Food Scraps Recycling
Written by Sonja Janousek, Sustainability Coordinator, Lower Mainland Facilities Management / Energy and Environmental Sustainability

Edition #11: Where do I put my organic waste?

Recycling in health care facilities is different to recycling at home or in an office. Our facilities generate biomedical waste, so our recyclables pose a higher risk to recycling vendor staff that sort items by hand.

We want to help ensure you have the information you need to dispose of your waste items correctly.

Missed previous editions?

We post the recycling question and answer series with photos and posters on

Edition #11: Organic waste

Q. Where do I put my organic waste? 

Dispose of your organic waste in one of two places:

  • Food scraps and food soiled paper bin
  • Garbage

Q. Where can I find a food scraps recycling bin? 

Food scraps recycling bins are currently available in cafeterias at 13 Lower Mainland hospitals:

  • Fraser Health: Royal Columbian Hospital, Burnaby Hospital, Surrey Memorial Hospital and Ridge Meadows Hospital
  • Vancouver Coastal Health: UBC Hospital, G.F. Strong Rehabilitation Centre, Richmond Hospital and Vancouver General Hospital
  • Providence Health Care: St. Paul’s Hospital and Mount Saint Joseph Hospital
  • Provincial Health Services: BC Children’s Hospital, BC Women’s Hospital and Health Centre, and BC Cancer Agency Vancouver Centre

Q. What can go into the food scraps and food soiled paper recycling bin? 

Left-over food items, as well as, food-soiled paper products such as napkins, paper plates, tea bags, coffee grounds and wooden stir sticks. You should continue to discard coffee cups and all food cartons with a plastic or wax coating in the garbage.

Q. What should I do if I don’t have a food scraps bin in my cafeteria? 

Dispose of your organic recyclables in the garbage.

Q. But what about the organics disposal ban in Metro Vancouver? Is there a plan for more food scraps recycling bins in retail cafeterias and staff rooms? 

The organics disposal ban in Metro Vancouver landfills applies to any waste load with more than 5 per cent organics. To meet this threshold Business Initiatives Support Services (BISS) is working with hospital and residential care partners to identify further opportunities for recycling organics in retail services, staff lounges and administration areas. Stay tuned for more information about organics recycling this summer.

Send us your questions!

Unsure about what can and cannot be recycled and why? Or do you have an inspiring story about recycling in your unit? Send an email to

We’ll include your question in a future edition of Ask Sonja and Helen, or contact you directly.

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