Metro Vancouver is hoping to further reduce the amount of waste ending up in the Vancouver Landfill, but that doesn’t mean the closure of the dump in Delta will be delayed.
That’s according to the regional district which has begun the process of reviewing its Integrated Solid Waste and Resource Management Plan, last updated in 2011.
The plan includes goals such as reducing the waste generated and recycling 80 per cent of the region’s waste by 2020. Currently, about 64 per cent of the region’s garbage is recycled.
Metro Vancouver is early in the process, connecting with stakeholders, communities and residents with a recent questionnaire, gathering feedback as a new plan will be developed over the next two-to-three years.
Broadly speaking, Metro Vancouver’s solid waste management plan update will focus on reduction, reuse, recycling and advancement of the circular economy, in addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and maximizing local benefits of waste reduction and recycling efforts, said Paul Henderson, general manager of Solid Waste Services for Metro Vancouver.
The regional district is also looking at the plan through the lenses of resilience, equity and prosperity, he said.
Henderson added the success of waste reduction, reuse and recycling efforts will reduce the region’s reliance on the Vancouver Landfill, but there are no plans to extend use of the landfill in Delta beyond 2037.
In a recent letter to Delta council, Metro board chair Sav Dhaliwal and Zero Waste Committee chair Jack Froese said a comprehensive engagement program involving a broad range of stakeholders and perspectives will be critical in the development of an updated solid waste management plan.
Metro Vancouver will also work closely with municipal staff to understand and identify opportunities to advance waste reduction and recycling in key priority areas, such as single-use items, illegal dumping, and construction and demolition waste, they explained.
“Although the development of a new solid waste management plan is anticipated to be a two-to three-year process, Metro Vancouver and municipal staff will continue to work together in the interim to advance efforts in these key areas,” they added.
According to the Vancouver Landfill Technical Liaison Committee, comprised of Delta and Vancouver staff, the landfill is authorized to accept up to 750,000 tonnes of municipal solid waste for disposal annually, including demolition waste.
In 2020, approximately 700,000 tonnes of waste was received at the landfill and a similar amount is projected for 2021.
Vancouver, which operates the landfill, recently completed a project to upgrade the landfill entry and scales along with the residential drop-off area where additional recycling opportunities are now available.
The new Zero Waste Centre is approximately twice as large as the previous residential waste drop-off and recycling area and has additional recycling options.
Metro Vancouver, Delta and Vancouver currently have a deal, signed in 1999, that stipulates the landfill is to close in 2037.
An end-use plan has to be developed that meets with Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy's approval.