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Applying for a Licence


​All privately owned or operated solid waste facilities within Metro Vancouver (GVS&DD area) are required to have, and operate in compliance with, a valid licence issued by Metro Vancouver. Applications for licences are evaluated based on the requirements in the GVS&DD Municipal Solid Waste and Recyclable Material Regulatory Bylaw No. 181, 1996 (Bylaw 181)​.

Facilities that require a licence

These types of privately owned or operated solid waste facilities require a licence:

  • Disposal facilities
  • Transfer stations
  • Material recovery facilities
  • Storage facilities
  • Certain brokers and composters of municipal solid waste and recyclable material

Licence application process

​A more detailed overview of the licence application process includes:​​



Application submittedApplication submitted<div class="ExternalClassEBD252B920A1443788282E0EE8317FB4"><ol type="a"><li>Applicant contacts Metro Vancouver to see if a licence is required</li><li>Applicant completes and submits an application and submits the application fee (application forms are available on the <a href="/services/environmental-regulation-enforcement/solid-waste-regulatory-program/applying-for-a-licence" target="_blank">Metro Vancouver website</a>)</li><li>Metro Vancouver reviews the application for completeness, and if not complete, advises the applicant of what is missing</li><li>Applicant provides missing information; steps c) and d) are repeated until Metro Vancouver considers the application to be complete</li><li>Applicant submits a final signed application to Metro Vancouver</li></ol>​<br></div>
Municipality reviews applicationMunicipality reviews application<div class="ExternalClassEBCBCDEBDAB14F89A100FA34B803F9A9"><ol type="a"><li>Metro Vancouver provides a copy of the final application to the municipality where the facility is located and requests their comments and recommendations on the application. The municipality is also requested to indicate whether or not they approve of the application</li><li>The municipality, within 60 days, provides comments and recommendations concerning the application, and indicates whether or not they approve the application<br></li></ol></div>
Municipality approval Municipality approval <div class="ExternalClassF2FCB8D33D1D4CAAB922C5401C4387E8"><ol type="a"><li>If the municipality approves the application, it moves to the “public notification and comments” step in the licence application process</li><li>If the municipality does not approve the application, it does not proceed further in the application process. The applicant will need to reapply for a license. It is recommended that the applicant resolve any concerns identified by the municipality before reapplying.</li> </ol></div>
Public notification and commentsPublic notification and comments<div class="ExternalClass00CD7A68885D481C96C11F03926249F1"><ol type="a"><li>Metro Vancouver provides a draft public notice to the applicant for comment</li><li>Public notice is finalized</li><li>Applicant submits the public notice to a local newspaper for publishing and the newspaper contacts Metro Vancouver for final approval of the notice before printing</li><li>Applicant provides a copy of the full-page tear sheet to Metro Vancouver as proof of publication</li><li>Applicant posts a copy of the application, for no less than 30 days, at all main road entrances to the land where the facility is located</li><li>In some cases, the applicant may be required to mail the public notice to people potentially affected by the application</li><li>Metro Vancouver posts information on the <a href="/services/environmental-regulation-enforcement/solid-waste-regulatory-program/licence-applications">​Metro Vancouver website</a> where the public is able to provide comment on the application</li><li>Metro Vancouver receives comments and forwards these to the applicant for response</li></ol></div>
Draft licence preparedDraft licence prepared<div class="ExternalClass663C503F27EA46368ED4FC8F5F434789"><ol type="a"><li>Metro Vancouver advises the applicant of financial security requirements and amount</li><li>Metro Vancouver considers comments received and responses provided to create a draft licence</li><li>Metro Vancouver shares the draft licence with the applicant for their comment</li><li>Once a draft licence is finalized, Metro Vancouver staff prepare a recommendation regarding licence issuance, which summarizes how comments from the municipality, public and the applicant have been addressed</li><li>Metro Vancouver staff present the draft licence and their recommendation to the Solid Waste Manager (the statutory decision maker) for a decision​<br></li></ol></div>
Licence IssuanceLicence Issuance<div class="ExternalClassEF97BE6F201142F282EB2C378AB31434"><ol type="a"><li>The Solid Waste Manager reviews the staff recommendation and decides whether to issue the licence as prepared or with additional conditions<br></li></ol></div>
Applicant and other parties notified of decisionApplicant and other parties notified of decision<div class="ExternalClass4F67E0C696384036A4474B2314535A9C"><ol type="a"><li>Metro Vancouver notifies the applicant of the licence decision</li><li>Applicant pays the financial security</li><li>Metro Vancouver issues the licence</li><li>Metro Vancouver posts the issued licence to the Metro Vancouver website</li><li>Metro Vancouver notifies the municipality and any agencies that were asked to comment on the application of the licence decision</li><li>Metro Vancouver notifies any members of the public who provided comment on the application of the licence decision<br></li></ol></div>

