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Using your green cart

Using your cart as part of the Green Cart program is easy and will quickly become a part of your everyday routine.

Below you'll find step by step instructions on collecting food waste inside your home along with how to collect yard and pet waste.

Be sure to set your green cart out for collection by 7 a.m. every week on your collection day. Find your collection day.

Print guides for Green Carts:

Collecting food waste in the kitchen

#1 Line your kitchen pail (optional)

While your food scraps can be placed in the cart loose, you can control odours and keep your cart clean by using a compostable bag, paper bag or newspaper liner in your kitchen pail.

Store the pail in a convenient location in your kitchen.

You can also make a kitchen pail liner out of newspaper or flyers.

Line the pail with a compostable bag

#2 Fill the pail with food scraps

Put your food waste into the kitchen pail. All food, including meat, bones and dairy can go in - just scrape your plate.

Preventing odours

We suggest wrapping meat scraps and bones in paper towel or old newspaper before putting them into your kitchen pail. Consider freezing meat and fish waste until collection day, especially during warm weather. You can also sprinkle a small amount of baking soda in your kitchen pail and green cart.

During warm weather, store your green cart in your garage or another shaded spot.

Preventing insects and maggots

Trap fruit flies by placing a small amount of cider vinegar covered with plastic wrap with several small holes in it.

Keep ripened fruit or vegetables in the fridge. Clean your sink drains and washcloths often.

Maggots are the larva of the housefly. They are attracted to cooked and raw meat and will lay eggs on these items.

We suggest using compostable or paper bags as an effective way to prevent maggots since it prevents houseflies from getting into contact with your food waste.

You can also open the lid of the green cart to allow birds to eat the maggots; or sprinkle salt, white vinegar or garden lime on the maggots.
Fill the pail with food scraps

#3 Empty the pail into your green cart

When your pail is full, tie off the compostable bag or roll down the newspaper liner and put it into your green cart.

We suggest emptying your kitchen pail into your green cart every two-to-three days. Put out your green cart for collection every available pickup even if it's not full. Always keep the lid of the kitchen pail and green cart closed.

Empty the pail into your green cart

Collecting yard and pet waste

#1 Fill your green cart first

Always fill your green cart first. Yard waste can be put in loose or in paper yard waste bags in the cart.

Please note: During the busy spring and fall season, we will collect material inside green carts, but may limit the number of extra paper yard waste bags outside of the cart to ensure everyone gets service. If some of your extra bags are not picked up, please store them on your property until next week's collection.

Use paper yard waste bags if your green cart is full

#2 If your green cart is full, use extra paper yard waste bags

Extra yard waste bags and branches
  • Tie extra branches into bundles with natural fibre string (e.g. cotton, twine, jute).
  • Make sure branches are less than 6 inches in diameter and 4 feet in length.
  • On collection day, set paper yard waste bags and bundled branches at least 1 foot to the side of your green cart. Roll the tops of the bags closed to prevent spills and allow your collector to pick up the bags properly. Yard waste in plastic bags will not be collected.
Preventing items from sticking
  • If grass clippings are sticking to your cart, consider putting them into a paper yard waste bag. Or, layer wet items like kitchen scraps or grass clippings with dry materials like leaves and branches. You can also use the end of a broomstick to stir and loosen up the material in the bottom of the cart.
  • In the winter, prevent items from freezing to the cart by crumpling up flyer sheets and putting in the bottom of your green cart. You can also put items out closer to pickup day.
Weight restrictions
For more yard waste options, see our Spring Yard Waste page.
Fill your green cart first

#3 Put pet waste in compostable bags

Pet waste must be in a certified compostable bag or paper bag, and tied/rolled-closed, before going in your green cart. This is for the safety of your collector and will also help limit odours and prevent from sticking to your cart.
Collect pet waste in a compostable bag

Cleaning your kitchen pail and green cart

Clean your kitchen pail

Rinse your kitchen pail with hot water or place inside your dishwasher to clean.

Store your kitchen pail under the sink or on the counter for easy access.

Please note: The City does not provide replacement kitchen pails. You can purchase a new pail at most hardware and grocery stores. You can also reuse any container with a lid such as an ice cream bucket.


Collect pet waste in a compostable bag

Clean your green cart

Rinse your cart with a hose and pour the water on the grass/gravel. Don't pour dirty water down the storm drain.

If material is getting stuck inside the cart, use a broom or shovel handle to loosen them.

Consider storing your green and blue carts in an easy to access location since most garbage can be recycled or composted so these carts will be used most often. The black cart can be stored in a different location since it will only be put out for collection every two weeks.

If your carts are broken or missing, please call 311 for a free repair or replacement.
Collect pet waste in a compostable bag