The City of Vancouver is in the midst of a pilot project that allows 2,000 households in Riley Park and Sunset to throw all their food scraps in with their compost. Garbage collection has been scaled down to once every two weeks at those homes; however, yard trimming carts–where the food scraps are disposed of–are being picked up once a week. The city says that all the food waste is being recycled into “high-quality” compost as part of Vancouver’s goal to become the greenest city by 2020.
“Putting food scraps in your yard trimmings cart instead of the garbage reduces waste going to the landfill and the greenhouse gases it produces. Your food scraps will be recycled into valuable compost and soil for use in the region,” says the city’s website.
Pilot project participants can put the following items in their yard trimmings cart:
- Raw and cooked foods
- Fruits and vegetables
- Meat, fish and bones
- Noodles, rice, beans, grains and bread
- Dairy products like cheese, yogurt and eggshells
- Tea bags, coffee grounds and filters
- Food-soiled paper products like pizza boxes and napkins
The pilot project is a six-month trial and the second phase of the city's food scrap program. The South Vancouver pilot project is said to cost $383,000. If successful, the city will look to expand it to all residential neighbourhoods next year.
OpenFile examined the risk of vermin associated with composting back in November 2010. Would people face rodent problems if and when the food scrap program comes to the rest of Vancouver? City Councillor Andrea Reimer addressed the issue in a conversation with the Vancouver Sun this past summer.
“The really important thing to remember is that between the black bin and the green bin, all of the waste is still there,” she said. “If you’re not having a problem with the food in your garbage bin, you’re not going to have a problem in the bin right next to it.”
Another concern is that some households may ignore the project, leaving their food rotting in their garbage bins for twice as long as it usually would during a weekly garbage pickup schedule. Has anyone noticed a bad smell coming from Sunset or Riley Park?