The Challenge: Zero Waste Demonstration Site
An urgent need for Zero Waste solutions
There is an urgent need in Vancouver to identify and implement new waste solutions. The Vancouver Landfill was projected to reach its overall tonnage capacity limit by 2037; however, at current rates of fill, closure could occur earlier, thereby significantly limiting waste disposal options within the Metro Vancouver region. Innovation in zero- and low-waste technologies will be critical to help avoid waste issues and extend landfill capacity.
Vancouver aspires to be a zero waste community by 2040, largely by eliminating the need for solid waste to be disposed of in landfills and incinerators. The City of Vancouver is encouraging the development of innovative technologies that go beyond the status quo to help meet Vancouver’s Zero Waste 2040 goals and extend the service life of the Vancouver Landfill.
The Zero Waste Demonstration Site Challenge will foster innovation to help the City achieve its ambitious zero waste goals and avoid early closure of the Landfill.
The Zero Waste Demonstration Site (ZWDS or the “Site”)
The 0.4-hectare (1.1-acre) Site was formerly a recycling receiving yard located in Vancouver’s southern industrial lands. Moving forward, it will serve as a co-location site for innovators to explore the scaling up of innovative technologies that could reduce waste going to disposal, increase resource recovery, decrease greenhouse gases (GHGs) and increase green jobs in the region. For more information on the Site, please see the Zero Waste Demonstration Site Applicant Onboarding Guide.
The City of Vancouver is seeking zero waste innovators to participate in a low footprint pilot by operating or demonstrating their pilot plants at the Site for up to two years. If deemed successful, the Site could continue into future years and attract more opportunities for innovators, including partnerships, funding and other complementary benefits.
The Zero Waste Demonstration Site Challenge seeks a diverse array of solutions to address various streams of solid waste, compatible with the existing Site layout and infrastructure available, including (but not limited to):
- Biodegradable waste (e.g. food, kitchen, garden, yard, agricultural)
- Recyclables (e.g. plastics, metal, paper, glass)
- Electronic waste (e.g. batteries, lightbulbs, computers, electronics)
- Construction and demolition (e.g. natural, painted and treated wood; plastics; concrete; asphalt; rubble; soil; debris)
- Composite waste (e.g. textiles, clothing, shoes, bagged pet waste, furniture)
- Residuals from industrial processes (e.g. biosolids, grit, bottom ash)
- Other wastes
With respect to scale or scope, we welcome solutions that are low footprint (minimal infrastructure requirements, e.g. power and water self supplied). The City and VEC will also consider passive (non-operating) displays that demonstrate innovative technologies, such as natural walls or improved concrete products.
We envision the Site to house five to 10 zero waste technologies operating or showcasing solutions that, if scaled up, could significantly:
- Reduce waste going to landfill or incineration.
- Reduce GHG emissions, including direct and lifecycle (e.g. transportation, processing and decomposition).
- Be cost-effective to attract investment, strategic partnerships and adoption by the market.
- Increase green jobs in the region through the development of the solution itself and the ancillary market that supports it (e.g. service providers in the supply chain, such as equipment repair, engineering, office construction).
- Provide for feasible implementation (e.g. technological, regulatory and administrative feasibility).
- Demonstrate effectiveness, reliability and climate resiliency.
Innovators selected to demonstrate their technology at the ZWDS will have the opportunity to showcase their solution to potential clients, investors, strategic partners, and other important stakeholders for 18 to 24 months at a safe and secure site.
During this time, and after their residency, innovators may be eligible to leverage the City of Vancouver’s $31 billion brand to increase exposure and open more doors to attract customers, investment and partnerships. If deemed an exemplary resident of the ZWDS, the City and VEC are happy to provide letters of support and references as appropriate to help innovators grow their business within Metro Vancouver, BC, Canada and globally.
Furthermore, engaging the City of Vancouver could potentially lead to an agreement, as outlined in its procurement policy regarding unsolicited proposals. In addition to use of the Site, the City and VEC will endeavour to further support innovators by providing them with in-kind support, comments, feedback and decisions as soon as possible.
Note: all inquiries and proposals must be submitted through the Project Greenlight website. If you have a question, check the FAQ for commonly asked questions; alternatively, you can submit your query using the contact form. Please do not contact members directly.
The Project Greenlight team (composed of sector leads from VEC and Foresight Canada) has standardized all challenge reviews. Proponents should review the eligibility criteria for their specific challenge, as each has its own requirements. Proponents should also closely review the Applicant Onboarding Guide.