At first it may seem like Vancouver is the only city that partakes in separating it’s organic waste, but it is not alone. Many, and I mean many, other cities around the world separate their organic waste, and many have been doing it longer than Vancouver. The moral of the story is that organic waste separation is a growing trend around the world. Separating organic waste makes sense: It helps reduce the size of our landfills and the costs of maintaining and building more landfills. It helps us create more compost that can be used for agriculture, landscaping, and recreation. And it can be used to create energy that powers our lights.
Each of the cities below is at a different stage in organics waste diversion, but each of their goals is very similar: to get everyone separating organic waste.
In 2009, San Fran became the first city in the United States to pass a municipal ordinance that requires the source separation of all organic material. Residents of single and multi-family homes, businesses, and City employees must separate their organic waste.
Toronto’s Green Bin Program is currently servicing 460,000 single households. They are continuing to include apartments, condos, businesses, and city buildings in the program.
The city that never sleeps is also the city that separates organic waste. NYC started with a pilot program to collect organic waste from residents, schools, and institutions. That pilot program was later made into law in 2013, and continues today.
We know Sweden is not a city, but the entire country itself deserves recognition for its leading role in organic waste diversion. Sweden is a country of 9.5 million (for comparison, New York has a population of 8.4 million) and is 99% garbage free. This means that only 1% of the waste that the country produces goes to the landfill. Almost half of their annual waste (5 million tonnes) is turned into energy. The bins in the photo below are found in a hotel in Stockholm.
Does your city or a city you know of separate organic waste? Please let us know in the comments below!