Burnaby mandates 70 per cent demolition waste diversion

The Metro Vancouver city’s new rules will be phased in over the next few years and feature a deposit/refund system.

Premier John Horgan visits Burnaby Hospital project.

B.C. Premier John Horgan kicks off work to redevelop Burnaby Hospital. – Province of B.C.

Key Takeaways

  • The first phase of the rules goes into effect this October.
  • More than half of the demolition material that hits Metro Vancouver landfills is recyclable.
  • Starting in 2023, the rules will be encouraged with a deposit system that gives a refund when the diversion goal is hit.

The Whole Story:

Rules around demolition waste are changing for Burnaby, B.C. 

The city is introducing the Construction & Demolition Waste Diversion Bylaw, which mandates that at least 70 per cent of waste created as a result of building demolitions must be diverted from landfills. 

City officials stated that once the bylaw comes into force in fall of this year, it will represent a major step in Burnaby’s efforts to meet Metro Vancouver’s regional goal of 80 per cent overall waste diversion. 

“As materials from construction and demolition make up a third of Metro Vancouver’s solid waste, making improvements in the sector is an integral part of the City’s overall waste reduction strategy,” said the city. “More than half of the approximately 400,000 tonnes of demolition material which flows into Metro Vancouver landfills annually is recyclable, and diverting resources like wood, metal and concrete to recycling facilities is a vital step in reducing the greenhouse gases these materials emit when not disposed of correctly.” 

Officials explained that the new bylaw will be introduced in phases, with multi-family and non-residential demolitions subject to the new regulations on October 1, 2022, and rules for single- and two-family buildings coming into force on March 1, 2023. 

After these dates, demolitions will require a non-refundable application fee of $250, and a deposit of $2.25 per square foot of the building being demolished, with a maximum deposit cap of $50,000. The refund received will be calculated on the percentage of waste diverted to the proper recycling channels, with the entire deposit amount being refunded for demolitions which divert 70 per cent or more of their waste.


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