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Residential waste rates

Effective Jan. 1, 2019, the way you pay for waste (Black Cart, Blue Cart and Green Cart) is changing to ensure you know the full program costs.

On your ENMAX utility bill, you will see changes to the service descriptions and a monthly billing difference as property tax supported program costs are changed to user fees.


What's the impact to my 2019 utility bill?

Black Cart fee

The Waste Management Charge will be eliminated and replaced with the new Black Cart Fee.

Black cart is moving from property tax support to a user fee on your bill.


Monthly Rate ($ per 30 days) 2018 2019
Waste Management Charge $4.90 N/A
Black Cart Fee N/A $6.85
(30 days x 0.2283/day)

Green Cart fee

The Green Cart Program tax subsidy has been removed.

In 2018, the full program cost was $9.00 but with the $2.50 tax subsidy, $6.50 was reflected on the utility bill.

For the 2019 rate, $9.00 (program cost) minus the $0.50 (cost savings from every-other-week winter collection) + $0.15 (inflation) = $8.65.


Monthly Rate ($ per 30 days) 2018 2019
Green Cart Fee $6.50 $8.65
(30 days x 0.2883/day)

Blue Cart fee

The Blue Cart Fee will increase by $0.30 per month due to increased recycling contract costs.


Monthly Rate ($ per 30 days) 2018 2019
Blue Cart Fee $8.50 $8.80
(30 days x 0.2933/day)

Total changes

There will be a $4.40 monthly billing difference from 2018 to 2019.

Total Monthly Rate ($ per 30 days) 2018 2019
Monthly Rate $4.90 - Waste Management Charge
$8.50 - Blue Cart Fee
$6.50 - Green Cart Fee
$6.85 - Black Cart Fee
$8.80 - Blue Cart Fee
$8.65 - Green Cart Fee
Total $19.90 $24.30

How are fees calculated?

The program fees are calculated separately for each cart program based on the costs associated with collection and processing.

The costs for each program vary seasonally but this is averaged out over the year to keep the fee consistent from month to month.

Your monthly cart program fees are not a “per-collection” fee but cover all the components of the residential cart programs, including:

  • Providing carts to Calgarians and cart maintenance
  • Collection of material from your home
  • Sorting, processing and disposing of material
  • Education, outreach and program support

Did you know?

The Blue and Green Cart Program fees are offset by revenue generated by the sale of recyclables and finished compost – this helps keep your fees lower.

A program fee is still needed as this revenue does not cover all program costs.


Future waste rates

​2020 ​2021 ​2022
​Black Cart ​$6.95 ​$7.05 ​$7.15
​% increase ​1.460 ​1.439 ​1.418
​Blue Cart ​$8.95 ​$9.10 ​$9.25
​% increase ​1.705 ​1.676 ​1.648
​Green Cart ​$8.80 ​$8.95 ​$9.10
​% increase ​1.734 ​1.705 ​1.676

The program charges were developed to ensure that:

  • Customer service levels are maintained
  • Inflationary impacts are managed
  • Infrastructure requirements are maintained
  • Progress continues towards the 70% by 2025 waste diversion goal

Tag-a-bag program

A tag-a-bag program for excess garbage has been approved by City Council which will require buying tags to put on extra garbage bags for pick up.

More details about the program will be shared before it begins in mid-2020. If you are aware of illegal dumping, please contact 311 to report the issue.


Frequently asked questions

Why did the funding model change for the residential cart based programs?

What residents paid for waste collection and processing was not clear as the three cart programs were each charged differently.

Black Cart was primarily supported by property tax, Green Cart was primarily supported by a user fee with a property tax subsidy.

The Blue Cart was fully user fee supported.

A small portion of the Waste Management Charge (WMC) was used for the cost of the waste disposal from the black cart.

The remainder was used to cover Waste & Recycling Services (WRS) financial needs in both operating and capital.

In 2018, WRS brought forward a new financial model to change property tax supported program costs to user fees. Based on how City finances work, property tax support includes a mix of both residential and non-residential (ie. business) taxes.

By moving to a user-fee model, residents will pay the full program costs for the Blue, Black and Green Cart Programs.

Will my property taxes be lower with the cost of the Black Cart program removed?

Starting in 2019, WRS will be reducing its portion of tax support previously needed to support the Black and Green Cart Programs by approximately $20 million per year.

This $20 million was included in City budget discussions to set property tax rates for 2019-2022.

For 2019-2022, WRS will continue to receive tax-support of approximately $20 million/year to fund community wide programs and strategic initiatives including:

  • Education and communication
  • Community Recycling Depots
  • Christmas Tree Depot Program
  • Community Clean ups
  • Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Program

Is a subsidy program available?

There are no subsidy programs for City of Calgary utility rates or fees.

There are a number of other subsidy programs available that can help you decrease your monthly costs overall, including:

These programs can help you with the affordability of your home.

Can I opt out of a cart program?

Waste management is a community issue which requires a community-wide solution.

We need all Calgarians to recycle and compost. Universal participation is essential to reducing waste going to landfill and to achieve our goal of 70% waste reduction by 2025.

Research has shown that optional municipal programs cost more, have a lower participation rate and do not achieve the same level of diversion as universal programs.

The program fee is applied to all eligible households so that everyone shares in the cost. This keeps the program affordable for everyone.

Can I get a smaller cart or less collection?

There are no smaller carts or program opts outs available.

You can do your part to keep all program costs low by recycling and composting right, reducing your waste and only setting your carts out for collection when they are full.

All of these actions create a cost-effective residential cart program which benefits all Calgarians.

How do The City of Calgary’s fees compare with other cities?

It is difficult to compare costs across municipalities as each program and costs are different.

However, in cities of comparable size with similar programs to Calgary, costs range from about $21.55 to $45.93 per month.