How can we reach our 2020
Greenest City Targets?

GC 2020

How can we reach our 2020 Greenest City targets?

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  1. Extend food waste collection program to include apartments and condos

    While the curbside food waste program is terrific, detached homeowners already have the option of composting in their yards. Extending the program to include apartments dramatically reduce municipal waste and will finally make composting available to the growing number of Vancouverites living in high-density buildings (which is also great for the environment).

    770 votes
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      25 comments  ·  Reduce waste  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

      The City supports Metro Vancouver’s plans to ban food scraps from the incinerator and landfills by 2015. The City will collaborate with Metro Vancouver to develop and implement a plan to ensure apartments, condos, businesses and institutions have access to food scraps collection programs before the ban comes into effect.

    • Mandatory 25¢ fee for plastic shopping bags

      Encourage shoppers to bring their own bags, and create a shift in retail practices, by requiring a payment for every disposable shopping bag.

      334 votes
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        28 comments  ·  Reduce waste  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
      • Require all fast food take-out containers to be reusable, compostable, or recyclable

        There are plenty of reusable, compostable and recyclable food take-out container options these days (see UBC's compostable take-out containers for an example).

        All facilities should also have compost and recycling collection for these containers, with clever designs that prevent cross-contamination.

        Thought should be given to whether used food containers need to be washed before being deposited into the store's compost collection bin, or whether a process can be implemented that would take care of this after collection.

        272 votes
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          10 comments  ·  Reduce waste  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
        • Require businesses to be responsible for their own waste

          Businesses that create large amounts of waste, and in particular those that encourage littering, such as fast food restaurants, should be responsible for reducing their waste - and for cleaning up what is littered onto City streets. While it is indeed the customers that are littering - it's still the businesses practice of creating large volumes of disposable trash that is the source. If they were responsible for cleaning it up and paying higher costs for its disposal, then they might reduce the amount of waste they produce. Only when it becomes more costly for businesses to create waste than…

          234 votes
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            11 comments  ·  Reduce waste  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
          • Paperless Receipts for Retailers

            It would be nice if everywhere I shopped could offer me a digital receipt, instead of a paper one. Seems to me there are an awful lot of trees being cut down just to give me a few inches of paper that says I bought something.

            And in the digital age we live in, this should be pretty easy to implement.

            214 votes
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              16 comments  ·  Reduce waste  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
            • Encourage deconstruction to recover used building materials & reduce construction waste

              Construction waste accounts for a huge proportion of waste in our landfills. The majority of materials can be reused, recycled or repurposed. Deconstruction offers job creation opportunities and supports a new market for used building materials

              202 votes
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                10 comments  ·  Reduce waste  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

                The Draft Greenest City Action Plan includes an action to develop a building deconstruction policy. The City is piloting a building deconstruction project and is exploring options for an incentive program to encourage deconstruction.

              • Ban disposable cups, plates and cutlery in all restaurants/cafes

                Let's face it: coffee tastes better from a real cup; food is easier to eat from a real plate! Single use containers/cutlery create massive amounts of waste. How to stop this senseless waste of materials and energy? Phase in a progressive ban on them: start with requiring restaurants to offer reusuable plates/cups/cutlery, and eventually require them for all in-house service.

                190 votes
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                  31 comments  ·  Reduce waste  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                • Make composting, proper recycling and waste disposal procedures in restaurants/hotels mandatory.

                  I work in one of the busiest restaurants in downtown Vancouver, and the amount of food alone we throw away daily makes sick.

                  I think that there are enough chain restaurants in the city that if even one caught on, it would create a demand for composting as a service and potentially lead others to do the same.

                  Hotels and grocery stores are other ways the idea could expand.

                  And the new fertilizer could be given to farmers for use in the area.

                  180 votes
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                    2 comments  ·  Reduce waste  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                  • Ban all disposable bags

                    It won't take long for people to learn to how easy it is to bring their own bags. Somehow, I've gone two years without taking any paper or plastic bag for my groceries or purchased items.

                    146 votes
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                      7 comments  ·  Reduce waste  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                    • Expand recycling program to include all Recyclable Materials

                      Pacific Mobile Depots operates an number of regular depots around the Lower Mainland to collect recyclable materials that are not collecting in the current municipal programs. Residents PAY to properly dispose of material that can be recycled. The City should partner with a private operator to expand the current program if the existing programs cannot be quickly expanded. http://www.pacificmobiledepots.com/services.php

                      118 votes
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                        16 comments  ·  Reduce waste  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                      • Place More Blue Recycling Bins Around The City

                        Usually, people don't want to hold onto their garbage while walking, so they throw away whatever they have in their hands, even if it's meant for recycling.
                        I believe there should be a recycling bin right beside every garbage can, if not even more recycling bins than garbage cans.

