While the COVID-19 pandemic changed the way Metro Vancouver residents and businesses worked, learned, and lived last year, the region continued to make progress towards its waste reduction and recycling goals.
As outlined in the 2020 Solid Waste and Recycling Annual Report, the region’s recycling rate increased last year by one per cent to 64 per cent, while the per-capita disposal rate decreased by 0.03 tonnes to 0.45 tonnes per capita. The recycling rate rise was primarily due to increased recycling in the residential sector and decreased waste in the commercial/institutional and construction and demolition sectors. With residents spending more time at home and many businesses temporarily closing, both waste disposal and recycling increased from the residential sector and decreased from the commercial sector.
The pandemic also led to an increase in single-use items including packaging and paper products, which highlights the importance of Metro Vancouver’s waste reduction initiatives.