Compost Collective

Downtown Vancouver

Compost Collective

Food waste diversion pilot projects in Vancouver’s multi-family buildings.

School:

Emily Carr

Department:

Industrial Design

Course:

CityStudio

Instructors:

Duane Elverum, Janet Moore, Lena Soots

City of Vancouver Partners:

  • Amy Fournier | Sustainability

Student Team:

  • Andreas Eiken
  • Jesi Carson
  • Katie Mah
  • Maia Rowan

Strategy:

  • Greenest City Action Plan

City goal area(s):

  • Zero Waste

Summary

The Compost Collective is a project designed to contribute to the Zero Waste Goal by supporting Multi Family Buildings to divert their food scraps from the landfill.

To contribute to the Zero Waste Goal, the Compost Collective intends to support the City of Vancouver in overcoming the challenges related to diverting food scraps in multi-family buildings. The strategy known as “community based social marketing” calls for the identification of “early adopters”. Out of 105 people surveyed at two Food Scraps Drop Spot locations, 12 Champions participate in a community dialogue hosted by the Compost Collective. Of those participants, 10 express interest in taking the next step of contact with their building manager or strata, with particular interest in a fact sheet about food scraps.

Our key challenge in this project was that barriers were relatively easy to identify, but many of the solutions to these barriers required several layers to navigate. Early on, we found that what supports change best in multi-family buildings is face-to-face conversation; however, as we discussed with our City contact this requires a great amount of time and funding. We put up posters in elevators and mail rooms, sent out emails to building residents/strata members and flyers under doors, but in each pilot, what was most effective was when we engaged with people in person or held building meetings. Navigating policy in multi-family buildings was also complicated in many buildings, as each building functioned in a slightly different way. Through our pilot projects, we learned that a customized approach and human support was most effective to reach residents.

As the semester draws to a close we find that our project is at various stages. Each of our three pilot buildings are at a different part of the process for recycling their food scraps. The ten champions from our dialogue have been inspired by seeing others working towards food scrap recycling, although we have not yet heard from any of them to say they are pursuing the project further. Over the past 4 months we have managed to divert 46 buckets of food scraps by using many methods of food scrap diversion.

Compost Collective
Compost Collective

Stewardship Plan

The Compost Collective planted many seeds for food scrap diversion over the course of the semester. We have been able to provide inspiration and support for getting the process started. We recognize that we will likely not be involved for the entire process, which is why we have identified and recruited champions in each building we work with. The agreement between the compost collective and the respective buildings is that we would help to provide education, strategies, and methods for recycling food scraps, and help the building to form a committee. They in return will see the process through and work with their building to get food scraps recycling implemented. We will be in touch with the buildings (we either live in them, or have family in them) after the project is done and will provide support where needed. We will also be giving our recommendations and findings to Amy Fournier in hopes that they will help her in advising the City on next steps to take. We will also be presenting our project to the solid waste group with Amy in January