Metro Vancouver Recycles and the Zero Waste Challenge

Comments 6 by Rebecca Bollwitt

metrologoThe other day we were taking our recyclables down to the bins and noticed the garbage dumpster was overflowing (at least 3 feet above the rim). When we got closer I noticed that one of the top layers of waste was milk and orange juice cartons – about a dozen of them. With six recycle bins within meters of this dumpster I found this waste unnecessary, which is why I’m happy to promote some of Metro Vancouver‘s latest initiatives that will hopefully inform and educate.

Metro Vancouver Recycles is a directory of over 1,300 locations in Metro Vancouver to donate, recycle or appropriately dispose of unwanted items such as computers, clothing, toys, building materials, furniture and much more. It also lists places to find used items,” said Greg Valou of Metro Vancouver in an email. You can check out the directory listing, plus interactive Google Map, on the Metro Vancouver website where it aims to answer the question, “where can I take this?”

Another initiative is the Zero Waste Challenge and you can find information online about reducing, reusing, and recycling at home or at the office. They even have scheduled meetings and public consultations that will help keep your group of family informed, while providing you with all of the information you need to make eco-conscious decisions in your daily life. You can learn about banned & restricted materials, SmartSteps, BuildSmart, take-back programs, RCBC (604-RECYCLE), composting food waste, blue box recycling in your area, paper recycling, used oil recycling (just to name a few ways you can play your part).

  • The Draft Zero Waste Challenge Plan for discussion [PDF]
  • Public Consultations – Spring Series Calendar [PDF]

  • Metro Vancouver Waste System

    Currently, residents of Metro Vancouver only recycle half of their garbage and solid waste each year. “As you may know, our region faces the question of how to effectively manage the waste produced by our ever-growing population,” noted Valou. “We can all play our part in the Zero Waste Challenge by consciously reducing the amount of waste we each produce.”

    Getting to “Zero Waste” actually does seem like quite the challenge, but the region is up for it. They’ve even expanded the “3Rs” to the “5Rs” – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Recover, Residuals.

    Metro Vancouver is comprised of the following: Belcarra, Bowen Island, Burnaby, Coquitlam, Delta, Langley Township, Langley City, Lions Bay, Maple Ridge, New Westminster, North Vancouver City, North Vancouver District, Pitt Meadows, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Richmond, Surrey, Vancouver, West Vancouver, White Rock.

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    6 Comments  —  Comments Are Closed

    1. Victor TangThursday, April 9th, 2009 — 10:38am PDT

      the RCBC also does annual awards for individuals and organizations that contribute towards reducing their ecological footprint. they have a zero waste conference in may you might be interested in:

      a couple representatives from the dda will also be there for the event.

    2. BC Vehicle Emmissions, the Zero Waste Challenge, Enviro Groups Clash, UBC Farms, Tree Carbon Capture, and the Carbon Tax « Vancouver MooseSaturday, April 11th, 2009 — 11:57am PDT

      […] Metro Vancouver Recycles and the Zero Waste Challenge: […]

    3. SueMonday, April 13th, 2009 — 12:46am PDT

      This is awesome…thank you for posting the site. 🙂

    4. NicoleMonday, April 13th, 2009 — 2:17am PDT

      I want to add to Victor’s comment – the RCBC is the Recycling Council of British Columbia and they provide a GREAT search function that informs you of the various locations in your specific area that recycle certain products.

      “RCBC Recyclepedia

      Need to Recycle a Product?

      Wondering where to recycle a certain
      material? Search for the location…
      1. Select a material
      2. Detailed item search
      3. Area specification

      It’s very user friendly with drop-menus

      For example, I found out that I can drop off foam egg cartons that had been collecting dust in the garage at a recycling centre in Delta. (Polystyrene #6 cannot go into blue boxes). Plastic #6 can go to Choices Market in South Surrey.

    5. Greg ValouWednesday, June 24th, 2009 — 2:10pm PDT

      We’ve been improving the Metro Vancouver Recycles database and have created an easy-to-remember URL – We’ve added some new features to make it easier to find the information you need and have expanded our listings for things like electronics and computers. Check out our improved tool at

    6. MonikaThursday, November 26th, 2009 — 7:27am PST

      Thanks for posting the pdfs too! Exactly what I’ve been looking for.

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