Sunday, May 2, 2010

Food scraps and yard trimmings

Since Earth Day of this year, the city of Vancouver has allowed food scraps to be picked up with yard trimmings. According to their website, this first phase will only allow certain items to be placed into the yard trimmings. Cooked food and anything with oil is not allowed yet to keep odours down and deter pests (since yard trimming pick up is only on a bi-weekly basis).

I have also been critical of how archaic our municipal waste and garbage collection is, but I think this is a step in the right direction, especially for those that don't have room for a backyard composter.

In 2011, they expect that all food scraps (fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, dairy, bread, cereal products and food-soiled paper) will be allowed. This will involve a transition to weekly yard trimming pick up. However, it does note that garbage pickup will be bi-weekly. So it's best to get into the habit of separating the food scraps now.

Below is some info I found on the Residential Food Scraps Collection website.

Here are some of the items that are currently allowed:
  • Uncooked fruits and vegetables
  • Eggshells
  • Coffee grounds and along with coffee filters
  • Teabags
  • Newspaper or brown paper that's used as a bin liner

  • Here are some tips to minimize odours, insects and pests when collecting collectable scraps:
  • Sprinkle with baking soda
  • Line or wrap food scraps with newspaper or a paper bag (these can be put into the yard trimmings too!)
  • Empty it out and wash it regularly
  • Keep a lid on when not in use

  • They have an online survey and an open dialogue in blog form.

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