City of Calgary green cart collection switches to winter schedule this week

Summertime brings about more activities that require you to use your green compost bin. Gardening, pruning, backyard picnics, raking leaves – all of these activities produce yard waste that used to go into the garbage bin. Not anymore!


The Green Cart Collection Program was introduced to Calgary neighbourhoods in waves several years ago, initially testing out the bin’s rate of success. When residents responded well to composting, the city continued to roll out green bins for all neighbourhoods. Homes were provided with a large green bin to go alongside the black garbage and the blue recycling bin, as well as a small compost container to go inside the house. The city was kind enough to also provide the first set of compostable bags to be used in the indoor container to get residents used to the idea of composting food and yard waste rather than throwing it in the garbage.


Throughout the months of April to October, the green bin was picked up once a week due to higher volumes of yard waste in the summer months. Starting November 5, green cart collection will now be reduced to once every two weeks throughout the months of November to March. Winter months produce less yard waste, so the compost collection team will need to empty the bins less frequently. The city wants to remind Calgarians of this biweekly schedule change so that they can plan accordingly. The bins will still be picked up at the same daily time and there will be no changes to the garbage or recycling bin collection schedule. Residents are asked to have their green bins out on the street by 7:00 am on pick up days.


If you are unsure what your current pick up day is, all of this information can be found on the City of Calgary website. Here you will find:

  • Your pick-up day
  • A printable calendar
  • Sign up for free reminders. These can be sent by phone, text, email and more to remind you to put your bins out.


Another key factor in garbage, recycling and compost collection is the quality of what goes in each bin. If you are unsure what can be placed in each bin, visit the City of Calgary website for a complete list. Below are some general guidelines for each bin’s accepted items:


Acceptable Recyclable Items:

  • Plastic bags
  • Shredded paper
  • Cardboard & paper
  • Paper cups
  • Plastic jugs, bottles and packaging
  • Metal food cans and foil
  • Glass bottles and jars
  • Beverage containers


Acceptable Garbage Items:

  • Used packaging
  • Foam containers and packaging
  • Diapers and personal hygiene
  • Household items
  • Non-recyclable plastic items


See non-accepted garbage items here.


Acceptable Compost Items:

  • Food waste
  • Yard waste
  • Pet waste (must be in a compostable bag)


Learn more about using your green cart here.


This information may seem straightforward, but it is important. Please feel free to share this information with your neighbours to ensure a clean, safe community year-round.