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Getting greener by the gallon

Posted on July 30, 2013

Vancouver, B.C. -- Here’s a story about garbage that’s good for Vancouver, good for B.C., and even good

for your health.

Vancouver Community College’s award-winning culinary programs and campus cafeterias have begun a

recycling program that prevents organic waste from needlessly ending up in landfills.

Leftover waste like food scraps and expired produce from VCC’s eateries are picked up several times a

week and trucked by B.C.-owned Northwest Organics to a ranch near Lytton, located 250 kilometres

northeast of Vancouver. From there, waste is processed into clean compost that is spread on

surrounding farmland to grow crops, such as alfalfa, which is then sold to dairy farms as cattle feed. The

result: milk products that are 100 per cent organic.

Treated compost at Northwest Organics
Photo courtesy NorthWest Organics.

“By diverting waste from landfills, we are reducing our carbon footprint as a college and province, and

helping Vancouver meet its goal of becoming the Greenest City,” says Wendy Avis, VCC manager,

environment and sustainability. She adds, “In the first three months of the program, more than 111

tonnes of organic waste was diverted from landfills. That’s enough to fill five garbage trucks.”

Most of VCC’s food waste originates from the Downtown campus, which is home to a large cafeteria,

two full-service restaurants and a bakery.

A few facts about VCC’s environmental commitment:

• Carbon neutral since 2010

• No bottled water sold on campus since 2012

• 1,300 gallons of organic waste diverted from landfills weekly

• Exploring ways to grow organic food on campus

Media contact:

Laura Shand

Phone: 604.871.7000, ext. 7133