Frequently Asked Questions

About composting, you can find some answers on the Recycling Alternative blog, bottom of page


Below are some other questions we’ve received in the West End.

Q: I realize your hours are 10 am to 12 noon on Saturdays, but can I drop off my food scraps early or late?
A: Sorry, but we have to say that early or late dropping of food scraps is NOT allowed. We have to have zero tolerance for this, as it could snowball. We can only run this program with the kind permission of our hosts (community centre, neighbourhood house). Early dropping could invite birds and dogs and create an unsightly mess. Also, we need to have  volunteers present to ensure the compost is not contaminated with materials that hinder the composting process. So please do help us by keeping within our stated hours.

Q: Can you accept my CRYOVAC food tray? It says “Industrial Compostable.”
A: Unfortunately, Recycling Alternative cannot accept this type. Accepted plastics MUST have a BPI certification logo. In the case of CRYOVAC, the company does not indicate certification details, info about how the trays are made, etc., so Recycling Alternative cannot tell if they meet requirements for their composting facilities.

Q: Can you accept laundry lint from my clothes dryer?
A: Sorry, cannot at this time. It’s not compatible with the composting process.

Q: Can you accept the cotton filler filler that comes with vitamin and medicine bottles?
A: Sorry, cannot at this time. It’s not compatible with the composting process.

Q: Can you start collecting other recyclable items, like plastics and styrofoam?
A: It would be nice to expand to other items at some point, but this depends on resources (people, organization power) and permission from our hosts. Many things could be possible in the future, but for the moment we need to stick to the food scraps and ensure this program continues to run successfully. We’ll keep track of your offers and suggestions and see where we can go in the future.

Q: What is your long-term plan? Do you plan to run the Food Scraps Drop Spots for a long time?
A: We see this program as an interim measure of several months to a couple years or more. We are interested in kick-starting food scraps recycling in the West End for multi-unit buildings (rental apartments, condos, co-ops, leaseholds, etc.), in which the majority of people live in this area. The West End population is about 46,000 people. The Metro Vancouver region will ban food scraps from the waste stream by 2015, and the City of Vancouver is considering how to deal with multi-unit buildings. There are many factors involved. But at the moment, because there is limited infrastructure for multi-unit buildings to compost, we are offering the Drop Spots as one model. This is a learning experience for our whole community. The experience will contribute to good systems in the future. Meanwhile, THANK YOU for your participation in the program!


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