New tool for improving recycling in MURBs (multi unit residential buildings) available!

Metro Vancouver has developed the Multi-Family Recycling Toolkit, Check it out here.


Excerpt from Metro Vancouver Notice:

23 April 2015

Metro Vancouver has developed the Multi-Family Recycling Toolkit, an online tool to help owners, stratas, managers and residents improve recycling in their multi-family buildings.

Apartments, condos and townhomes typically have low recycling rates. In 2013, the regional multi-family recycling rate was only 28%, compared to 60% for single-family.

“Recycling systems vary between municipalities and individual buildings, so there’s no one-size-fits-all solution,” said Malcolm Brodie, Chair of Metro Vancouver’s Zero Waste Committee. “This new Toolkit points people to the tailored resources, signage and best practices for their particular situation.”

The Multi-Family Recycling Toolkit asks users to identify their municipality, amount of units and type of collection system. It calculates an estimate for how many garbage, recyclable and food scraps bins are required and provides the appropriate downloadable handouts, posters and signage. These supporting materials account for variations in municipal recycling systems. For example, a separate stream appears for municipal programs that offer glass collection.

Next, users are presented with waste reduction resources like how to avoid unwanted newspapers and phone books, plus links to, to recycle non-blue box items like electronics or mattresses.

Finally, the Toolkit provides building managers and motivated residents with guidance and templates they can use to build a recycling team within their complexes.



Performance Arts Lodges featured in the Vancouver Sun!


Artists’ residence closes the loop on food scraps

Compostable organics come back as fertilizer for their rooftop garden.


Vancouver’s eight-storey Performing Arts Lodges is closing the loop on food scraps recycling by taking back some of its organic waste in the form of rich organic fertilizer for the rooftop garden.

The 4,000-square-foot garden provides exercise and fresh vegetables for building residents, plus vegetable trim and prunings for thousands of voracious red wigglers at WormWorx, an organic waste hauler and worm-based composting business.

Get the full story here.

Time to Recycle Your Organics!

Aside from all your other New Year’s resolutions, here’s one we hope you follow — separate and recycle all organic waste.


That’s because Metro Vancouver’s ban on organic waste in the landfill officially came into effect as of January 1, 2015.

Whether at home, at the office or in commercial or institutional settings, you will be required to recycle your food scraps and other organic waste.

Now whether there will be facilities and bins for you to do so is another matter. That’s why we encourage those of you who live in apartments and condos and are keen to recycle your food scraps and organics to contact your property manager or strata council to make this happen sooner than later.

Metro Van realizes that it will take some time for all sectors: residential, commercial, institutional and industrial to get up to speed with both infrastructure (bins, etc) and education programs to help everyone make the adjustment. That’s why Metro Van is gradually phasing in enforcement of the ban:

But for those of you in condos and apartments, just visit the Resources page of this website to access all kinds of tools from the Trashtalk project to help you set up a successful food scraps recycling program in your residence.

By increasing our awareness of our food waste, one of the hidden benefits of organics recycling is that we may become more conscious of reducing the amount of edible food that we don’t consume and have to throw out. While recycling previously edible food is better than landfilling it, reducing the amount of edible food we waste will be even better for the environment.

Trash Talkers at City of Vancouver Awards of Excellence

The Awards of Excellence is a new civic awards program that recognizes outstanding achievements made by individuals — adults, youth and children — organizations, and businesses. With awards in six categories, the Awards of Excellence celebrate excellence in achievements that benefit all of us by making Vancouver a greener, healthier, more diverse, accessible, and prosperous city.

The Trashtalk Network of Reycling Champions were nominees at the City of Vancouver Awards of Excellence. Congratulations to all the award recipients! A fantastic night celebrating all the people making Vancouver a great place to live.

The TrashTalk Team

Left to right: Jenny Shaw and Laurie MacKenzie (Performing Arts Lodge) with Diana Hall (Marina Co-op) and Cheryn Wong from (the Kayak and Vancouver Trash Talk).

