Waste management is an essential service

The Province has designated sanitation as an essential service. This covers the collection, processing and disposal of waste (garbage and organics) and recycling. 

Last updated: January 15, 2020

Following this designation, the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy has received inquiries as to the implications for operators of waste and recycling services in B.C.

Essential services in B.C.

Essential services are those services British Columbians rely on in their daily lives as essential to preserving life, health, public safety and basic societal functioning. In consultation with the PHO, essential services are encouraged to remain open. This includes all sanitation services related to waste (garbage and organics) and recycling collection, processing and disposal.

  • You must follow the orders and guidance provided by the PHO to ensure safe operations and reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19
  • You may need to change your operating environment or hours to meet the PHO orders for safety
  • If your business is not able to meet the PHO orders you will need to cease operations

If your operation is required to provide certain services or functions under regulation, but is experiencing difficulty maintaining compliance with the regulations, the following resources can help:

As additional resources, you may find useful guidance that has been developed for other sectors, such as for retail food and grocery stores, and manufacturers, that may prove relevant for waste management collectors and processors respectively.