Posted on November 03, 2015

A cleaner way to recycle food scraps

Metro Vancouver’s Organics Disposal Ban came into effect this year and many people who live in condos have been looking to find ways to compost without the mess and smell. Here are some tips to help you recycle food scraps.

Bin there done that
The first step is to start with a small bin with a lid. Your strata council may provide one or you can purchase a metal/plastic bin designed for food recycling. An ice-cream container will also do the job. If you choose to line the bin, use newspaper or paper bags. That allows you to throw all the contents directly into the communal green bin. Plastics - even those labeled biodegradable or compostable - cannot be processed in compost facilities.

Freeze it
Put the entire compost bin in the freezer to keep odours and mess at bay. If you don’t have room for the entire bin, you can freeze scraps in plastic bags and empty them into the bin before collection day. Remember, no plastic bags!

Drain it
Pour any excess liquids from your bin down the sink. To prevent contents from getting soggy, wrap scraps in paper before putting them into the bin.

Clean it
After emptying your bin, rinse it out and sprinkle some baking soda on the bottom to neutralize odours and keep insects away.

It’s worth the effort

According to Environment Canada, approximately 40 per cent of residential waste in Canada is biodegradable – made up of things like food waste. Composting these materials keeps them out of landfills. The City of Vancouver estimates that, “If every resident in Vancouver recycled food scraps for a whole year, we’d remove 5,500 trucks worth of food scraps from the landfill.”

For more tips on how to compost in a condo, go to Metro Vancouver’s guide.