Low Carbon Waste Management

Vision

By 2050 waste-related emissions have been eliminated.  Greenhouse gases produced by organic materials collected and treated in the region supply renewable energy to the community. Continuous improvement of the City’s waste management systems has dramatically reduced landfilling of waste to near zero. In fact, ‘waste’ is rarely heard in our vocabulary by mid-century. Instead, we focus on managing materials and resources.

The Challenge

GHG emissions from waste come largely from the breakdown of organic materials in our landfill. That process releases methane, a GHG far more potent than C02.  Organic wastes from Victoria decomposing at Hartland Landfill produce approximately 7 percent of our community’s GHG emissions – our third largest source of GHGs! Even with the kitchen scraps ban, these and other easy-to-compost materials still make up the largest share of the regional waste arriving at Hartland landfill (21%, or roughly 75 kilograms per person every year).

The Plan

Reducing our community’s emissions from waste will require major reductions in the waste we dispose of and what we send to the landfill. Additionally, landfill gas capture must continue to be maximized to limit methane being released into the atmosphere while providing us with a renewable source of energy. Above all, reducing the amount of waste each of us generates daily is the biggest opportunity to help reach our targets.

Read more about the plan to reduce waste related GHGs in the Climate Leadership Plan [PDF - 4.9 MB] on page 42

What are the City’s Goals for Waste?

Organic materials are managed to avoid GHG emission

Eliminate 100 percent of food and yard waste sent to the landfill by 2030.

Eliminate 100 percent of other organic materials sent to the landfill by 2030.

Capture methane from collected organic waste to provide renewable energy by 2025.

What can I do?

There are many ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and how much waste you produce by choosing to reduce, reuse, and repair, by cutting down on food waste, and by using your green bin. Here are some ideas to get you started.

Today:

  • Paper cups are organic materials that, along with food waste, make up a significant volume of the waste in our landfill. You can reduce this waste by using a reusable mug for coffee and hot beverages and choosing products that are returnable, reusable or refillable over single-use items.
  • Reduce household food waste and greenhouse gases by planning your meals and only buying what you need
  • Useyour City-supplied green bin or backyard composter to compost kitchen scraps, and learn more about how to divert yard waste with the City’s Garden Waste Drop-Off Program.

Tomorrow:

  • Did you know that many textiles such as clothing, bedding and towels are also organic materials that end up in the landfill? Reduce textile waste by buying gently used merchandise over new, and repairing and fixing items that you already own.
  • Donate items in working condition that you no longer need.
  • Not sure what is compostable or recyclable or where to look for answers? Visit the CRD’s myrecyclopedia – a quick and simple tool that helps users find drop-off locations and recycling options for materials.