B.C. proposes changes to organic recycling regulations

VICTORIA, BRITISH COLUMBIA – The British Columbia government is proposing changes to the province’s Organic Matter Recycling Regulation. The government says the changes will “support the processing of organic waste, which will reduce the burden on landfills, and give transparency and clarity to British Columbians who are affected by composting and land used for this purpose.”

An Organic Matter Recycling Regulation (OMRR) intentions paper has been posted for public comment. It is based on extensive consultation over the past several years, as well as the latest scientific evidence and industry best practices.

The updated regulation will apply to compost facilities and land application of organic matter, and will align with the Agricultural Waste Control Regulation and the Contaminated Sites Regulation.

The proposed amendments address:

  • opportunities for increased public transparency and information sharing;
  • additional requirements for improved notification, including with local government;
  • requirements for engagement with First Nations; and
  • increased rigour around the authorization process.

The proposed regulatory updates are part of a broader suite of actions being taken to prevent and divert organics from disposal in B.C. The OMRR intentions paper is open for comment until Nov. 8, 2018.

Quick Facts:

  • Organic waste represents up to 40 per cent of all waste that is sent for disposal. The volume of organic waste is increasing with B.C.’s population growth.
  • Keeping organic materials out of the landfill prolongs landfill life and reduces the production of greenhouse gases, particularly methane.
  • B.C. is working toward a target of 75 per cent of its population being covered by organic waste disposal restrictions by 2020.
  • B.C. also continues its progress toward the per-capita municipal solid-waste disposal reduction target of 350 kilograms per person by 2020. Diversion of organic waste from the landfill and into processing streams is critical to supporting this target.
  • In July 2018, the provincial government, together with a number of government and industry partners across Canada, launched a national Love Food Hate Waste campaign focused on preventing food waste from occurring in the first place.

The OMRR intentions paper can be found here: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/waste-management/food-and-organic-waste/regulations-guidelines