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What you pay for waste (Black Cart, Blue Cart and Green Cart) is shown on your ENMAX utility bill as user fees.

As part of Council’s decisions on the 2023-26 budget, the combined Blue, Green and Black Cart program fees will increase by 2.8% or 70 cents a month per household. This is the first increase since 2019 and is needed so we can continue to provide high-quality and reliable collection services, respond to inflationary pressures and support the needs of a growing city.  A portion of the Green Cart fee increase will fund the expansion of the composting facility. 


What's the impact to my utility bill?

Program 2019-2022 Monthly Fees 2023 Monthly Fees 2024 Monthly Fees 2025 Monthly Fees 2026 Monthly Fees
Black Cart

$6.85

$6.99 $7.13 $7.27 $7.41
Blue Cart $8.80 $8.98 $9.16 $9.34 $9.52
Green Cart

$8.65    

$9.03 $9.41 $9.79 $10.17

Total Monthly Fee increase

$0.70 $0.70 $0.70 $0.70
Total Monthly Fee

$24.30

$25.00 $25.70 $26.40 $27.10

Note: The amount billed is calculated by dividing the applicable monthly rate by thirty (30) to derive a daily rate and multiplying the daily rate by the actual number of days in the billing period.


How are fees calculated?

The program fees are calculated separately for each cart program based on the costs associated with collection and processing.

The costs for each program vary seasonally but this is averaged out over the year to keep the fee consistent from month to month.

Your monthly cart program fees are not a “per-collection” fee but cover all the components of the residential cart programs, including:

  • Providing carts to Calgarians and cart maintenance
  • Collection of material from your home
  • Sorting, processing and disposing of material
  • Education, outreach and program support

Did you know?

The Blue and Green Cart Program fees are offset by revenue generated by the sale of recyclables and finished compost – this helps keep your fees lower.

A program fee is still needed as this revenue does not cover all program costs.

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Tag-a-bag program

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.


Frequently asked questions

How are the blue, black and green cart programs paid for?

In 2018, Waste & Recycling Services (WRS) brought forward a new financial model to change property tax-supported program costs to user fees. What residents paid for waste collection and processing was not clear as the three cart programs were each charged differently.

As of January 1, 2019, the Blue, Black and Green Cart programs are fully funded through the program fees seen on the ENMAX utility bill.

By moving to a user-fee model, residents now pay and see the full program costs for the Blue, Black and Green Cart Programs. No property taxes are used for these services.

Why was it necessary to move to a fee model instead of using property taxes?

Only the households that receive cart services pay for these programs through a monthly program fee on their ENMAX bill. Taxpayers who do not have City waste services (e.g. condo owners) therefore do not pay for programs they don’t receive. This allows property taxes to fund community-wide initiatives instead.

How has the black cart fee structure changed over the years?

Previously, black cart garbage was funded through:

  • The Waste Management Charge (WMC) covering landfill disposal costs
  • Property taxes covering the collection part of garbage service

When black cart collection moved from weekly to every other week service, the property tax portion was removed while the ENMAX fee remained.

The current black cart fee combines all costs related to providing the black cart program into one line item on the ENMAX bill.  

How has the green cart fee structure changed over the years?

A Green Cart program tax subsidy was provided during the initial rollout of the program. This subsidy was removed with the full program fee now applied.

The savings from seasonal green cart collection changes are also incorporated into the costs and averaged out over the year to provide a consistent monthly fee. This is why the green cart fee does not go down in the fall nor does it go up in the spring.

How has the blue cart fee structure changed over the years?

  • The Blue Cart program remains a fully user-fee supported program.

Does the WRS budget still receive property tax support?

For 2024, WRS will continue to receive tax-support to fund community wide programs and strategic initiatives including:

  • Education and communication
  • Christmas Tree Depot Program
  • Community Clean ups
  • Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Program

Is a subsidy program available?

Waste & Recycling Services offers a $25 per year rebate to eligible participants through the Property Tax Assistance Program (PTAP).

There are a number of other subsidy programs available that can help you decrease your monthly costs overall, including:

These programs can help you with the affordability of your home.

Can I opt out of a cart program?

Waste management is a community issue which requires a community-wide solution. We need all Calgarians to recycle and compost. Universal participation is essential to reducing waste going to landfill and to achieve our waste diversion and climate goals.

Research has shown that “opt-in” municipal programs cost more, have a lower participation rate and do not achieve the same level of diversion as universal programs.

The program fee is applied to all eligible households so that everyone shares in the cost. This keeps the program affordable for everyone.

Can I get a smaller cart or less collection?

Smaller carts and program opt-outs are not available.

The City evaluated the practicalities of charging customers based on the amount of waste they produce/how often the bins are set out for pickup. An analysis showed that implementation costs were prohibitive and would result in even higher cart program costs for all households, including those households that set out their carts less frequently.  This is why the current cart sizes and pickup frequency are the minimum service being provided.

You can do your part to keep all program costs low by recycling and composting right, reducing your waste where possible and only putting your carts out for collection when they are full.

All of these actions create a cost-effective residential cart program which benefits all Calgarians.

How do The City of Calgary’s fees compare with other cities?

It is difficult to compare costs across municipalities as each program and services provided are different.

However, in cities of comparable size with similar programs to Calgary, costs range from about $26.46 to $49.19 per month.

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