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Conditions of City of Calgary commercial waste services

Below are the conditions for receiving our commercial waste collection services:

Commercial garbage, recycling and composting collection conditions


Waste & Recycling Services takes all steps to ensure the safety of our employees and the public. We will not provide services in areas where safety is compromised.


  • Your collection container must be easily accessible for our vehicles.
  • If the collection container is housed in an enclosure, the enclosure gate(s) must open 180 degrees without difficulty.
  • The gates must have a chain, hook or some other device to keep the gate securely open when we collect.
  • Vehicles and other obstacles must be at least one metre away from the collection area and completely clear of the gate(s).
  • If you have more than one service provider, you must ensure that all bins are made available for service. We will not move bins that belong to other companies.

Enclosure requirements

Enclosures must be built to include a minimum clearance of 0.5 metres between the enclosure wall and each side of the collection container. A damaged container pad impairs our ability to provide service. It is your responsibility to maintain the pad and enclosure. This includes making repairs to cracked or uneven concrete or asphalt surfaces as necessary.

A site inspection is required for all new services or changes in service. This is to ensure that we will be able to safely collect from your site. Improvements to your site such as guards around walls, doors, and garages may be needed before collection can begin.

If there is construction or renovation being done to your enclosure/collection area, you must notify Waste & Recycling Services to conduct another site inspection to ensure safe collection can continue.

Winter conditions

It is your responsibility to keep the area around the container clear of snow.

  • Please clear snow a minimum of three metres from the front of the container.
  • Ice must be covered with sand and/or salt to reduce the threat of our staff slipping and falling.
  • For locations that requires bins to be pulled out, a clear path needs to be provided for the entire distance​ needed to complete collection.

Container servicing

It is your responsibility to ensure access to your container at all times on your collection day. There may be times when we can't access your container such as when a vehicle blocks our path or if there is excessive snow. If we cannot access the container on your day of collection, then we will try to collect the following week. If these or other situations result in consecutive missed collections, we will attempt to contact you to discuss and resolve the situation.

Please note service charges do apply for collections above and beyond your regularly scheduled day. This includes extra collections as well as unscheduled collections that may have resulted from accessibility or contamination problems. City lids and locks are available for a charge to prevent misuse and contamination of your bin.

For bins in a secured location, building owners must ensure entry by providing the entry code to enter. If the code changes, Waste & Recycling Services must be notified to ensure continued service.

Ensure all objects fit completely inside the collection container. Items that overhang the container can damage our equipment, your container and/or property. Also, waste piled around the container is unattractive and can lead to litter issues.

Customers with carts must also ensure that their carts are easily accessible on collection day. Any cart placement requirements will be advised during your site inspection.

If your bin is missed on collection day or you have any other issues, please create a Request here:

Commercial Bin
Missed collection

Recycling - Acceptable material

As per the recycling bylaw for commercial waste, Waste & Recycling Services will accept the following materials for recycling service:

All materials must be put in loose (no blue or black garbage bags), unless otherwise noted below.

  • Newspaper
  • Catalogues and magazines
  • Mixed paper
  • Shredded paper (bagged in a see-through plastic bag and tied closed)
  • Telephone books
  • Boxboard and corrugated cardboard
  • Glass food and beverage containers
  • Metal food and beverage containers
  • Aluminium cans, foil and foil plates
  • Refundable beverage containers
  • Plastic containers with the recycling symbols 1-7, except polystyrene foam
  • Plastic bags (bundled in one plastic bag and tied closed)
  • Polycoat and aseptic containers (including Tetra Pak).

Food and yard waste composting - Acceptable materials

As per the food and yard waste bylaw for commercial waste, Waste & Recycling Services will accept the following materials for composting service:

Food waste

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Meat, fish, shellfish, poultry, bones
  • Dairy products (cheese, sour cream)
  • Eggs and egg shells
  • Bread, cereal, crackers and grains
  • Pasta, beans, rice, couscous
  • Cookies, cakes, muffins and pastries
  • Salad dressing, mayonnaise, sauces, dips, gravy
  • Jams, marmalades, chutneys and peanut butter
  • Cooking oils, lard, shortening, butter
  • Coffee grounds, filters and tea bags
  • Chips, popcorn and candy
  • Seeds, pits, nuts and shells

Food soiled paper

  • Food-soiled paper towels, napkins and tissues
  • Paper plates

Yard waste

  • Plants, flowers and weeds
  • Leaves
  • Grass clippings
  • Branches (up to 15 cm in diameter), twigs and hedge trimmings
  • Sod
  • Household plants, including soil.

Commercial Collection will also accept kitty litter and pet waste in certified compostable bags.

Other recycling services

If you have large quantities of other materials, we can set up a commercial recycling service for your location. These materials must be set up as separate recycling service in separate bins to avoid contamination and ensure proper collection and recycling of materials. Commonly requested items include:

  • Ferrous and non-ferrous scrap metals
  • Clear polyethylene film (plastic film)
  • Dimensional lumber, wooden pallets and other items made of raw and unprocessed wood.

Certain conditions must be met in order to set up a service for these materials. Contact 311 for more information.

Contamination in collection bins

It is the responsibility of the contract holder to ensure that the proper materials go in your garbage, recycling and/or composting bins. Locations which are identified to have contamination of materials in their bins may be charged a higher rate or refused service at the discretion of The City. We will work with customers to identify issues as they arise.

Examples of contamination include recyclable materials (disposal surcharge materials) found in garbage bins such as:

  • Paper and cardboard
  • Concrete
  • Brick and masonry block
  • Asphalt
  • Scrap metals
  • Recyclable wood including dimensional lumber, pallets and raw wood
  • Drywall

Hazardous items

Waste & Recycling Services does not collect the following hazardous items for garbage, recycling or food and yard waste service:

  • Automobile parts
  • Dead animals
  • Paint
  • Any liquid material
  • Propane tanks
  • Household appliances
  • Herbicides, pesticides, used oil, etc.
  • Industrial chemical waste
  • Tires

For disposal options for these hazardous items, use the Know Before You Throw  business waste search tool for property managers or check the Yellow Pages for options.

Broken glass, needles and other sharp items should be placed in a sealed, puncture-proof container (such as plastic bleach bottles) with a tight fitting lid, label as 'Sharps' and placed in the garbage. Do not put in your recycling bin.

Waste Management Bylaw

Waste management in The City of Calgary is regulated by Waste Bylaw. Bylaw officers inspect areas for compliance and can issue tickets for violations.

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