Average B.C. resident throws out 550 kilograms of garbage each year: study

The province is one of the leaders in waste reduction, but is far from meeting its own 2020 targets

The average British Columbian produces 549 kilograms of garbage in a year – roughly the weight of a horse, according to a new study by Vancity.

The financial institution said Tuesday that B.C. actually produces the least amount of waste per capita in Canada, second only to Nova Scotia – 30 per cent below the national average.

But it’s also 60 per cent more waste than the province-wide target the government set to meet by 2020.

“B.C. is a leader when it comes to waste reduction and diversion, but more strategies are needed to track and improve results,” said Morgan Beall, Vancity’s environmental sustainability portfolio manager.

“The province’s capacity to absorb waste is constantly being stretched. We all have a responsibility to eliminate waste.”

The study, called State of Waste: How B.C. compares in the war on trash, says 25 per cent of the waste found in landfills was spoiled and uneaten food – most of which belonged in compost bins.

In Metro Vancouver, half of all the waste in 2016 – the most recent year for this data – came from demolitions, construction and land-clearing projects.

Another two per cent was clothing, totalling 20,000 tonnes.

The report also compared cities, and found that people in Delta create the most trash – roughly 465 kilograms per single-family household.

Vancouver was not far behind, with 426 kilograms. Surrey, Richmond and West Vancouver did not provide disposal data for the report.

Per capita, Nanaimo, Cowichan and Victoria were some of the closest to reaching the 2020 goal of less than 400 kilograms of waste per household. The North Coast, and Fraser-Fort George region had some of the worst rates, of more than 800 kilograms per household.

People living in Lions Bay produced the smallest amount of garbage, roughly 188 kilograms per household.

The report made several recommendations to limit waste, including households trying the zero-waste challenge, governments tracking and releasing disposal data to the public, and companies establishing mandatory waste reduction and paper-free programs in the workplace.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

UPDATED: Interior Health to add 495 long-term seniors care beds

Nelson, Kelowna, Kamloops, Vernon and Penticton to receive new facilities

Graffiti sprayed on 100 Mile Community Hall

‘We’re having a hard time through this COVID’

Have you been following the Justin Trudeau and WE Charity story?

The weekly web poll for the 100 Mile Free Press

Highway 97 to be repaved in 100 Mile House following complaints

‘It’s been over a month now since those holes have been developing’

South Cariboo piano students see success at online exams

‘I like learning new songs and then actually getting to play them well’

Recent surge in COVID-19 cases not unexpected amid Phase Three of reopening: B.C.’s top doc

Keep circles small, wear masks and be aware of symptoms, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

B.C. NDP changing WorkSafeBC regulations to respond to COVID-19

Employers say reclassifying coronavirus could be ‘ruinous’

Baby raccoon rescued from 10-foot deep drainage pipe on Vancouver Island

‘Its cries were loud, pitiful and heartbreaking,’ Saanich animal control officer says

Statistical flaws led to B.C. wolf cull which didn’t save endangered caribou as estimated

Study finds statistical flaws in an influential 2019 report supporting a wolf cull

Windows broken, racist graffiti left on Okanagan home

Family says nothing like this has happened since they moved to Summerland in 1980s

B.C. man who went by ‘Doctor Ray Gaglardi’ charged with sex assault of teenage boys

The man, 75, is accused of assaulting teenage boys he met through Coquitlam-area churches

B.C.’s potential deficit $12.5 billion as spending spikes, taxes drop

Finance Minister Carole James gives COVID-19 outlook

Canadians torn on scaling back COVID-19 benefits to save money: poll

Of those surveyed, 78 per cent said they were worried about the size of the deficit

‘Trauma equals addiction’: Why some seek solace in illicit drugs

Part 2: Many pushed into addiction by ‘toxic stress,’ says White Rock psychologist

Most Read