UBC Undergraduate Research

Changes in diversion rates following introduction of bi-weekly garbage collection in Canadian municipalities : lessons for Metro Vancouver Lebard, Henry


Research Question: Based on findings of diversion rate increases that are believed to be result of bi-weekly garbage collection implementation (once every two weeks as opposed to every week) in Canadian municipalities, should Metro Vancouver implement biweekly garbage collection? Based on the research a number of Canadian municipalities, a change from weekly collection of waste to collection of waste every two weeks does not increase diversion rates on its own. Metro Vancouver municipalities therefore should not implement bi-weekly waste (non-recyclables and non-compostables) collection, unless it is accompanied by other waste management programs. This paper argues that in order to increase diversion rates in Metro Vancouver, environmentally friendly consumer-producer waste management programs and approaches should be implemented alongside bi-weekly collection. These programs and approaches consist of the following: comingled blue-box recycling, EPR (Extended Producer Responsibility), green-bin composting, and community education. In order to maximize diversion rates and reach the ultimate goal of efficient waste management, which for the purposes of this paper are increased diversion rates and waste reduction in a cost-effective manner, Greater Vancouver municipalities should implement bi-weekly collection alongside the above programs.

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