Vancouverites will soon be able to toss their potato peelings and apple cores in with their lawn clippings as the city Thursday gave a green thumbs-up to curbside composting.

Phase 1 of the program begins Earth Day, April 22, and aims to divert 6,100 tonnes of fruit and vegetable scraps annually from the Vancouver Landfill.

It excludes people who live in apartments or condominiums and businesses with private garbage pickup.

Single-family dwellings will be able to add raw fruit and vegetable scraps into their yard trimmings bin that is collected every two weeks.

A communication plan for the program will cost $230,000.

NPA Coun. Suzanne Anton, who campaigned on composting during her first term four years ago, said curbside composting is something that the city has wanted to do for a long time, but it lacked the composting facilities at a regional level.

That, however, changed last summer when Metro Vancouver signed a 10-year deal with a food-waste and yard-trimming facility in Richmond.

Council’s decision also paves the way to vastly expand curbside composting. A report due before the end of July will detail plans to compost all single-family food waste, which would divert an additional 9,600 tonnes.

Phase 2, which begins early 2011, will see residential garbage picked up every two weeks, while foodstuffs, food-soiled paper and yard trimmings will be picked up weekly.

Latest From ...