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Bylaws related to waste

We have a number of bylaws that regulate the disposal and safe handling of garbage, waste and recycling. Our Waste & Recycling Bylaw states that:

Tied garbage bag
  • Hazardous waste, biochemical waste, dead animals, tires, car parts, furniture and liquids must not be set out for residential garbage collection.
  • Medical waste, animal waste, sawdust and powdered materials must be packaged and securely tied within two plastic garbage bags.



  • Whether on or adjacent to their property, a homeowner must ensure that waste and recyclable material stored or set out for collection does not create offensive odours and/or become messy or untidy.
  •  Yard waste set out for collection must be packaged in plastic garbage bags or tied in bundles, no more than 1.25 metres in length.
  • Commercial waste must be set out in a commercial bin for collection.

Fines for violations of these regulations range between $125 and $1000.

For descriptions and definitions of the kinds of waste listed here, please read the section below.

Kinds of waste

Animal waste is any kind of waste that comes from animals or from the treatment of animals. Exceptions to this include animal bodies or carcasses, and body parts of animals.

Biomedical waste includes:

  • Human waste including parts of the human body and tissue;
  • Infectious human waste;
  • Infectious animal waste;
Microbiological waste including cell cultures and specimens of microorganisms. This also includes laboratory material that has come into contact with these.
  • Blood and body fluid waste;
  • Medical sharps such as needles, syringes, scalpels, razor blades and precision knives. This also includes contaminated broken glass and laboratory materials capable of causing punctures or cuts.
General medical waste is any kind of non-hazardous medical waste. It includes soiled dressings (such as band-aids and gauze), sponges, surgery drapes, casts, catheters, disposable gloves and specimen containers. Lab coats, aprons, towels and disposable sheets are also a part in this category.
Hazardous waste is any kind of waste that has dangerous properties to it. You can find out more about what these properties are in the Environment Protection and Enhancement Act and in the Waste Control Regulation.
Industrial waste is any kind of waste created by commercial or industrial activities that poses health, safety, and/or environmental concerns. This form of waste includes lime, sulphur, asbestos, contaminated soil, empty chemical containers and drums, carbon, caustics, sludge, and industrial sump water.
Yard waste is waste from that comes from gardening or yard maintenance activities, such as lawn mowing and/or pruning. This kind of waste includes grass, leaves, plants, tree and hedge clippings, and sod.

Related bylaws

Garbage disposal

Our Waste & Recycling Bylaw is our main bylaw related to garbage disposal in Calgary. However, our Community Standards Bylaw and our Calgary Traffic Bylaw also can answer questions for you in regards to the burning and transportation of waste materials and garbage.

Filing a complaint

If you know of a bylaw infraction and would like to report it to Animal & Bylaw Services, please call 311 (from within Calgary) or 403-268-CITY (2489) (from outside Calgary).

Search our bylaws

To find out more information about Calgary’s other bylaws you can search bylaws by topic.