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Guidelines for Buildings

Commercial Building Guidelines

It used to be an afterthought. Buildings were designed, space was allocated, access roads were planned, and then someone would ask, "Now what about garbage and recycling?" Thankfully, those days are gone. Solid waste management is now an integral part of the development planning process.

This page is intended to assist designers and developers of commercial buildings with:

To download a PDF copy of the commercial building guidelines, see City of Richmond Design Considerations for Commercial Properties: Recycling and Garbage.

Please note:
This resource presents key strategies and general advice for meeting the City regulations. These information should be used with, not in place of, all applicable building codes, City standards and other relevant legislation.


  • To divert as much waste as possible away from garbage disposal and into recycling,
  • To avoid overflowing garbage and recycling containers that may attract rodents and complaints, and
  • To ensure that only occupants of the building use the dumpsters and containers for disposal.


A commercial property owner or designate has three main responsibilities concerning garbage and management.

1. Ensure Adequate storage and collection

An owner or designate is responsible  for meeting the property's needs by:
  • Providing adequate storage for garbage and recycling,
  • Contracting with a private service provider for collection, or
  • Handling garbage and recycling collection as part of its own operations.

Please note: The City does not provide garbage and recycling services to commercial properties. Cost is a private arrangement between commercial property management and collector.

2. Meet Government Regulations

An owner or designate is responsible for meeting regulations designed to ensure adequate storage and collection. These regulations include provisions to ensure commercial building owners:

  • Provide an adequate number of garbage containers (Solid Waste & Recycling Regulation Bylaw 6803, section 5.2).
  • Ensure there is no accumulation of materials which could constitute a public health hazard (BC Public Health Act).
  • Ensure the property does not become unsightly. This include preventing garbage from accumulating and removing any accumulations (Solid Waste & Recycling Regulation Bylaw 6803, section 1.7 and Unsightly Premises Bylaw 7162).
  • Store garbage in such a way as to not provide shelter, refuge or food for rodents (Public Health Protection Bylaw 6989).
  • Ensure containers are not placed on roadways

    (Traffic Bylaw 5870, section 6.2)
  • Ensure rooms for temporary storage of combustible refuse such as garbage or waste paper are separated from the remainder of the building by a fire separation with a fire-resistance rating of not less than one hour, and be sprinklered (Building Code Regulations section except as as provided in sentence
  • Respect noise restrictions. Allowable collection hours are 7:00 a.m. to

    8:00 p.m. Monday to Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Sunday and statutory holidays (City of Richmond Solid Waste and Recycling Regulation, part 9).
  • Manage oil and grease from food sector establishment to ensure no oil or grease is discharged into a sanitary sewer or drainage system within the City (Drainage, Dyke and Sanitary Sewer System Bylaw 7551, Section 3).

3. Comply with Disposal Bans

An owner or designate must ensure their tenants comply with Metro Vancouver's enhanced disposal bans. These bans do not allow the disposal of returnable beverage containers, recyclable paper, electronics and much more in the regular garbage. Recycling and disposal options are:

In addition, Metro Vancouver offers a directory of reuse and recycling services. See Recycling Directory for more information.