Millions of coffee cups end up in Metro Vancouver’s garbage every year – mostly in coffee shops, restaurants and office buildings where recycling is not as readily available.
To address this situation, Encorp Pacific and Metro Vancouver are working with Tim Hortons and A&W on a pilot project, which involves collection of single-use coffee cups from five public locations in downtown Vancouver.
As more than half of coffee cups disposed of in the garbage come from the commercial and institutional sector, this pilot will focus on identifying recycling methods to divert these cups from the landfill.
The pilot, launched this month, involves customized bins designed to determine the most effective signage and configuration. The public is encouraged to place their used coffee cups in the bins provided, while the materials – including coffee cups, lids and sleeves – collected during the pilot will be used to test and develop new recycling solutions and ends markets.
Managed by Return-It, the six-month pilot will evaluate recycling end markets for the items collected, test the marketability of different disposable cup materials, such as plastic-lined cups, and provide a market analysis to determine the long-term viability of a broader program.