Abbotsford residents will have to remove all organic waste from their garbage starting in January to comply with a Metro Vancouver ban on food waste.
Compost was banned from the garbage with the introduction of Abbotsford’s new waste program, introduced in 2013. But as the Metro ban on organics at its transfer stations starts in the new year, fines will soon be in place for non-compliance.
The Matsqui transfer station, which is used by the City of Abbotsford for disposal of garbage, is included in the ban.
That means that any curbside garbage delivered to the transfer station with more than 25 per cent food waste by weight will result in a financial penalty to the city. Metro’s bylaw states that loads with too much food waste will be surcharged 50 per cent of the tipping fee. A typical penalty for an Abbotsford truckload would be $300.
To prevent the city’s trucks from being fined, curbside garbage may not be collected if significant food waste is in garbage bags. Collection workers will initially give warnings for those with too much food waste in the garbage, but any ongoing or excessive amounts of organic waste may cause the garbage bags to be left behind.
In October, council voted to end the agreement with Metro when the current contract ends in November next year.
In 2013, a waste and recycling audit was performed and found that Abbotsford’s curbside garbage contained 15 per cent recyclables, and 32 per cent compostables. Garbage made up 36 per cent. The next audit will be in the summer of 2015.
Over 11,000 tonnes of food and yard waste were diverted through the compost program last year, up from 5,700 tonnes in 2012. The city already operates a curbside compost collection program, and yard waste and recycling are already banned from garbage. Special organic waste bins are available for residents who use the city program. The curbside compostable collection program includes food waste (meat, bones, vegetables, fruit, bread, dairy, tea bags, paper towels, etc.) and yard waste (leaves, weeds, branches, shrubs, etc.).
For more information visit abbotsford.ca/collection