Waste to energy and recycling
In Metro Vancouver, we create almost a million tonnes of garbage annually. Our first priority is to reduce and recycle as much of our waste as possible. And while our 2.5 million residents are among the best recyclers in the world, we only recycle 62% of our garbage. Our goal is to recycle 80% of our waste. However, even as we achieve our goal of 80%, there will still be a lot of garbage – about 700,000 tonnes a year. The remaining garbage must be dealt with now and not left for future generations to clean up. Taking care of this waste in a sustainable way is a core Metro Vancouver responsibility.
Residents and businesses in Metro Vancouver are encouraged to separate their recyclables from garbage, and the Waste-to-Energy Facility recovers energy and metals from the residual garbage after recyclables have been taken out.
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What is waste to energy?
Waste-to-energy facilities recover energy and metals from garbage that cannot be recycled.
Waste to energy technology
There are a number of technologies for waste to energy processing, which convert garbage into energy such as electricity, hot water, steam or fuel. There are hundreds of modern waste-to-energy facilities operating in North America, Europe and Asia. Independent studies and scientific evidence around the world have concluded that modern waste-to-energy facilities are safe for human health and the environment.
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Metro Vancouver's Waste-to-Energy Facility uses mass-burn technology, which is the most common and commercially proven waste-to-energy technology. Garbage is combusted in a mass-burn facility with no or minimal pre-processing. Modern mass-burn facilities destroy toxins present in garbage because of their extremely high operating temperatures. They also use pollution control processes such as acid gas elimination and follow strict government operating regulations. These are highly efficient facilities with very low levels of air emissions.
Learn more about recycling initiatives in Metro Vancouver
Interested in a closer look at Metro Vancouver's Waste-to-Energy Facility? Take a tour!
Book a school tour for grade 5 to 12 classes online below. To book a tour for university groups or other interested community groups, call 604-432-6200 or email
Book a school tour