The Government of Canada launches research fund to help prevent and divert food waste from Canadian landfills

News release

September 29, 2023 – Gatineau, Quebec

When food and other organic wastes are disposed of in landfills, they produce methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. Municipal solid waste landfills are responsible for almost one‑quarter of Canada’s methane emissions, which are generated when biodegradable waste decomposes. Cutting methane emissions from all sources, including landfills, is one of the fastest and most cost-effective ways to combat climate change.

Today, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, announced the Food Waste Prevention and Diversion: Research and Capacity Building Fund. This $570,000 Fund will help support local government research and capacity-building initiatives to prevent and divert food waste from landfills. Reducing food loss and waste also means that the energy, water, and land that is used to grow food are not wasted.

Municipal, local, and Indigenous governments are best positioned to advance food waste prevention and diversion across their communities. This funding aims to help foster collaborative partnerships, increase knowledge of best practices, and bolster initiatives related to food waste policy and programming across Canada. Applicants can submit their project proposal before 3:59 p.m. EDT on Monday, October 30, 2023. All projects must be completed by March 31, 2026.

These projects are expected to help reduce the amount of organic materials going to landfills. They will also contribute to achieving overall national waste reduction goals of 30 percent by 2030, and 50 percent by 2040 to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions from landfills over the longer term.


“The methane generated in landfills today is the result of decades of disposal of organic waste. Today is the International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste, and we are taking action to help prevent and divert organic waste, as it is the most effective means for reducing landfill methane emissions. Keeping organic waste out of landfills will support Canada’s global and domestic greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets.”
– The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

"Reducing food loss and food waste will make our food systems more resilient, help folks stretch household food budgets, and reduce methane emissions. The Food Waste Prevention and Diversion: Research and Capacity Building Fund will continue to reduce and divert food waste from landfills, while strengthening food systems to ensure they remain sustainable for generations to come."
– The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Quick facts

  • Methane is a potent greenhouse gas and climate pollutant that is responsible for 30 percent of observed global warming to date, with global levels of atmospheric methane continuing to rise.

  • Canada supports increased global ambition on climate change through the Global Methane Pledge. Momentum to reduce methane emissions is growing, with over 150 countries signing the Pledge. The Pledge commits countries to a collective goal of reducing human-caused methane emissions by at least 30 percent from 2020 levels by 2030.

  • Canada’s ambitious plan to reduce methane emissions is outlined in the national Methane Strategy. This document fulfills Canada’s international commitments under the Global Methane Pledge to release its economy-wide methane reduction strategy.

  • With the measures outlined in the Methane Strategy, domestic methane emissions will be reduced by more than 35 percent by 2030, compared to 2020 levels.

  • To help achieve Canada’s greenhouse gas and methane reduction goals, more biodegradable waste needs to be diverted from landfills, as it is the source of landfill methane.

  • In Canada, the main sources of methane emissions are: oil and gas (38 percent of total methane emissions), agriculture (30 percent), and municipal landfills (23 percent).

  • The Government of Canada is developing new federal regulations to increase the number of landfills that collect and treat methane, and to ensure that existing systems capture as much methane as possible.

Associated links


Kaitlin Power
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Media Relations
Environment and Climate Change Canada
819-938-3338 or 1-844-836-7799 (toll-free)

Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Twitter page

Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Facebook page

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