What is a Green Bin? (Compostables)

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All private homes (and some apartment and condo buildings) in Calgary are given black, blue, and green bins for waste collection.

If you have a back lane behind your house, your black, blue, and green bins will stay here, near your garage or parking space. The City of Calgary is responsible for picking up and emptying these bins once every 1-2 weeks, and every neighbourhood is assigned a certain day of the week that this will happen. It is your responsibility as owner or tenant of the house to make sure your bins are in good condition and are placed near the back lane behind your home, at least 60 cm apart, before 7 am on the day they will be emptied.

Composting in Calgary

Your green bin is the container you can use to collect food waste and scraps from your home. Putting food waste into the green bin prevents it from going to the landfill, where it is difficult for the food to decompose, and instead sends it to Calgary’s composting facility, where the waste is turned into recyclable and earth-friendly organic matter. To find out how to use your green bin, click here.

Since the green bin program has started, Calgarians have prevented 7,000 to 12,000 tonnes of waste every month from going to the landfill with the regular garbage. In addition to the huge benefit to our environment, Calgarians also benefit from the compost program as the City’s compost facility makes beautiful, fertile soil available for free to all Calgarians at certain times every year.

Materials that you can put in your green bin include:

  • All food, raw and cooked, removed from its packaging
  • Paper plates, paper towels, and napkins
  • Yard waste, such as leaves, pine cones, soil, weeds, and mulch
  • Pet waste (must be collected in a compostable bag), hair, and food
  • Untreated lumber and wood shavings

For an official list of foods and materials that you can put in your green bin, click here.

Click here to learn more about how the City’s Green Cart program works.

To find out what day your garbage and recycling pickup will take place, use this tool.

Finally, if you are confused about what you should do with an item you want to get rid of, and don’t know whether it goes in the black, blue, or green bin, you can use the City’s online tool to find out What Goes Where.

CIES Guides are a volunteer-led project made possible through contributions from the community.

Thanks to Whitney Loewen for help with this guide. If you want to suggest a correction to this guide, or want to submit one of your own, please contact us.

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