Residential waste rates
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|
Total Monthly Fee increase
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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.
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
Why did the funding model change for the residential cart based programs?
In 2018, 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.
On January 1, 2019 service descriptions and fees for the Blue, Black and Green Cart programs changed on the ENMAX utility bill.
- The Black Cart program fee now encompasses all garbage program costs including every other week collection and landfilling all in one fee (Black Cart fee).
- Previously, the Waste Management Charge (WMC) only covered landfill disposal costs while property taxes paid for the collection part of garbage service. With the new all encompassing fee structure, this Waste Management Charge was eliminated and property tax funds are no longer used for residential waste pickup.
- A Green Cart program tax subsidy was provided during the initial rollout of the program through 2017 and 2018. This subsidy was removed with the full program fee now applied.
- The cost savings from seasonal collection changes is also included and averaged out over the year to provide a consistent monthly fee.
- Blue Cart remains a fully user-fee supported program.
By moving to a user-fee model, residents now pay and see the full program costs for the Blue, Black and Green Cart Programs.
Does the WRS budget still receive property tax support?
For 2023, 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:
- City of Calgary – Fair Entry Program
- Alberta Seniors Property Tax Deferral Program
- Alberta Seniors Benefit
- Property Tax Assistance Program (PTAP)
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 goal of 70% waste reduction by 2025.
Research has shown that optional 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?
There are no smaller carts or program opts outs available.
You can do your part to keep all program costs low by recycling and composting right, reducing your waste and only setting 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 costs are different.
However, in cities of comparable size with similar programs to Calgary, costs range from about $23.05 to $45.93 per month.