Calgary's waste and recycling history
Below you will find highlights of our waste and recycling history. From our first Christmas tree recycling program in 1992 to our recent Blue, Black and Green carts.
2017 - Green Cart Food and Yard Waste Composting
We provided more than 320,000 green carts to single-family homes for collection of food and yard waste.
2017 - Composting facility opens
Construction completed on the 521,000 square foot composting facility - the largest of its kind in Canada. From start to finish, it takes approximately 60 days to produce nutrient-rich compost.
2015 - New waste diversion target
Calgary City Council approved a target of 70 per cent waste diversion by 2025 in all sectors. This includes single homes and multi-family residential, business and organizations, and construction and demolition.
2015 - Collection day reminder tool
We introduced a new online collection day reminder tool that residents can use to check their collection day(s). They can also download and print a custom calendar, and sign up for automatic reminders via email, text or voicemail.
2014 - Snowtember - September snowstorm batters urban forest
A heavy snowfall damaged thousands of trees in Calgary. More than 26 million kilograms of tree debris were brought to City landfills. That's enough to fill the football field at McMahon Stadium about 40 metres deep. We mulched all of those branches and debris so they could be used in Calgary parks.
2014 - New scalehouse at East Calgary Waste Management Facility
We opened a new scalehouse at the East Calgary landfill, improving access and service for customers to the site.
2013 - Flood cleanup
Our landfills received about 100,000 tonnes of debris from the flood of June 2013. Our crews roamed neighbourhoods for weeks after the event to help residents clean up.
2012 - Green Cart composting pilot
We introduced the Green Cart pilot to four Calgary communities in 2012. After one year of the pilot, more than 1.9 million kilograms of food and yard waste were composted.
2011 - Black Cart automated garbage pickup
We launched the Black Cart garbage collection service in 2010.
2009 - Blue Cart Recycling
2004 – Residential Recycling Pilot Project
We launched our second recycling pilot. We tested curbside collection of residential recyclables and yard and food waste.
2004 – Compost Facility Opens
In our first year, we composted 1,635,000 kg of leaves and pumpkins at the outdoor site.
2003 – E-cycling Round-Up
The first-ever electronics recycling round-up collected 220,000 kg of electronics equipment for recycling. Learn more about Electronics Recycling.
1999 – First Backyard Composter Sale
We hosted our first Backyard Composter Sale to encourage residents to compost.
1997 – Three-year Tire Recycling Project
Over two million tires were removed from the Shepard Landfill as part of a three-year project to recycle tires. The tires were shredded and made into items such as rubber bricks and playground equipment.
1994 - Throw 'n' Go facility at Spyhill Landfill Site
Our first Throw 'n' Go facility offers safe and easy access to residents dropping off waste from smaller vehicles.
1992 – First Christmas Tree Drop-off
We collected over 140 tonnes of trees at the first Christmas Tree Drop-off held at fire halls across the city. Learn more about our Christmas Tree Recycling Progam.
1992 – First Seven Recycling Drop-off Depots in Place
The original depots collected newspapers glass and metal cans. The program now accepts a wider range of materials with bins located all around the city.
1991 – Residential Leaf Collection Program
This was our first attempt at a city-wide residential composting program and the start of us exploring composting options.
1991 – Residential Recycling Pilot
We did a pilot on residential recycling options including blue-box and drop-off depots. After a full year of evaluation, City Council approved a drop-off style of collection. This was the best balance of cost, volume of material collected and resident participation at the time.