The results from the Vancouver Aquarium’s 2012 waste audit are in! As part of its green mission, the Vancouver Aquarium surveys its waste each year to determine ways to reduce landfill items and the impact on the environment. In hopes of diverting even more “waste” away from landfills this year, the the Aquarium’s Environment Management System took additional measures to meet this goal, such as:

  • Replacing old vacuums needing replacing with bag-less vacuums
  • Conducting mini-waste management presentations (managed by volunteers)
  • Securing an extra composting storage bin to accommodate an increase in composting and reduce disposal pickups
  • Adding new recycling and composting bins and appropriate signage around the Aquarium in the visitor areas and café
  • Improving signage for waste disposal units in the visitor areas
  • Surveying visitors to determine additional ways to improve waste management

It seems that once again, these efforts by staff and volunteers have paid off. The results from this year’s waste audit show that even with more guests visiting the Aquarium, a higher percentage of waste was diverted from the landfill compared to previous years. This year, the Aquarium directed 86 per cent of its waste from landfills to composting and recycling. This is a 13 per cent increase from 2008, the first time the Aquarium conducted an annual waste audit, and a two per cent increase from last year.

Many thanks to our staff, volunteers, and guests for taking part in our green mission to keep “waste” way from our landfills, and putting our composting and recycling to much better use!


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2 Responses

  1. Barb Henesey

    I know that the discarded cigarette butts, that litter Vancouver streets, parks and seawalls are bad for both fish and birds.
    I recently returned from the Monterey Bay, and walking in that area you don’t see them discarded everywhere as their aqarium has “shark ashtrays” every block.
    I was wondering how a program like this could be started in Vancouver.
    I would love to help, but don’t know where to start any suggestions?


    • Vancouver Aquarium

      Hi Barb,

      The shark ashtrays work well, but the City of Vancouver has decided to take a different route of banning smoking from all public parks and beaches. You’re right, cigarettes can harm birds and fish in a number of ways including leaching toxic chemicals into the water. Many people do not know that the filter in most cigarette is made out of plastic. The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup recently partnered with TerraCycle to recycle the cigarette butts collected during shoreline cleanups into other plastic products. You can learn more about TerraCycle’s cigarette butt brigade at,



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