Organic waste diversion

You can minimize the amount of organic waste going into landfills by:

  • Preventing and reducing your food and yard waste
  • Composting inedible food and yard waste

On this page:

Local governments' role

Your local government is responsible to make sure organic waste is looked after in your community. Many local governments support residential organic waste diversion by:

  • Encouraging composting at home
  • Offering services for composting of food and/or yard waste
  • Providing residential collection services to households

Visit residential organic waste and local governments and learn about organic waste diversion initiatives, including funding opportunities to help keep organic waste out of landfills.

Indigenous Nations can also access organic waste funding opportunities.


Composting is a process that recycles organic waste including food and yard waste. Compost creates organic material that can be added to soil to help plants grow. Composts adds important nutrients and improves soil quality and moisture retention.

Composting organic waste has many environmental, social and economic benefits, including:

  • Tackling climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions
  • Saving landfill space
  • Creating employment opportunities
  • Contributing to healthy soils and food production
  • Benefiting local community parks, gardens and farms

Contact your local government to find out about composting services in your area.

Food scraps and green bins

Check out these helpful posters and learn what to do with your food scraps:

Visit Compost in B.C. and read about the role green bins play in organic waste diversion.

In B.C., composting facilities and compost are governed by the Environmental Management Act, including the

Business waste diversion

Businesses in the Industrial, Commercial and Institutional (ICI) sector also produce organic waste including:

  • Restaurants
  • Supermarkets
  • Hospitals
  • Universities

Many ICI sector organizations have their own organic waste diversion initiatives. They might also partner with private industry or local governments to handle their organic waste.

Learn more about Organic Waste Diversion Programs for Businesses.


Find out what role landfills have in waste diversion and watch the City of Calgary's Too Good to Waste explaining how a landfill works.

This short video shows the advantages of turning food and yard waste into nutrient-rich compost for gardens, parks and farms.

Related resources