About Zero Waste

From day one, Granville Island has been breaking new ground by putting core principles of sustainability into action. By re-purposing established buildings Granville Island was transformed from a run-down industrial area into a vibrant cultural hub while preserving the neighborhood’s unique historical feel and becoming an internationally renowned example of urban renewal.

Granville Island continues to make new strides in its commitment to economic, social, cultural and environmental sustainability. Our recent efforts focus on enhancing the sustainability of our operations and promoting sustainable behaviours.

The Zero Waste Island initiative is to reduce, reuse or divert as much waste as possible to help meet or exceed Metro Vancouver’s mandated 80 per cent waste diversion rate in the year 2020.

As part of the strategy, Granville Island has already launched a number initiatives:

  • Expanded food scraps collection to the Public Market, restaurants and other businesses.
  • Eliminated Polystyrene foam packaging for quick-service food vendors in the Public Market. 
  • Enhanced recycling streams, that include industrial metals, electronics, wood, and soft plastic.
  • Replaced garbage cans with zero-waste stations that include separate receptacles for recycling and food scraps.
  • Invested in information sessions and other educational programs to encourage waste diversion and recycling.
  • Introduced reusable shopping bags, with the goal of phasing out single-use plastic shopping bags.
  • Facilitated the installation of electric vehicle charging stations and car-sharing services.
  • Purchased a plug-in electric truck used by Granville Island maintenance staff.
  • Installed energy efficient Dyson Airblades in public washrooms, reducing waste by eliminating the use of paper towel.
  • Installed a series of smart meters to map Island energy consumption.
  • A multi-year program to improve the Island’s exterior lighting, once completed it is expected to save up to 638,000 kilowatt hours of power annually.
  • Completed a detailed Environmental Sustainability Assessment Strategy.

Acceptable Recycling

For a list of what items can be recycled on Granville Island and where to place them please refer to the List of Acceptable Items PDF below

GI Trash Compactor Locations

For a detailed map of trash compactor locations on Granville Island please refer to the PDF below

Plastic bags are a thing of the past

As of April 1st, the Public Market is phasing out plastic shopping bags. So don’t forget to bring your reusable shopping bag!

In 2014, Granville Island received the Public Sector Award for Excellence and Leadership in Environmental Stewardship from the Recycling Council of British Columbia.

Together, these and other initiatives will continue to demonstrate Granville Island’s dedication to becoming a Centre for Sustainable Excellence and continue its enduring legacy as a world-renowned model of responsible urban planning.