected every other week.

Chris Underwood, manager of solid waste management with the City of Vancouver, said the program is an effort to reduce the amount of food going to waste.

In Vancouver alone, about 130,000 tonnes of food go to waste every year; about 20 per cent of that comes from residential properties.

“Food waste is not a waste material,” Underwood said. ”It's a valuable resource. It's something that can be turned into compost and put back into good use.”

The program will take some getting used to, which is why it's being rolled out to just a handful of households at first. But Underwood said he expects people will adapt quickly to the change.

“Instead of putting their food scraps in with their garbage, they put it into the other cart that they have, their yard trimmings cart,” he explained. “It's just something a little different.”

Council will vote on the pilot project on Thursday; if approved, it will start in September and run for six months.

With files from Caaleb Trott in Vancouver

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