7TH annual event delivers inspiring speakers, real world solutions, and hope for a future without waste.

Two thought-provoking keynote speakers. A full day of entertaining presentations, and compelling real world solutions. Inspiring talks, insights about the circular economy, and innovative waste prevention efforts solidified the Metro Vancouver Zero Waste Conference’s reputation as a must-attend event. The theme this year was ‘A Circular Economy Within Reach’. Throughout the day speakers and panelists showcased innovative solutions supporting this confident claim. But the event began with a viewpoint that was literally out of this world.

Scientist and retired NASA astronaut Cady Coleman delivered the opening keynote speech for the conference – sharing the unique perspective she gained during her six months aboard the International Space Station. She emphasized the power of teams and collaboration throughout her talk – noting how sustainability goals on Earth reflect the zero waste innovations required to put humans on Mars.

“We need these technologies that you are developing for zero waste here on the planet. They are exactly applicable to what we need for space exploration. And on the other side of that, what we’re doing for exploration is exactly applicable to what you are looking for here.”

Throughout the day, ZWC panelists shared expertise and experience in searching for solutions to food waste, textiles recycling, and ocean plastic. They highlighted circular economy strategies driving business innovation and influencing urban design. And they examined the various roles government, industry, and the public can play in driving change and demanding zero waste principles inform our daily lives. Question and answer sessions gave the audience a chance to voice their own perspectives – highlighting concerns and issues impacting their work developing the circular economy.

Closing keynote Tristram Stuart’s presentation echoed Cady Coleman’s call to expand our viewpoints and our mindsets – with a far-ranging presentation offering a unique perspective of the audience’s collective raison d’etre.

“We are in the business of up-cycling anger into joy, because the solution to all of those (food waste) problems are inspiring, positive, better ways of managing resources.”

Now, planning is underway for the 2018 edition of the Metro Vancouver Zero Waste Conference. We are expanding the conference to a day and a half. Mark Nov. 8 and 9, 2018 in your calendar and plan to join us. The 2017 Zero Waste Conference offered proof for its theme. The circular economy is within reach. Join us next year and be a part of the community making it happen.

You can watch all the videos from this year’s conference, now available online – including keynote speakers, panel discussions, and Q&A sessions at: http://www.zwc.ca/sessions/Pages/default.aspx



  1. Plastic waste is the BIG problem & if you visit any Condo Waste Room you will see a green bin FULL
    of only 10 or 12 Plastic Food containers which has no weight to speak of . We also know you can buy a furnace type WASTE dispenser leaving just a bit of dust from burning a couple hundred pounds of bone’s.
    That is the answer , design a burner that reduces Plastic waste till a 25 Block of condensed plastic is created that rolls down & out to repeat the process . Picked up once a month from Condos etc or delivered to a central location to another melting Devise which will reduce 4 / 25 blocks to create one 100 lb block that can be tiled on all 4 sides & used in construction projects.

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