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Organic Waste

Organic waste can broadly be thought of as anything that used to be alive, except unprocessed carcasses. It refers primarily to food scraps, food-soiled paper and yard waste.

When these items are disposed of as garbage in the landfill, they create greenhouse gases. To address this, many communities throughout BC have programs to collect organics at the curb through regular waste management services.

Why Use the Organics Cart?

  • You will produce less garbage. On average, organic waste makes up 40% of your garbage.
  • Your food scraps will be turned into a resource when it becomes nutrient-rich compost.
  • You’ll save money. It is cheaper for taxpayers to compost food waste than send it to the landfill.
  • Your garbage cart won’t be full and stinky.
  • You’ll help the City divert 30% of waste from landfill by 2031.

What is Accepted in the Organics Cart?

Food Scraps

  • Vegetables and fruit (without stickers)
  • Meat, poultry, fish, shellfish and bones
  • Egg and dairy products
  • Bread, dough, pasta and grains
  • Small amounts of cooking oil
  • Spoiled, cooked or uncooked food
  • Jack-o-lanterns

Food-Soiled Paper

  • Compostable paper take-out containers
  • Food soiled paper and pizza boxes
  • Wooden chopsticks
  • Paper towels, napkins and plates
  • Coffee grounds, coffee filters and tea bags

Yard & Garden Trimmings

  • Plant, tree or hedge prunings less than 2 inches in diameter and no more than 12 inches in length
  • Flowers, grass clippings, plants, leaves + weeds
  • Brush and small branches

What Is NOT Accepted in the Organics Cart?

  • Coated coffee cups or take-out containers
  • Liquid-absorbing pads, (e.g. in trays of meat, poultry, fish)
  • Pet waste and full, unprocessed carcasses
  • Large quantities of grease, oil or liquid
  • Glass, latex, metals, foil cork or Styrofoam
  • Soil, sod and rocks
  • Twist ties, rubber bands, plastic clips, produce stickers and netting
  • Plastics (including biodegradable or compostable)

How to Use Your Organics Cart

  • Collect your food scraps and food-soiled paper in your kitchen catcher container.
  • Empty the container into your organics cart.
  • Add in yard waste trimmings.
  • On your weekly collection day, unlock the wildlife-resistant clips and move your organics cart to the curb for collection.

Cart & Kitchen Catcher Care

No Plastic Bags

Do not use plastic bags, even if they claim to be biodegradable or compostable.

Use Paper Instead

Use newspaper or paper bags (like Bag to Earth) if you prefer to enclose or wrap food scraps.

Freeze Smelly Food

Freeze smelly food scraps in a paper bag or wrapped newspaper until collection day.

Keep it Clean

Clean your containers regularly. Add 1/4 cup baking soda and 1/4 cup of Borax to absorb odours.

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