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Commercial Building Guidelines

Key Strategies

There are five key strategies for diverting waste, avoiding overflowing containers and keeping unauthorized people from using the garbage and recycling containers.

Strategy #1 - Access Composition and Volume of Garbage and Recycling
Good planning begins with an understanding of what garbage and recyclable materials are being produced, or will be produced, by the business(es) that occupy a building. Owners or developers may wish to do their own waste management, hire a company to do an assessment, or contact Metro Vancouver for a no-charge assessment of existing business waste through the SmartSteps program.

Under the SmartSteps program, a Business Advisor will conduct a waste assessment and make recommendations based on what is routinely "thrown out" and what recycling and waste diversion practices are presently in place. For more information on this service as well as other tools, technical assistance and information call 604-451-6575.

Strategy #2 - Provide a Designated Room for Garbage and Recycling Collection
Ideally, the designated garbage and recycling space is a separate internal storage room. If a room is not feasible, a shed or enclosure is a viable option. If a room, shed or other enclosure if not feasible, solid screening of containers is recommended.

In all cases, the space must be large enough to store all recycling and garbage between designated collection days and to permit movement of the containers. Designated spaces must also meet fire safety requirements.

Strategy #3 - Locate Recycling Facilities with or Adjacent to Garbage Facilities
Ideally, recycling facilities are located in close proximity to garbage facilities so that tenants find it as convenient to recycle as to dispose of garbage. Within the storage area, recycling and garbage containers should be kept separated to reduce confusion.

Strategy #4 - Provide Clear Signage and Adequate Lighting
Garbage and recycling facilities and containers must have a clear signage to ensure the appropriate material goes in the appropriate container. Adequate lighting discourages improper use of the containers and area.

Strategy #5 - Lock Facilities or Lock Containers
Ideally, the facility should be secured with locked doors. If people from outside the building can access the containers, locking the containers is an effective strategy to reduce illegal dumping.