New food waste rules on the way for Abbotsford apartment residents

Residents of single-family homes are already required to separate out their trash

A ban on organic waste in garbage may be on the way for residents of multi-family buildings and businesses in the City of Abbotsford. But it’s likely to be some time yet before the new rules are actually enforced.

The Fraser Valley Regional District (FVRD) expects to implement new sorting requirements this year for Abbotsford that will see such residents have to separate their food and other compostable waste from their household trash.

Residents of single-family homes are already required to separate out their trash, and the FVRD has spent the last year consulting with residents about the next phase of the program.

That consultation focused on how quickly the program will be implemented, and on grace periods for monitoring before enforcement.

Residents of multi-family homes across the region suggested they would like to see a six-month public awareness campaign followed by a six-month trial period before enforcement of the new rules begin.

Residents of single-family homes preferred a shorter timeline, but FVRD staff said a new bylaw being drafted will give more weight to the multi-family residents’ concerns, given that the changes will impact them the most.

The changes are intended to meet the FVRD’s goal of reducing its waste across the system and diverting 90 per cent of it by 2025.

A new bylaw is expected to be introduced to the FVRD board – which includes members of Abbotsford city council – this fall. But Abbotsford will undergo its own process before the food-waste program becomes a reality.

“The city is in the early stages of reviewing the requirements behind a comprehensive food-waste program in partnership with the Fraser Valley Regional District (FVRD) to ensure that we are aligned with new regional sorting regulations,” a spokesperson for the city wrote in an email.

It is anticipated that the city will begin public consultation and engaging residents and businesses regarding a new program sometime in 2018.

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