How to successfully use your green composting bin

Last summer, the City of Calgary officially rolled out its composting program for single-family residential homes in our city, with green bins being delivered throughout the city. Since it is ‘Composting Awareness Week’ in Canada, now is a good time to brush up on how to use your green cart.

  • Green carts and blue carts will be picked up every week on the same day.
  • Black carts will be picked up once every two weeks on a different day than blue and green carts.

What goes in the green bin? 

You can put all food, yard and pet waste in your green cart! That includes all your food, including oils, eggshells, meat and bones. Food soiled paper like coffee grounds or paper plates and paper towels, can also go in the bin. Yard waste includes things like cones, branches, weeds and sod. Pet waste includes dog waste, kitty litter, animal bedding, pet food and hair or feathers. In addition, you can add cold barbecue or fire pit ashes, untreated lumber, wood shavings or popsicle sticks, toothpicks and chopsticks. For a complete list of everything that can go in your green bin, see the City of Calgary website here.

Why composting? 

Green carts have proven to help residents cut their garbage nearly in half in the pilot communities. On a city-wide basis, that would translate into over 85 million kilograms of food and yard waste kept out of our landfills every year. By using your green cart, you will:

  • Create nutrient-rich compost
  • Protect our land, air and water resources
  • Keep material out of landfills to avoid future landfill costs

Watch ​a video for a more in-depth look at the benefits of composting versus burying food and yard waste in the landfill.​​​​​​​​​​​ [City of Calgary]

What happens to finished compost? 

Most of the compost will be sold in bulk to companies, with the proceeds going to help reduce and lower the green cart program fee. However, a portion of the compost is now being made available to the community for free, including to support community gardens and at select giveaway days for the public.

Upcoming green cart compost giveaways:

  • When: Saturday May 12, 19 and 26
  • Hours: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Location: Calgary Composting Facility – 12111 68 Street SE – See driving directions.
  • Cost: FREE for Calgary residents.