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Recycling Questions? Ask Sonja and Helen Edition #11

Recycling Questions? Ask Sonja & Helen


Every two months, Recycling Renewal Program (RRP) Coordinators, Sonja and Helen, answer your questions on what can and cannot be recycled at Health Authority owned hospital and residential care sites.

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 the BCGreenCare.ca site here.

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:

·         PHC: St. Paul’s Hospital, Mount Saint Joseph;

·         VCH: UBC Hospital, GF Strong, Richmond Hospital, Vancouver General Hospital;

·         FH: Royal Columbian Hospital, Burnaby Hospital, Surrey Memorial Hospital; Ridge Meadows; and

·         PHSA: Children’s and Women’s Hospital and the BC Cancer Agency Vancouver Center.

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% 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, as well as, staff lounges and admin areas. Stay tuned for more information about organics recycling in summer 2017.

Send us your questions!

Unsure about what can and can’t be recycled and why? Or do you have an inspiring story about recycling in your unit? 

Send an email to marianne.dawson@fraserhealth.ca. We will include your question in a future edition or contact you directly.