Musical Interlude

Diana and Jenny

Vancouver Sun Article: Green apartment dwellers go flat out to recycle food scraps

Debris once destined for landfill now diverted — thanks to the Vancouver Trash Talk scheme

David and Karen are recycling champions volunteering their time to initiate a food scraps recycling program in their new condo building in Mount Pleasant

David and Karen are recycling champions volunteering their time to initiate a food scraps recycling program in their new condo building in Mount Pleasant


A group of Vancouver residents is in a pilot program to encourage people who live in apartments, condos and co-operatives around the city to set up their own food scrap recycling programs.

Co-directors of the Vancouver Trash Talk project, Murray Mollard and Cheryn Wong, have recruited 11 teams in 12 buildings around Vancouver who are working with their neighbours to divert as much food scrap waste from the buildings’ garbage dumpsters as possible.

The project comes in advance of a move by Metro Vancouver to ban organic (and food scrap) waste in the landfill from all sources starting in 2015. Simultaneously, the City of Vancouver — as part of its Greenest City 2020 Plan — aims to divert 50 per cent of its 2008 garbage levels by 2020, and a key to the plan is eliminating food scrap waste, which accounts for about 40 per cent of garbage now shipped to the landfill.

While Vancouver and other municipalities around the region try to put in place the infrastructure needed to recycle the organic waste instead of sending it to the dump, the key to Vancouver’s garbage makeover is getting buy-in at the household level, Mollard told The Sun.

He said the program targets Vancouverites who live in apartments and condos because there is no civic plan in place to store and retrieve food scrap waste from multi-family buildings in the city.

Participation in the project has been promising, he said.

“Vancouver has a lot of green-motivated people out there, who want to do recycling, who want to behave in a way that is friendly to the Earth.”

Read full article here.

Recycling Council of BC’s Zerowaste Conference

On May 28, 2014, Murray Mollard, Co-Director, Trashtalk gave a presentation to over 300 people from industry, NGOs and local and provincial governments about Trashtalk project at the Recycling Council of British Columbia‘s annual Zero Waste conference. Highlighting both the promising participation metrics (as of the end of April, 2014, 50% of all units in Trashtalk residences recycled food scraps) and the work of resident-led Trashtalk teams, we were able to spread the message about the project to an important and diverse audience. As the end of the project nears, we hope that government regulators, industry and resident building managers/owners associations consider devoting more resources to deeper engagement efforts as an effective strategy to encourage residents in multi-family dwellings to participate in food scraps recycling in order to meet the City of Vancouver’s and Metro Vancouver’s zero waste goals.

Murray’s slide deck can be found here.

​Food Scraps Smells Good!

Yesterday, a group of 20 MURB (multi-unit residential building) recycling champions gathered to talk about their experiences and challenges of initiating food scraps recycling programs in their building​s​. Special guests included Paul Henderson, ​General Manager of Solid Waste Services at Metro Vancouver​ and Andrea Reimer, Vancouver City Councilor; it was great to have Paul and Andrea present to answer the many questions around the upstream and downstream aspects of the local waste management and recycling systems, as well as comment on the proposed 2015 ban on food scraps in garbage.

Trash Talk Network Event, April 27 2014

During this zerowaste network event, ​engagement tactics were shared and innovative ideas (including finding ways to recognize participants in food scraps recycling through a green card program) were generated in response to common challenges.​​

The quote of the day belonged to Hilary Onno, a volunteer on the food scraps recycling committee in her MURB, who, in response to the conversation of s​mells and how it is often​ other items in garbage rooms​ (such as beer bottles not rinsed out) ​that​ are the real culprits of funky odours​ said, “but food scraps smell good, it smells like soil”. That is certainly music to our noses.

Kudos to all the Vancouver residents who volunteer their time to recycling efforts in MURBS. Continuous engagement and the measuring of metrics is a lot of work, and you are doing amazing and important work.  In fact, we love them and the work they do so much we have nominated them for a Greenest City Leadership Award from the City of Vancouver for their tireless efforts to reach the City’s and Metro Vancouver’s zero waste goals. Whether they win this award or not, they are champions in our eyes.