Get organics from all sectors out of the waste stream - ASAP.
Organic waste creates methane in landfills, a greenhouse gas that is over 20 times more potent than C02. Compostable organics need to be taken out of the waste stream using an organics hierarchy - first by preventing extra waste in the first place (up to 40% of our food gets tossed!), recovering food to feed hungry people then animals (think pallet of cans that happen to get dented on one side0, then composted to create a high quality end product that completes our nutrient cycle. As a society, we're as healthy as our top soil. A diversified strategy using back yard composting, mid-scale local composting, and larger facilities (energy recover possible but still make high quality compost with digestate) is critical to minimize carbon footprint and keeping local food systems healthy. A combination of policy, regulation, education and social marketing, enforcement and ongoing evaluation is critical to move this initiative forward.
@Tamara Shulman, thanks for this comment. You are right, it is important to get organics out of the waste stream from a material recovery standpoint and also from a greenhouse gas emissions perspective. To start along that pathway, the City recently launched its residential food scraps program. Residents who have a lawn trimmings collection service can now add uncooked fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds and filters, teabags, and eggshells into their cart for composting. http://vancouver.ca/projects/foodWaste/index.htm
You may also be interested in this idea, recommending the conversion of organic matter into biogas. http://vancouver.uservoice.com/forums/56390-gc-2020/suggestions/854797-separate-organic-matter-out-of-the-waste-stream-an?ref=title