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The way we sort, set out and collect waste is changing. The City will provide all single-unit and some multi-unit homes with a garbage cart, a food scraps cart and a food scraps pail between March 2021 and August 2021.

Residents will receive a large (240L) garbage cart, but a small (120L) one is available by request.

Learn more
*Request a small cart by February 12, 2021

The way residents set out their waste for collection is changing.

The new system includes four collection services:


Collected every 2 weeks year-round, using a cart provided by the City.
Once you get the hang of sorting out your food scraps, yard waste and recycling, you’ll find that you have less garbage.

Food Scraps

Collected weekly from spring to fall, and every two weeks in the winter, using a cart provided by the City.

If you have spare room in your food scraps cart, you can top it up with yard waste as long as the lid can be fully closed.


Collected in blue bags all year round.
There are no changes to recycling collection.

Yard Waste

Collected twice in spring and twice in fall in clear plastic bags or double-ply paper yard waste bags and/or bundles wrapped in biodegradable twine.

You can also top up your food scraps cart with yard waste or take it to an Eco Station for free between seasonal collection days.

Education Sessions

We will be offering a variety of opportunities to learn more about how to sort your waste and use your carts this spring.

More information will be available in February 2021.

Garbage Cart Sizes

Small (120L)
Garbage Cart

A small garbage cart is available by request, for households that produce less waste. 


*Request a small cart by February 12, 2021

The small garbage cart monthly rate will decrease by $3.90/month to $43.32/month starting in October 2021.

  • Suitable for households with 1-2 residents
  • Fits approximately 2-3 regular garbage bags
  • Picked up once every two weeks, year round
  • Height: 95cm (37.5")
  • Width: 47cm (18.5")
  • Depth: 62cm (24.5")
  • Volume: 120L

Large (240L)
Garbage Cart

The large garbage cart is the default size.

If you prefer a large cart, you do not need to do anything and one will be delivered to you. 


The large garbage cart monthly rate will increase by $1.10 to $48.32 starting in October 2021.

  • Suitable for households with 3 or more residents
  • Fits approximately 4-6 regular garbage bags
  • Picked up once every two weeks, year round
  • Height: 111cm (43.5")
  • Width: 68cm (26.5")
  • Depth: 69cm (27")
  • Volume: 240L

Garbage Cart Size Calculator

Find out which cart will work best for your household.

Request a Small Garbage Cart

  • A small (120L) garbage cart is available by request
  • To receive a small cart at the beginning of the Edmonton Cart Rollout, submit your request by February 12, 2021.
  • You will be able to exchange your garbage cart size if your needs or situation has changed, after receiving your carts
  • Your first cart exchange is free, after there is an $18.50 administration fee
  • You must have your utility account information to submit a small cart request
  • If you share a water meter, only the party or residents who pay for the monthly waste service fee can submit a request
  • All garbage carts for all units sharing the same water meter will be of the same size (this is a technical requirement of the billing system)

Small Garbage Cart Request


All residents who are part of the Edmonton Cart Rollout can submit an online request to receive a small garbage cart except:

  • Secondary Suite Cart Sharing program participants
  • Multi-unit homes switching to bins
  • Cart Rollout demonstration phase participants
  • If you are moving before Feb 5, 2021
    • Submit your small cart exchange request online by Feb 12, 2021
  • If you move after Feb 5, 2021
    • You’ll start with the large (240L) garbage cart
    • You can request a cart exchange online for the small (120L) garbage cart after you receive your carts and before the new rates come into place in October 2021

Your New Carts

Cart Delivery and Collection Start Date

Between March and August 2021, all single-unit and some multi-unit homes will receive: 

  • Garbage cart - large (240L) default size or small (120L) by special request
  • Food scraps cart - 120L
  • Food scraps pail for in-home use
  • Information package
  • New collection schedule

Find out when your cart will be delivered

View as PDF

Secondary Suites

If you have a legal secondary suite on your property that is registered with Waste Services, a set of carts will be delivered for each suite.

The account holder is responsible for any waste utility rate(s) associated with carts.

Cart Sharing

If you prefer to share one set of carts (one large (240L) garbage cart and one food scraps cart) between all suites, the waste account holder may submit a request online between January 20, 2021 and February 12, 2021.

Residents participating in the cart sharing program only pay one monthly waste utility rate.

Assisted Waste Collection

The City’s Waste Services offers an assisted waste collection service for customers who have difficulty getting their waste to the curb or lane.

Starting February 3, 2021, a new online application form will be available specifically for residents who will need assistance once the Edmonton Cart Rollout begins.

Two new service options will be available: 

  • One option for residents who are able to put waste in their carts but require the City to set out the carts at the curb for collection, then return the carts to their storage location after they are emptied.

  • One option for residents who need the City to take waste from their door, place it in their carts, set the carts out for collection, and return the carts to their storage location once they are emptied.

Cart Use, Set Out, Storage

Cart Placement

On collection day, place your cart at least 1 metre (3 feet) away from other carts, cars or other objects. 3 metres (10 feet) of space is required between the top of the cart and overhead branches, wires, and so on.

Place your cart on level ground, with the back wheels facing towards the house or driveway.

Make sure the lid is fully closed.

