Compost Collective

Food waste diversion pilot projects in Vancouver’s multi-family buildings.


Emily Carr


Industrial Design




  • Duane Elverum
  • Janet Moore
  • Lena Soots

City of Vancouver:

  • Amy Fournier | Sustainability

Student Team:

  • Andreas Eiken
  • Jesi Carson
  • Katie Mah
  • Maia Rowan


  • Greenest City Action Plan

City goal area:

  • Zero Waste


The Compost Collective is a project designed to contribute to the Zero Waste Goal by supporting Multi Family Buildings to divert their food scraps from the landfill.

To contribute to the Zero Waste Goal, the Compost Collective intends to support the City of Vancouver in overcoming the challenges related to diverting food scraps in multi-family buildings. The strategy known as “community based social marketing” calls for the identification of “early adopters”. Out of 105 people surveyed at two Food Scraps Drop Spot locations, 12 Champions participate in a community dialogue hosted by the Compost Collective. Of those participants, 10 express interest in taking the next step of contact with their building manager or strata, with particular interest in a fact sheet about food scraps.

Our key challenge in this project was that barriers were relatively easy to identify, but many of the solutions to these barriers required several layers to navigate. Early on, we found that what supports change best in multi-family buildings is face-to-face conversation; however, as we discussed with our City contact this requires a great amount of time and funding. We put up posters in elevators and mail rooms, sent out emails to building residents/strata members and flyers under doors, but in each pilot, what was most effective was when we engaged with people in person or held building meetings. Navigating policy in multi-family buildings was also complicated in many buildings, as each building functioned in a slightly different way. Through our pilot projects, we learned that a customized approach and human support was most effective to reach residents.

As the semester draws to a close we find that our project is at various stages. Each of our three pilot buildings are at a different part of the process for recycling their food scraps. The ten champions from our dialogue have been inspired by seeing others working towards food scrap recycling, although we have not yet heard from any of them to say they are pursuing the project further. Over the past 4 months we have managed to divert 46 buckets of food scraps by using many methods of food scrap diversion.

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