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What goes in the green cart

All food, yard waste and pet waste can go in the green cart. If you're already backyard composting - keep it up and use your green cart for all the other food and yard materials that can't go in a backyard composter. Download​ a list of Green Cart acceptable materials.

Even small amounts add up, so remember to include the food from meal preparation, cleaning out the fridge and plate scrapings too. Learn how to collect food and yard waste on our Using Your Green Cart page.

If you're not sure whether an item can be composted or not, use our What Goes Where search tool to look it up and find out what to do.

Yes. Put these compostables into your green cart.

Plate scrapings
Plate Scrapings

Meat, fish, poultry, shellfish and bones

Meat Fish Shellfish and Bones
 
Fruits and vegetables Remove any stickers.
Fruits and Vegetables
Bread, pasta, noodles, rice, beans, couscous, grains, crackers, cereal
Breads Noodles Rice Beans Grains
 
Eggs, eggshells and dairy products (e.g. cheese, sour cream, etc.)
Eggshells Dairy Products

Cooking oil, lard, shortening, butter, sauces, grease, dips, salad dressing, mayonnaise and gravy

Cooking oil and grease
 
Pastries, cookies, cakes and muffins
Pastries Cookies Cakes Muffins
Nuts, seeds, pits, chips, popcorn and candy
Nuts Seeds Chips Popcorn Candy
 
Paper plates
Paper p

Coffee grounds, coffee filters and tea bags

Coffee grounds
 
Food-soiled paper towels, napkins and tissues
Paper towels, napkins and tissues
 
Leaves and cones (all conifers - pine, spruce, etc.)
Leaves and pinecones

Plants and flowers

Plants Weeds
 
Branches, twigs, and hedge prunings
Less than 15 cm in diameter and 1.25 m in length so it can fit inside the green cart
Branches and Prunings
Grass clippings
and sod

See What Goes Where for special instructions and weight restrictions for sod.

Grass Clippings and Sod
 

Weeds

Weeds

Garden soil, sand and untreated mulch

See What Goes Where for special instructions and weight restrictions for soil and sand.

Soil
 

Christmas trees
Trunks must be less than 15 cm in diameter and the tree cut down into 1.25 m lengths.

Christmas Trees
Hay
Hay
 

*Always fill your green cart first. Yard waste can be put loose inside the cart. If your green cart is full, use paper yard waste bags. Make sure to roll up the bags and that they can be easily lifted. Please note that paper yard waste bags have a 20 kg weight restriction.

Extra branches can also be tied in 1.25 m bundles with natural fibre string.

 

Dog waste and kitty litter (all varieties)
Must be collected in a certified compostable bag or paper bag.

Kitty litter

Animal bedding
(e.g. from pet cages)
Must be collected in a certified compostable bag or paper bag.

Animal bedding
 

Pet fur, hair or feathers

Pet hair

Pet food and treats (including rawhide bones and birdseed)

Pet food and treats
 
Cold barbeque or fireplace ashes
Must be collected in a certified compostable bag or paper bag.
Fireplace ashes

Untreated lumber
Less than 15 cm in diameter and 1.25 m in length so it can fit inside the green cart. Wood must be free of nails, screws, etc.

Untreated lumber
 
Wood shavings/
sawdust
Must be collected in a certified compostable bag or paper bag.
Wood shavings
Wooden popsicle sticks, chopsticks and toothpicks
Popsicle Sticks
 

Can meat, bones and pet waste be safely composted in the green cart?

There are no health and safety issues with putting meat, bones and pet waste in the green cart. During the in-vessel composting process the material reaches and maintains temperatures of at least 55 degrees Celsius, which kills any harmful bacteria. Learn more about the composting process.

No. Please keep these items OUT of your green cart.

  • No plastic, oxo-biodegradable or biodegradable bags. If using a bag, only use ​ certified compostable bags.
  • No diapers, wipes or sanitary products
  • No food or beverage packaging
  • No plastic plates or cutlery
  • No painted or treated wood
  • No fruit or vegetable stickers
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