                        99 votes
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                          21 comments  ·  Reduce waste  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                        • Kitchen Compost Containers for the counter to store household compost easily before collection day.

                          Distribute conveniently-sized Kitchen Compost Containers made of recycled materials to Vancouver households to allow for easy and odourless storage of egg shells, uncooked fruit, veggies scraps, coffee grounds, filters and tea bags. A convenient storage place until collection day when compost materials can be dumped in the green bin!

                          98 votes
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                            6 comments  ·  Reduce waste  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                          • All single-use disposal items in Vancouver must be made of compostable bio-plastic or paper.

                            It’s ironic, and unacceptable, that most items designed to be disposed after a single use, are made of plastic which takes thousands of years to decay (if at all). Many items made of plastic today could be produced using the new compostable bioplastics. This would include: packaging (produce bags, Styrofoam, etc), food containers (coffee/drink cups, baked good and takeout containers, etc), medical equipment (syringes, latex gloves etc), personal care items (razors, qtips etc). This should extend into the industrial sector too. This idea might not be feasible in 100% of the instances, but it would go a long way to…

                            87 votes
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                              2 comments  ·  Reduce waste  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                            • Zero waste

                              Create a Zero Waste Plan as has been done in other cities to reduce waste on a timeline of progress

                              64 votes
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                                12 comments  ·  Reduce waste  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                              • Apartment and condo-dwellers get Freezer Compost Bins for collecting organic scraps

                                Freezing organic scraps is the only sure way to get rid of fruit flies, odor, and the leftover, hard-to-clean rotting food messiness associated with composting. There are flexible silicone containers specifically designed for storing scraps in freezers. When it's collection day or you're ready to empty into a collection site, vermicomposter, or wherever, you just flex the container and the frozen scraps pop right out. Now that's an idea! Don't let the city give us plastic containers that we'll need to buy liners and bags for, make them give us a real solution instead!

                                61 votes
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                                  2 comments  ·  Reduce waste  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                • Stop the distribution of free newspapers

                                  How many different free newspapers can you count that are distributed across Vancouver ... handed out at Skytrain stations, available in boxes on almost every street corner downtown and left in bundles for those of use who live in apartments and condos.

                                  Many of these newspapers end up in garbage cans or tossed on the street creating litter.

                                  My suggestion is for the City to ban the distribution of these free newspapers as people value what the pay for - if they really wanted them, they'd purchase them.

                                  If the City isn't willing to ban these free newspapers, at the…

                                  61 votes
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                                    2 comments  ·  Reduce waste  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                  • Ensure all malls and public fascilities have recycling systems in place

                                    I have worked retail in a number of malls and I was horrified by the lack of recycling options there were for the paying tenants. No bottle/plastic recycling, sometime no paper. Tenants would often have to pay for this service.
                                    Implement the same recycling programs available to homes, we can not exclude rental/commercial properties if we have any intention to becoming a more sustainable community.

                                    59 votes
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                                      1 comment  ·  Reduce waste  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                    • Materials Reuse/ Exchange Program

                                      Similar to the Industrial Materials Exchange Program, small businesses and the public will be able to log into a database to list materials (such as packing paper, bubble wrap, shelving units, etc.) that they would like to give away for free before they are forced to throw it away. Using this principle of community-resource-exchange, our company was able to reduce their waste dramatically. The success of such a program will dependent on the promotion of it to the public and small businesses. Maybe a database and already popular site such as craigslist would be interested in a collaborative effort in…

                                      57 votes
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                                        started  ·  3 comments  ·  Reduce waste  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                      • aerobic composting

                                        To have all high desity apartments as well as all hotels use aerobic composting units. Unlike traditional compsting that attracts vermin and creates green hose gasses with the decomposition, aerobic composting units produce very limited amounts of green house gasses, they also have the ability to turn large volumes of organic waste into soil in short periods of time, this soil could then be used in parks or on farms to complete the cycle. Aerobic Composter are also faster in turning waste into soil some are able to process a ton within 24 hours, this would reduce the amount of…

                                        46 votes
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                                          0 comments  ·  Reduce waste  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                        • Recycling should be compulsory

                                          I was amazed to find out that recycling is an option for business, and even for large residential buildings. A friend who lives in a 50-unit residential building (near Broadway and Commercial) found out that they were not recycling anything. When she brought it up with the landlord, he said that it was not required and that it was a waste of money.
                                          Even if fines are not in place, recycling should be mandatory. If the city still needs to charge extra to finance this service , it should not be an option.
                                          There are similar ideas about recycling, including…

                                          44 votes
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                                            4 comments  ·  Reduce waste  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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