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Food and yard waste bylaw for commercial waste

As of Nov. 1, 2017, businesses and organizations​ are required to separate food and yard waste from the garbage for composting or diversion.

Since Nov. 1, 2016, businesses and organizations must recycle a specific list of materials. See Recycling Bylaw Requirements.

You must also provide signage on all collection containers and education to tenants at least once per year. See the Signage and Education Requirements.

Are you a business, company or organization?

This bylaw applies to all businesses and organizations, including property management companies, offices, stores, malls, restaurants, hotels, schools, healthcare facilities, manufacturers, factories, non-profits, places of worship, warehouses and other operations.

Program resources

Find online tools, signs and posters, best practices and success stories to help you get started with your diversion programs. See Business Waste Program: Tools and Resources.

You can also subscribe to our waste diversion business newsletter to stay up to date with commercial waste program changes.

Looking for disposal options for business waste items? Find disposal options and instructions at Waste Disposal Options for Business​.

How to comply with the food & yard waste bylaw

To comply with this bylaw, businesses and organizations will need to do the following:

  1. Decide who will collect your food and yard waste

Calgary businesses and organizations vary significantly in size and the kind of waste they produce. That's why your business or organization has the flexibility and choice to work with a food and yard waste collection company that best meets the needs of your business.

Check out the directory of collection companies that provide food and yard waste (organic) services. 

If you already have City of Calgary service or are interested in learning more about our services, see City of Calgary Commercial Waste Collection Services.

  1. Make sure you accept the right materials

Your food and yard waste program must accept the following items:

Plate scrapings
Plate Scrapings
Meat, fish, shellfish and bones
Meat Fish Shellfish and Bones
Fruits and vegetables
Fruits and Vegetables
Bread, noodles, rice, beans and grains
Breads Noodles Rice Beans Grains
Eggshells and dairy products
Eggshells Dairy Products
Jams, sauces and salad dressings
James Sauces Dressings Oils
Pastries, cookies, cakes and muffins
Pastries Cookies Cakes Muffins
Nuts, seeds, chips, popcorn and candy
Nuts Seeds Chips Popcorn Candy
Paper plates, paper towels and napkins
Paper Plates Napkins
Coffee filters and tea bags
Coffee Filters Tea Bags
Cooking oil
Coooking oil
Plants and weeds
Plants Weeds
Branches and prunings
Branches and Prunings
Grass clippings and sod
Grass Clippings Sod
  1. Where - Decide where to store your food and yard waste

You will need to find a location to store your business or organization's food and yard waste. The location should be easy for your tenants to use and have enough containers so that they are not overflowing between collection days.

You will not generate more garbage by separating food and yard waste. By diverting this material, you will be reducing the amount of garbage left over.

We recommend speaking to a collection company who can help you find a suitable storage location.

  1. Inform your employees and tenants about the food and yard waste program

Food and yard waste diversion may be a new program for your business. Employees and tenants need to be informed of the food and yard waste opportunity available to them.

You will need to ensure that there is clear signage on the containers that indicates the materials that can be disposed. This helps tenants, employees and customers quickly understand which containers materials should go into.

You will also need to inform your employees and tenants of the list of food and yard waste materials that can be collected and the proper method for preparing and sorting waste material for collection.

This information needs to be shared at least annually, and with new employees and tenants. A lett​er template for tenants is on our education and resources page.


We do regular research with businesses to better understand the outlook and viewpoint of the business community. If you are a business owner, leader or manager, join our online business research panel, Business Perspectives.