New B.C. yard trimmings initiative

Beginning March 1, 2002, residents of North and West Vancouver, British Columbia will have three choices for the collection and recycling of their yard trimmings: rigid 77-litre cans with lids or, in North Vancouver only, 360-litre Schaefer carts; tied bundles; or, double-ply kraft yard bags. This new initiative is part of the government’s plan to make waste management programs more efficient and cost-effective, without eliminating or reducing valuable services.

Since 1998, over 30,000 tonnes of organic material have been diverted from landfill and incineration through municipal curbside programs in the City of North Vancouver, the District of North Vancouver, and the District of West Vancouver (combined population of approx. 180,000). At that time, large, clear plastic bags were the packaging of choice for yard trimmings. But as the volume of yard trimmings set out for collection grew (with some residents setting out as many as 60 bags in a week, according to a December 2001 survey), so did the costs, in terms of both collection and the per tonne "debagging" fee.

In December 2001, a survey of residents living in single-family, detached homes indicated that over 81 per cent of respondents would use an alternative to bags. In early January 2002, the three municipal councils voted to allow the average homeowner to use yard trimmings cans (three or fewer per week).

For more information, see, the municipal web sites (,,, call 604-984-9730 or e-mail