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.

Just Posted

B.C. father and sons launch new trunk-sharing system, ‘Trunkit’

Smiths say peer-to-peer shipping service offers an affordable, green alternative

Summerland thrift store to offer reusable cloth bags

Bags at Summerland Health Care Auxiliary Thrift Store will be available at a nominal cost in March

Family Day move a welcome change: poll

Okanagan readers voted that the new date for Family Day in B.C. is a positive change

Penticton athlete takes home gold in freestyle aerials at Canada Games

Brayden Kuroda won the event with a combined score of 121.65.

Penticton Vees look to playoffs after Feb. 16 win against Langley

The team needs to win two of their last three games to claim the division title

VIDEO: First responders save man friends say overdosed on fentanyl

Friends administered personal stores of naloxone before responders arrived

Lost a ring? This B.C. man will find it for you

Chris Turner founded The Ring Finders, an international directory of metal detector hobbyists

Salmon Arm’s Laura Hall on bronze-winning skating squad

Hall’s team placed third in long track team pursuit at the Canada Winter Games

Poverty coalition has high hopes for B.C. poverty reduction strategy

Funding allocation expected to be released with 2019 budget

‘How did we get here?’: B.C. mom of transplant recipient worries about measles outbreaks

Addison, 7, cannot get a live vaccine because she has a heart transplant

Review: Joie de Vivre a celebration of homegrown talent

The Okanagan Symphony Orchestra concert featured Ernst Schneider

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh calls for public inquiry over SNC-Lavalin questions

Vancouver member of Parliament Jody Wilson-Raybould resigned from cabinet last week

Canadian airlines waiting for guidance from Ottawa over X gender option

Major U.S. airlines said they will change their process so passengers can identify themselves along non-binary lines

Moose Hide campaign takes message to Canadian schools

Campaign launches new K-12 education platform

Most Read