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Multi-family food and yard waste for residents


As of Nov. 1, 2017 multi-family buildings like apartments and condos must separate food and yard waste from regular garbage for composting or diversion.

Similar to our multi-family recycling requirements, your building owner or manager is responsible for setting up a food and yard waste diversion program.

Your building owner or manager has to do the following:

  • Provide on-site storage of food and yard waste.

  • Make sure there are enough containers to hold food and yard waste between collection days.

  • Accept all food (raw and cooked):
    • Plate scrapings
    • Eggshells and dairy products
    • Meat, fish, shellfish and bones
    • Jams, sauces, salad dressing and cooking oil
    • Fruits and vegetables
    • Pastries, cookies, cakes and muffins
    • Bread, noodles, rice, bean and grains
    • Nuts, seeds, chips, popcorn and candy
    • Coffee filters and tea bags
  • Accept yard waste:
    • Leaves
    • Branches and prunings
    • Plants and weeds
    • Grass clippings
  • Arrange for food and yard waste to be collected for composting or another means of diversion.

Note: Pet waste is not included in the bylaw. Your building does not need to accept pet waste in its food and yard waste program.

My building doesn't have a food and yard waste program. What can I do?

It may take some time to get food and yard waste collection into all multi-family buildings. If your building still doesn't have a program after Nov. 1, 2017, please ask your building owner or manager if they are setting up a program. If a program is not provided, you can contact us by filling out the online request below:

Multi-family Food and Yard Waste Inquiry

Why is it the building owner or manager's responsibility?

Multi-family complexes vary in size and layout, and need flexibility to find the solution that works best. Your building owner or manager can select the food and yard waste option that will work best for your complex.

How does food and yard waste diversion work in my building?

Similar to multi-family recycling, food and yard waste diversion programs vary depending on the amount of space you have for storage and who is collecting materials.

If you have questions, ask your building owner or manager about how your food and yard waste diversion program works.

Where can I purchase kitchen catchers, countertop pails or totes to store food waste in my unit?

Ask your building owner or manager if they can provide kitchen pails, or if they are provided by your complex's collection company. If kitchen pails are not provided, you can purchase them from office supply stores or hardware stores - there are a variety of sizes and prices available. You can also reuse any container with a lid that seals, such as an ice cream pail.

How much does this cost?

There is a cost to collect and process food and yard waste, which will vary between collection companies. Your building owner or manager will be responsible for choosing the food and yard waste diversion method and negotiating contracts.

Why isn't this program funded through property taxes?

Recycling collection and food and yard waste collection in Calgary is not tax-supported for either single-family or multi-family homes.

The Blue Cart recycling program and Green Cart composting program are funded through user fees. Food and yard waste diversion programs set up by multi-family complexes will be funded by the fees paid to service providers.​​​​

How can I reduce food waste in my home?

While some food waste isn't suitable for eating - like banana peels and bones - a lot of our food waste is perfectly edible. Check out tips for reducing food waste to help ensure no food goes to waste in your home.