A Vancouver bylaw banning food waste from landfills is now in effect. Here’s what you need to know about it:

WHAT does the bylaw ban?

Food. That includes:

  • Uncooked food, like an apple core or raw meat.
  • Cooked food, like table scraps or leftovers.
  • Packaged food that’s been taken out of the package.
  • Food-soiled paper like take-out containers and pizza boxes.


WHO does the bylaw apply to?

Everyone and every kind of business or institution.

WHEN does the bylaw come into effect?

The bylaw came into effect on January 1, 2015.

To give people time to adjust, January 1 to June 30, 2015 was an educational period. That educational period is over, and fines are now being issued for violating the bylaw.

WHY is the bylaw a good idea?

Before the bylaw came into effect, food made up about one-third of the garbage going to Metro Vancouver landfills. The bylaw takes food waste out of this garbage stream. That’s a good idea for several reasons:

  • It saves landfill space. Nobody wants a new landfill in their backyard…or anywhere else, for that matter. Saving space now will mean fewer landfills later.
  • It conserves resources. Producing food uses all kinds of resources—water and electricity, to name only two. When we send food to a landfill, we throw those resources away. Instead, we can use that food to make compost or bioenergy.
  • It reduces global warming. Food that decomposes in a landfill produces methane, one of the worst of the “greenhouse gases” that cause global warming. Food that decomposes above ground, on the other hand, does not produce methane.


WHERE can I get more information?

You can call the Recycling Council of BC’s Hotline at 604-REC-YCLE (604-732-9253). Recycling Council staff will be happy to answer questions about the bylaw.

HOW can WormWorx help you?

Email us at infowormworx@gmail.com to find out how we can help you comply with the bylaw.