​  View an Overview of the Application Proc​​ess

Application forms and fees

Instructions on how to apply and pay fees are listed on each application form. All listed fees are tax exempt.

The main costs associated with solid waste facility licences are:

  • Application fees: Fees vary based on the type of facility and should be paid when the initial application is submitted.
  • Publishing and Posting Costs: All costs associated with the publishing and posting requirements of an application are paid directly by the applicant to the service provider (i.e., newspaper).
  • Financial security: If a security is required, it must be provided and maintained with Metro Vancouver as a condition before the licence is issued. The amount relates to the reasonable cost that may be incurred by Metro Vancouver if the applicant does not comply with the terms and conditions of the licence. It includes estimated costs for disposing of material on site at any given time and addressing clean up or other unforeseen issues. Invoices are not issued for financial securities.
  • Administration fees: Fees are $1000/year per licence and are invoiced annually by Metro Vancouver based on the date the licence was originally issued.
  • Disposal fees: Fees are currently $3/metric tonne and apply to all facilities except brokering facilities and composting facilities. Metro Vancouver invoices monthly based on information reported by the facility.

Learn how to pay fees​​​​​



Brokering facility licence Brokering facility licence <div class="ExternalClass411A547EFD894172964117609D000512"><p>For a facility that receives, cleans, sorts, bales or packages material for recycling:</p><ul><li>Application fee for a new licence: $1000</li><li>Application fee to amend an existing licence: $500</li><li>Application fee to transfer an existing licence: $500</li><li>Annual administration fee: $1000</li><li>Disposal fee: none</li></ul><p> <i class="fa-light fa-file"> </i> <a href="/services/solid-waste/Documents/broker-facility-licence-application.pdf">Brokering Facility Licence Application</a><br></p><p></p></div>
Composting facility licenceComposting facility licence<div class="ExternalClass02960EAAE28B48128BB2121857E79492"><p>For composting facilities where municipal solid waste is composted on a commercial basis.</p><ul><li>Application fee for a new facility: $1000</li><li>Application fee to amend an existing licence: $500</li><li>Application fee to transfer an existing licence: $500</li><li>Annual administration fee: $1000</li><li>Disposal fee: none</li></ul><p> <i class="fa-light fa-file"> </i> <a href="/services/solid-waste/Documents/composting-facility-licence-application.pdf">Composting Facility Licence Applicati​on</a></p><p></p></div>
Storage facility licenceStorage facility licence<div class="ExternalClassE5368690B9574749B2654763BAA9D182"><p>For facilities that store solid waste or recyclable material for long periods (i.e. where there is no plan to recycle materials in the immediate future)</p><ul><li>Application fee for a new facility: $1000</li><li>Application fee to amend an existing licence: $500</li><li>Application fee to transfer an existing licence: $500</li><li>Annual administration fee: $1000</li><li>Disposal fee: $3/metric tonne<br></li></ul><p> <i class="fa-light fa-file"> </i> <a href="/services/solid-waste/Documents/storage-facility-licence-application.pdf">Storage Facility Licence Application</a><br></p><p></p></div>
Transfer station or material recovery facility licenceTransfer station or material recovery facility licence<div class="ExternalClass9A9C05CC4E614D0FA72DF7526D759169"><p>For facilities that receive municipal solid waste and either send it for disposal (transfer station) or remove materials for recycling and reuse (materials recovery facility)</p><ul><li>Application fee for a new facility: $1000<br></li><li>Application fee to amend an existing licence: $500</li><li>Application fee to transfer an existing licence: $500</li><li>Annual administration fee: $1000</li><li>Disposal fee: $3/metric tonne</li></ul><p> <i class="fa-light fa-file"> </i> <a href="/services/solid-waste/Documents/transfer-station-licence-application.pdf">Transfer Station or Material Recovery Facility Licence Application</a></p><p></p></div>
