Food & Organic Waste

In a circular economy, food & organic waste are not sent to the landfill, instead they are used as a valuable resource for communities. Discover how the B.C. government is working to prevent, divert and regulate food and organic wastes.

Organic waste generally refers to biodegradable, compostable waste from homes, businesses, institutions, and industrial sources. Examples include food scraps, yard and garden trimmings, food-soiled paper products and biosolids.

Food waste refers to food that is intended for human consumption that is discarded without ever being eaten. It is estimated that currently one-third of all food grown for human consumption ends up being wasted (Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, 2013) and 63 percent of food Canadians throw away could have been eaten (National Zero Waste Council, 2017).

Preventing Food & Organic Waste

Everyone can play a role in reducing food waste. Often with minimal effort, food waste can be prevented, saving money and helping to protect the environment.

Find out what the province, local governments, and other organizations have done to prevent food waste in their area - this might inspire new ideas about programs that could be implemented in your community.

Diverting Organic Waste

Disposing of food and organic waste in landfills not only wastes valuable nutrients and takes up precious landfill space but also creates methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. Instead organic waste diversion initiatives process and beneficially use organic waste, returning the nutrients back to the soil for ongoing soil health and fertility. When handled properly, organic waste can become a valuable resource for communities, such as a nutrient rich compost.

The B.C. government has launched the Organics Infrastructure Program to provide funding to create additional organics processing capacity in the province.

Learn more about what jurisdictions locally and internationally are doing:

Regulating Organic Waste

The Organic Matter Recycling Regulation (OMRR) regulates the production and land application of compost and biosolids

Learn more about how B.C. regulates organics and get information about ongoing improvement efforts.