Beginning September 30, the amount of food waste arriving at the transfer station will increase as Waste Connections allows single-family residential customers inside Vancouver city limits to add food scraps to their teal-colored yard-debris carts. “We’re excited to roll the program out,” said Derek Ranta, district manager for Waste Connections. “It’s something we have been talking about a long time.”

Starting the week of Sept. 16, Waste Connections will deliver pails for food scraps to yard-debris customers in Vancouver at no cost. The pails are similar to what most backyard composters already use in their kitchens. After receiving pails, customers can start dumping food waste from the pails into their yard-debris carts for their next every-other-week collection.

Waste Connections and the city of Vancouver have rebranded the program as organics. About 60 percent of single-family customers in Vancouver already have yard-debris collection, which is an optional service, unlike mandatory garbage and recycling pickup. “We’ve had a pretty good diversion of yard debris,” said Rich McConaghy, environmental resources manager for Vancouver Public Works. “As other things have been recycled, food becomes a bigger share of what’s left over.”

McConaghy said the food-waste program was included in the solid-waste contract the Vancouver City Council approved earlier this year. Schoolchildren have been sorting their food waste for years, he said. “This will give the kids a chance to practice at home what they have done at school,” he said. “It will be turned into high-quality, nutrient-rich compost that will make farms and gardens grow.”

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