Disposal facility Disposal facility <div class="ExternalClassF09A268C45DF4B97924CB210A857EE63"><p>For a facility, land or buildings (and related improvements) that is used for the landfilling or destruction of municipal solid waste.</p><ul><li>Application fee for a new facility: $5000</li><li>Application to amend an existing licence: $2500</li><li>Application fee to transfer an existing licence: $2500</li><li>Annual administration fee: $1000</li><li>Disposal fee: $3/metric tonne</li></ul><p> <i class="fa-light fa-file"> </i> <a href="/services/solid-waste/Documents/disposal-facility-solid-waste-licence-application.pdf">Disposal Facility Licence Application</a></p><p></p></div>
Changes to existing licences or permits (amendments and transfers)Changes to existing licences or permits (amendments and transfers)<div class="ExternalClass518D2005A8984FEAA0FFC780A4C0D59D"><p> <em>Solid waste licences</em></p><p>Changes to an existing licence requires an application for either a transfer or an amendment. Instructions are listed on the application forms. Fees vary, depending on the type of change. Please contact us if you are unsure what action or form is required.</p><p> <i class="fa-light fa-file"> </i> <a href="/services/solid-waste/Documents/transfer-request-solid-waste-licence.pdf">Licence Transfer Application</a>​<br></p><table class="uk-table uk-table-small uk-table-divider mv-border-slate mv-table-heading-slate mv-table-border uk-table-striped"><thead><tr><th>​What is changing?</th><th>Action required</th><th>Form to use</th></tr></thead><tbody><tr><td>Facility has been sold to a new owner.</td><td>Licence needs to be transferred to the new owner.</td><td>Transfer application​​<br></td></tr><tr><td>The company that owns a facility changes its company name (company owner stays the same).</td><td>Licence needs to be transferred to the new name. </td><td>Transfer application​​<br></td></tr><tr><td>All other changes not listed above (e.g., change to processes, quantity of materials, etc.).​<br></td><td>Amendment to licence. Amendment will go through the same approval process as a new application. </td><td>Licence application (listed above by facility type)</td></tr></tbody></table>​​​ </div>
Air quality and liquid waste permitsAir quality and liquid waste permits<div class="ExternalClass262B37FB6CD741359A7D306A6AC4C821"><p>Information on air quality and liquid waste permits, i​ncluding changes to permits (such as transfers and amendments), is listed under the Air Quality Regulatory Program and Liquid Waste Regulatory Program.</p><p><i class="fa-light fa-file"> </i> <a href="/services/environmental-regulation-enforcement/air-quality-regulatory-program/apply-for-a-permit">Air Quality Regulatory Program</a></p><p><i class="fa-light fa-file"> </i> <a href="/services/environmental-regulation-enforcement/liquid-waste-regulatory-program/applying-for-a-permit">Liquid Waste Regulatory Program</a><br></p></div>

 Licence application resources



Site Plan Template, Site Plan TemplateSite Plan Template


Metro Vancouver Environmental Regulation and Enforcement

  • Email
  • 604-432-6200​​​​

 Related links



Solid Waste and Recyclable Material Bylaw, Solid Waste and Recyclable Material BylawSolid Waste and Recyclable Material Bylaw
Pay Licence Fees, Pay Licence FeesPay Licence Fees
Licence Applications in Progress, Licence Applications in ProgressLicence Applications in Progress
Find a Current Licence, Find a Current LicenceFind a Current Licence
Apply for an Air Quality Permit, Apply for an Air Quality PermitApply for an Air Quality Permit

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