Multi-family homes in Richmond not scrapping it out

Townhouse and apartment complexes failing when it comes to new rules on food waste disposal

Metro Vancouver regional district will target multi-family residents in its latest “Hey, food isn’t garbage” campaign.

Despite available green bins in most of the region’s apartment and townhouse complexes, too many food scraps are still ending up in the trash.

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The campaign, which launched Wednesday, continues to use characters such as a talking watermelon, partially-eaten bagel and cracked egg to tout its message and reach out to multi-family residents.

Although 90 per cent of multi-family units in Metro Vancouver now have a collection system in place to separate food scraps, new numbers show many of their residents aren’t using them. 

“Metro Vancouver residents living in apartments and townhouses know composting is the right thing to do, but there are still barriers that keep them from using the green bins in their complexes,” said Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie, who is also chair of Metro Vancouver’s Zero Waste Committee.

“We’re hoping that by making simple changes to their food scraps routine residents can help us keep waste out of the landfill.”

Diversion rates for scraps from multi-family homes are the lowest throughout the region with only 20 per cent of compostable organics and paper being recycled. This compares with single family homes, which report a 56 per cent recycling rate of compostable organics and paper.

New research conducted by Metro Vancouver shows the main reason for not composting food waste is the “ick factor,” as well as convenience and lack of information. 

“Food waste accounts for about 30 per cent of our garbage and when we put it in the landfill; this creates methane, a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change,” added Brodie.

Go online to MetroVancouver.org for tips on how to properly dispose of the scraps.

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