Waste Collection Areas and Permit Requirements

The RMOW Solid Waste Bylaw requires all multi-family residences and industrial, commercial or institutional buildings to separate organics, recyclables and waste to landfill. 

A solid waste management plan (SWMP) is required:

  • As part of Business Licence application for any business that provides food services, or generates waste as a special event
  • As part of a Rezoning Application for every multi-family residential complex greater than 11 dwelling units and every industrial, commercial and institutional use
  • As part of a Development Permit application (unless obtained at rezoning as above)  for every new, or addition to, a multi-family residential complex greater than 11 dwelling units, industrial, commercial and institutional use
  • Required in order to be eligible for the gross floor area exclusion under Part 5 of the Zoning Bylaw.

If a property owner determines that more space is required on their property for waste collection than what is currently built, there are three options:

  1. Convert space in an existing building;
  2. Add space to an existing building; or
  3. Build a new building.

For Option 1, talk to the Building Department about building permit requirements to convert existing space.

For Options 2 or 3, it is likely a Development Permit (DP) will be required for additions or new buildings. Below are the steps to take to learn more about what is required and what to do next.

STEP 1 – Check the Development Permit Area (DPA) Guidelines

  • To determine if your multi-family or commercial building falls within a DPA, consult the RMOW GIS (click on Layers, then Property, then Development Permit Areas).
  • If the project involves any exterior changes, such as those listed below, it will probably need a DP:
    • Any exterior alterations to the building;
    • Replacing or adding new windows or doors;
    • New exterior finishes;
    • Landscape changes (tree or vegetation removal/replacement);
    • Changes to the roof;
    • Expansion of the building footprint; and/or
    • New building.

STEP 2 – Check the property’s zoning to see what regulations may affect the proposal

  • See the RMOW GIS to review the zoning regulations for the property (select the property, then select View Additional Details, then open the Bylaw link).
  • Review the regulations for Auxiliary Buildings in Section 3 of Part 5 of the Zoning Bylaw. The Zoning Bylaw exempts floor area used for the separation and storage of solid waste, but only with the support of a Solid Waste Management Plan that describes the requirements and provides a rationale for the proposed design. For a template of a Solid Waste Management Plan, see here.
  • If the only option is to convert indoor parking space area and the property is within the areas shaded in red on Figure 6a of the Zoning Bylaw, then there is an exemption that allows a reduction of up to two parking stalls from the minimum requirement, if they are to be used for the purpose of sorting and storing solid waste in compliance with the requirements of the RMOW Solid Waste Bylaw and with the support of a Solid Waste Management Plan.

STEP 3 – Gather information and submit a Delegated DP application

  • Obtain a Development Permit Application form from the website.
  • The DP submittal requirements can be quite extensive, but most typically for an addition to an existing building or a new waste collection building, the key elements that should be submitted for initial review are:
    • Completed application form and fee (with agent’s authorization, title documents and necessary signatures);
    • Site plan showing the dimensions of the existing building and the distance to the property lines;
    • A description of the proposed building (or proposed modifications), including building height, building dimensions, floor area, siding material, roof material and siting information (distance to property lines) (also refer to the RMOW Solid Waste Wildlife-proof Enclosure guidelines);
    • A description of any changes to the site such as the loss of a parking stall or any changes to the landscaping; and
    • A Solid Waste Management Plan that describes the requirements and provides a rationale for the proposed design.

The Planning Department will review the initial application material and will be in touch if further information is required. Depending on the complexity of the proposal, the location of the building and the specific DPA guidelines, further information may be required.


Planning Department