Compostables (Organics) Diversion

Our City is Going Green with a New Residential Curbside Compostables (Organics) Collection Program!

The City of Chilliwack has modified our Residential Curbside Collection Program to separate organics/compostables (food waste, food-soiled paper and yard waste) for composting.

The Fraser Valley Regional District is taking steps to divert compostable material from disposal; a priority in the FVRD Solid Waste Management Plan. To support our region's compostables diversion plan, the first step for the City of Chilliwack was to start composting the compostable material collected through our Curbside Program. The City is working with the FVRD to ultimately expand compostables diversion to other sectors such as multi-family residences, businesses, schools, and health facilities.

Visit our Curbside Compostables (Organics) Collection Program webpage for information on how the program is structured.  Information is also available on the Frequently Asked Questions page.

Why is it important to compost?

When food and other compostable material end up in the garbage they use up a lot of valuable space in our landfill. This space is limited and creating more landfills is undesirable. It is estimated that 1/3 of what we send to the landfill in our region is can be composted and a significant amount of compostable waste is generated by residents. A waste audit conducted for single family residences in Chilliwack in 2010 showed that compostable waste comprised over 45% of the total garbage stream:

The diversion of compostable material from the landfill will have several other benefits:

  • Less odour generation
  • Less attractants for rodents, birds, and wildlife
  • Less greenhouse gas generation

When compostable material breaks down inside a landfill site where there is no oxygen, it generates methane, which is a greenhouse gas 23 times more powerful than carbon dioxide. Although we now have a gas collection system at the Bailey Landfill, it is impossible to collect all of the gas generated. In just one year, the gas extraction system collected over 800,000 cubic metres of methane or 11,300 tonnes of greenhouse gas! If compostable material is diverted from the landfill in the future, the gas collection system is still required because historic food waste disposed of at the landfill will continue to generate methane for years to come.

By participating in the City’s Compostable Collection Program, you will:

  • Produce less garbage because food waste makes up over 40% of residential garbage.
  • Turn waste into a resource by transforming this compostable waste into nutrient-rich compost for farmers and landscapers.
  • Contribute to cleaner air by reducing methane production at the landfill.

When was this program launched?

The implementation date for the Residential Curbside Compostables Collection Program was May 1, 2017. This was when our new contract with Emterra Environmental started, which allowed for program changes to be implemented.

What outreach is the City doing for the new Compostables Collection Program?

The City understands that compostables diversion will require residents to change the way they handle their waste and we wanted to provide information early-on to help residents understand the up-coming changes and obtain input to help shape the program.

Outreach began in the fall of 2015 and will continue through program implementation.  For more information visit the Outreach webpage.

For more information, please contact our Engineering Department at 604.793.2787, e-mail curbside@chilliwack.com or visit the Curbside Compostables (Organics) Collection Program webpage.

Curbside Compostables (Organics) Collection Program

Information about the new Residential Curbside Compostables (Organics) Collection Program that started May 2017

Curbside Compostables (Organics) Collection Program Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to common questions about the new Curbside Compostables (Organics) Collection Program that starts in May 2017

Curbside Compostables (Organics) Collection Program Outreach

A summary of outreach events where residents can learn about the Curbside Compostables Collection Program and other Curbside Program changes