City Council supports developing Green Recycling and Organics facility

Last updated: March 20, 2023

At a special meeting of City Council on March 20, 2023, Council has cancelled the Alternative Approval Process to consider removal of the park dedication for a portion of parkland at 4800 Riverbend Drive which was intended for construction of a Green Recycling and Organics (GRO) facility. Find out more.

Burnaby, BC – As part of strengthening the City’s commitment to climate action and resilience, Burnaby City Council has directed staff to continue work on design, costing and rezoning for the creation of a Green Recycling and Organics (GRO) facility in the Big Bend neighbourhood.

This facility has the potential to deliver huge annual benefits, including:

  • reducing the equivalent of 14,000 tonnes of carbon emissions (equal to taking 3,000 cars off the road) 
  • generating enough renewable natural gas (RNG) to heat up to 5,000 homes
  • creating thousands of tons of rich organic soil amendment for local gardens and farms.

GRO would be located on a City-owned lot at 4800 Riverbend Drive in the Big Bend neighbourhood, next to Metro Vancouver’s Waste-to-Energy facility, and would process up to 150,000 tonnes of organic waste annually from Burnaby and neighbouring communities and businesses.

About GRO

GRO would be a fully enclosed facility, where organic waste would be converted into high-quality soil amendment for use by residents, community gardeners and local farmers. GRO’s process also creates biogas (primarily methane), which can be cleaned and used as a renewable substitute for natural gas.  

“GRO is an important step towards becoming a carbon neutral city and an equally important investment in a shift to a more sustainable, circular economy,” said Mayor Mike Hurley. “Green waste from Burnaby homes will become compost for Burnaby gardens and the captured gas will heat Burnaby homes and fuel vehicles. And by having our own facility here in Burnaby, we can create local green jobs.”

Today, residents and businesses pay to have green waste processed at a private facility in Delta, which is subject to significant price fluctuation based on market conditions. By running its own facility, the City will be able to provide residents with reliable, stable pricing – even when the market is volatile.

Other benefits

  • Reduced shipping costs and carbon emissions for Burnaby by processing locally
  • Educational opportunities for schools and residents, through a new education centre that will show how separated organics are converted into renewable and organic products
  • Support for regional, provincial and federal goals for green waste diversion and renewable energy generation

City Council has supported GRO in principle, and its final decision later this year will be informed by public input and information received through the detailed design and costing work. In the spring, the City expects to advance the rezoning process for 4800 Riverbend Drive.

Supporting Climate Action

The development of GRO supports significant actions in This is Climate Action, a framework that guides how the City will deliver on its commitment to be “carbon neutral” (no longer contributing to the carbon emissions that accelerate climate change) by 2050. Projects that support a circular economy, where green waste is turned into cleaner energy, can assist in achieving resilient neighbourhoods, and zero-emission buildings and homes. 

Learn More:

Media Contact:
Chris Bryan
Manager, Public Affairs
Public Affairs Office
604-570-3616 | [email protected]

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