Zero Hero Program

Zero Hero offers a turnkey approach to reducing waste, providing solutions for small to mid-sized businesses based on the success of their peers. The Zero Hero program works with businesses in the Vancouver region, with a focus on restaurant, food service and food retailers.


  1. Increase business waste diversion to 70%+ in line with Metro Vancouver’s region-wide target (the average business is at 38%[1])
  2. Help businesses meet Metro Vancouver’s food waste ban starting January 2015
  3. Verify waste diversion success in compliance with legislation and sustainable business certifications (e.g. BCorp, Climate Smart)
  4. Deliver tools and resources to engage employees, suppliers and customers in waste management practices and successes
  5. Localize waste management services by supporting progressive local businesses whenever possible

[1] 1 Metro Vancouver. 2012. Recycling and Solid Waste Management Report. Accessed May 13, 2014 from

How Zero Hero Helps

The Zero Hero program provides businesses with resources and support to:

  • Implement an effective waste management program
  • Implement new waste management practices or optimize existing waste management practices (reuse, composting, recycling)
  • Verify the effectiveness of waste management programs (% diverted from landfill/incinerator)
  • Get ahead of government regulation (2015 landfill ban on organic materials, including food waste)
  • Educate and engage employees and customers
  • Connect to service providers
  • Collaborate and share resources with other businesses
  • Promote good practices in the media

Become a Zero Hero in 5 Easy Steps

1. Attend a Free Info Session/Webinar

2. Register & Pay ($275 to $500) for start-up package & assessment

  • Fill in the baseline survey
  • Schedule your “BEFORE” assessment
  • Receive your Zero Hero Package
    • Signs for your bins (check them out here)
    • Poster to promote to your customers and staff
    • Resources to educate staff
    • Supplier lists
    • Sample letter to reduce waste hauling
    • Sample press release
  • Receive recommendations for optimizing your system & achieving zero waste

3. Choose Your Hero Strength

Champion: Assess, Optimize & Verify

  • Costs associated with various menu options (e.g. green takeout)
  • Potential cost savings (e.g. divert more from waste to recycling)

Leader: Optimize & Add Contract

  • Costs associated with various menu options (e.g. add compost contract)
  • Potential for cost savings (e.g. reduce waste hauling charges)

Visionary: Full Systems Review

  • New contracts almost always cheaper or revenue neutral for better results

4. Finish

  • Make changes based on recommendations

5. Verify

  • Schedule your “AFTER” assessment
  • Receive confirmation of your Zero Hero Achievement (% of waste diverted)
  • Place the progress star on your poster

A Hero’s Path

LOCO has worked with Salt Spring Coffee to implement a system to optimize and track the company’s waste diversion. Salt Spring Coffee can now show that it diverts over 93% of the company’s waste from all sites (2013 data), leaving less than 7% of waste to landfill. Based on our shared learning, Salt Spring Coffee provided LOCO with a grant through 1% For The Planet to create a program for other small businesses to reduce their waste. During the pilot phase, we worked with some of Salt Spring Coffee’s wholesale customers (Edible CanadaThirst First Office Coffee & VendingUprising Breads Bakery and University Golf Course) to create a program that would work for all businesses.