Caution | Mandatory Outdoor Water Restrictions

Due to continued dry conditions, mandatory Stage 1 Outdoor Water Restrictions are in place until further notice.

Visit for more information.

Putting your carts out the right way on pickup day ensures your bins will be collected safely and on schedule.

Download and print our reference guide on How to use your carts

Follow these quick steps to get ready for collection day

Fill your cart

Fill your carts and lower the lids. Make sure the material isn't packed in too tightly so it will fall out when the garbage truck picks it up.

Only put out your carts as needed on pickup days.

Is your cart full?

If possible, please hold onto extra garbage, recyclables or yard waste until your next collection day, when you can fit them into the appropriate cart. Alternatively, please ask your neighbours if they have space in their carts that you could also use.

Extra yard waste

  • Fill your green cart first, then use paper yard waste bags when your green cart is full.
  • Roll the tops of the bags closed to prevent spills and allow your collector to pick up bags properly.
  • Place bags at least 0.5 m (2 ft) away from the side of your cart.
  • Extra paper yard waste bags must weigh less than 20 kg (44 pounds). If you can lift with one hand, it should be okay.

Is there a yard waste bag limit?

There isn't a specific bag limit, but during busier periods, we will collect material inside the cart, but may limit the number of extra bags we pick up to make sure everyone gets service. If some of your extra bags are not picked up, store them on your property until the next week's collection.

Extra recycling: Extra bags are not accepted. All recyclables must be inside the blue cart.
  • Break down boxes to make extra room in your blue bin.
  • Take extra recycling to a community recycling depot or save it for next week.

Extra garbage: If your black cart is full and you have extra bags of garbage that will not fit, you will need to buy tags to put on extra garbage bags for pickup.

  • Fill your black cart first - it can hold three or four bags of garbage.
  • Place extra garbage in a bag, securely tie closed and wrap a tag around the knot.
  • On collection day, place tagged garbage bags 0.5 m (2 ft) to the side of your black cart. 
  • Extra garbage bags must weigh less than 20 kg (44 pounds). If you can lift with one hand, it should be okay.

Blue and green carts are picked up on the same day of the week. Ensure adequate spacing between carts, extra yard waste bags and other obstacles.

How to park your vehicle on collection day

  • Parking in a cul-de-sac: All vehicles must be parallel parked with passenger side wheels to the curb, unless there are signs permitting angle parking. This helps collection trucks reach your carts and turn around in a cul-de-sac.
  • Parking on the street: Place your carts on flat ground, 1 metre away from your vehicle.
  • Improperly parked vehicles block driveways for residents and restrict access for emergency and waste management vehicles.
  • Parking in an alley: Do not block the end of a closed alley with parked vehicles. Collection trucks need space to turn around safely.

These simple but important steps help ensure safe and efficient cart collection.

Place your cart

To ensure collection, carts need to be out by 7 a.m. on your collection day. Place the carts on flat ground, not on a raised platform.

  • Front street: Place cart wheels against the curb.
  • Back lane: Place cart wheels with enough space to walk between your cart and your back hedge, garage or fence.

Cart spacing

Leave enough space around your carts so you can easily walk between and around them.

  • At least 3 metres (10 f) of space above your carts. Keep away from basketball nets, eavestroughs and electric lines.
  • At least 1 m (3 ft) from obstacles on either side, such as parked cars, power poles, utility boxes, fences, downspouts and garages.
  • At least 0.5 m (2 ft) of space behind your carts. If you can open the lid fully without hitting anything, that should be enough space.

The City uses garbage trucks with mechanical arms to pick up black, blue and green carts. 

The mechanical arm requires adequate space to reach, grab and lift the bins to empty them. Placing your carts with enough space means your driver will be able to pick them up safely and stay on schedule for you and your neighbors.

Black carts are picked up on a separate day than your other carts. Keep your other carts stored to make room for garbage pickup. 

Storing carts

Put your carts away by 7 p.m. on your collection day by pulling them back against your fence or property. Don't leave your carts blocking the alleyways.

This helps keep our alleys clean and prevents others from using your carts.

You are responsible for taking care of your cart and keeping it clean.

How to avoid attracting animals

Many neighbourhoods in Calgary experience wildlife. To prevent attracting animals, only put your carts out on your collection day by 7 a.m. and store them securely on your property the rest of the time. We recommend keeping your carts inside a garage or enclosure if possible. Cleaning the carts periodically will reduce odours.