UBC Undergraduate Research

Organic waste diversion : how can the Vancouver International Airport best adopt an organic waste diversion program? Jaswal, Natasha


The Vancouver International airport(YVR) is currently implementing an organic waste diversion system to divert organic materials from its waste stream. The current waste stream at the airport is 59% compostable, indicating the large potential YVR has to remove organics from its waste stream (MJ Waste Solutions, 2012). The research question looks at how the airport should go about adopting an organic waste diversion program. This report also explores the challenges that may arise with running the program, as well as how to promote public and employee participation. This question has been broken down into three different sections: current organic diversion initiatives within Metro Vancouver are discussed, explaining how YVR’s waste stream will be affected by regional initiatives, followed by a discussion of how to foster an environmental behavior change and how to best promote an organics program. Finally case studies and interviews are presented, analyzing challenges that have previously been faced by facilities where organic waste diversion systems have been implemented. Below is a list of recommendations that were found from the research. Research Recommendations: -- To encourage public participation, have signs on bins indicating waste types • Signs should have very little text, with large clear visuals • Signs should be placed on both table tops as well as directly on the bins to have the most effective outcome. • Have the signs in different languages to accommodate the diverse population • Educate the public about what organic waste is, why it is necessary and how to separate waste • Compostable lining for the waste bins • Smaller bins for the individual food stalls • Host training sessions for employees • Monitors in the public areas above the waste bins, illustrating which type of waste goes where.

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