Metro Vancouver has a disposal ban in place to keep readily recyclable and hazardous materials out of the landfill. This includes everything from cardboard to drywall. A report on the program is produced annually and provides statistics about inspections, banned items, surcharge notices and revenues. The 2018 report was presented to the regional district’s Zero Waste Committee on Friday.
Last year, inspectors looked at 188,135 loads of garbage, or 25 percent of the total number of garbage loads taken to Metro Vancouver and City of Vancouver facilities. About nine percent, or 16,707 loads, contained banned materials, and surcharge notices were issued to 3,554 loads, which is a surcharge rate of 1.9 percent. That rate has remained consistent for the past three years. The remaining 13,153 had banned materials in them, but were not dumped. Instead, they were redirected for recycling.
The number and percentage of loads inspected is less than in 2017, when 220,624 (29 percent) were looked at, but slightly higher than the 180,530 (24 percent) inspected in 2016.
Electronic waste, such as vacuums, microwaves, audio systems, televisions, computers and printers, made up 25 percent of the banned material found in trash loads that were given surcharge notices in 2018. The percentage has declined over the past three years, from 35 percent in 2016, to 28 percent in 2017.
Corrugated cardboard is the second most common banned item, and made up 19 percent of surcharge notices in 2018. That’s up from 10 percent in 2016.
Mattresses, gypsum and clean wood accounted for 16 percent, 10 percent and six percent of surcharge notices in 2018, respectively. The clean wood disposal ban was relaxed for three months at the waste-to-energy facility in early 2018 (along with food waste), and then at all facilities at the end of the year because of some issues recycling construction and demolition waste.