Alley collection - place carts close to the alley so the automated arm can reach them

Front street collection - place carts on the street against the curb

If there is not enough space to properly set out your carts, please place your carts at the end of your driveway. This is also a convenient spot during the winter time as no additional snow removal is required.

Please refer to the set-out diagram printed on the outside of your cart. A cart set-out tips video will be posted in early March.

Storing Your Cart

Carts can be stored against your fence, garage, home or even inside your garage. On your collection day, roll your carts out to the designated collection location and set them out as indicated on the instructions provided in your information package and on the left side of your cart. Properly setting out your waste ensures that it will be collected.

Food Scraps Cart

Consider storing your food scraps cart in an easy-to-access location outside on your property. This will make it easier for you to empty your food scraps pail into the cart as soon as it’s full. During warm weather, store your food scraps cart in your garage or another shady spot to help reduce odour.

Garbage Cart

The garbage cart can be stored in a different location since it will be put out for collection every two weeks and easy access is not as important. If possible, both carts should be stored in a shady area, to help with odour control.

Cleaning Your Cart

Cart cleanliness is the responsibility of the resident. If your carts need cleaning:

  • To ensure food waste doesn't become lodged or frozen to the base of the cart, place crumpled up newspaper at the base of your green cart
  • Rinse your cart with a hose and pour the water on the grass or gravel, being careful the dirty water does not enter the storm drain
  • Try mixing 1 part vinegar and 3 parts hot water to clean the surface and remove odours
  • In winter, be careful not to empty water onto driveways, sidewalks or walkways, as it could freeze and create hazardous conditions
  • If material gets stuck inside the cart, use a broom or shovel handle to loosen it
Excess Garbage

Residents are encouraged to reduce and sort waste at home. Once you become accustomed to sorting out your recyclables, food scraps and yard waste you should find you have much less leftover garbage.

Occasional Excess Garbage

Residents who occasionally have excess garbage can drop off up to two bags of excess garbage at an Eco Station free of charge.

  • Clear bags must be used, and they must not contain recycling, food scraps, or yard waste
  • If not, a $9 excess waste fee will be charged
  • To protect your privacy, put garbage you don’t want others to see in your black carts
Excess Garbage Cart

Residents with 7 or more people in the same household, and residents generating non-hazardous home health care waste can apply to exchange their garbage cart with an excess (360L) garbage cart.

As of October 2021, the monthly rate for the excess garbage cart will be $58.32, which is $10 more per month than the large (240L) garbage cart.

Sort Your Waste

Food Scraps

All solid food waste is accepted in the food scraps cart, which is collected weekly from spring to fall, and every two weeks in the winter.

This includes:

  • Spoiled food
  • Scraps and peelings
  • Meat, fish and poultry
  • Bones and eggshells
  • Dairy products
  • Coffee grounds and tea
  • Food-soiled napkins and paper towels

All packaging must be removed.

Crumpled newspaper, paper bags and BPI/BNQ certified compostable bags may be used to line the cart and/or food scraps pail.

Yard waste and grass clippings can be added to the food scraps cart if you have extra space.

Material from the food scraps cart will be processed at the Anaerobic Digestion Facility and through contracted partners in the Edmonton region.


Any materials that don't require special disposal at an Eco Station and don’t belong in your food scraps cart, blue bag or yard waste should go into your garbage cart.

Examples include non-recyclable packaging like coffee cups, plastic cutlery, chip bags, styrofoam, worn-out clothing, and diapers.

Reduce Your Garbage

To reduce your garbage, consider donating unwanted items in good condition to a local charity or reuse organization.

Reuse Directory


Paper, newspaper, cardboard, tin cans, glass jars and bottles, plastic containers and bags are all acceptable items for any of our recycling programs, provided they are clean, loose and dry.

Blue Bags

  • Used for curbside and alley collection from single-unit and some multi-unit homes
  • Recycling is collected weekly
  • There is no bag limit 
  • Put all recyclables in the same bag
  • No sorting required

Yard Waste

Yard waste includes leaves, twigs, branches, fallen fruit, dead plants, grass and other plant material from your yard or garden.

Yard waste can be disposed of in three ways:

Top up your food scraps cart

  • Put yard waste in your food scraps cart, as long as the lid can close

Set yard waste out for seasonal collection

  • There are two yard waste collections per season for each residence (spring and fall with no volume limit)
  • Use clear plastic bags or double-ply paper bags
  • Bags should weigh no more than 20kg (44lbs)
  • Bags must be in good condition and safe for the collector to handle
  • Roll the top of paper bags closed to prevent spills
  • Materials over 0.30 m (1ft) need to be tied in bundles and set out beside the yard waste bags
  • Materials tied in bundles can be no longer than 1.2 m (4ft) and 0.75 m (2.5ft) in diameter
  • Tree stumps and trunks should be dropped off at an Eco Station

Bring yard waste to an Eco Station

  • Drop off excess yard waste at an Eco Station, free of charge
  • Residents are asked to debag the yard waste contents from plastic bags in the yard waste bin
  • Debagging is not needed if yard waste is brought in paper bags 


Can I opt out of the program?

No, residents are not able to opt out of the Edmonton Cart Rollout. To help Edmonton reach the 90 percent diversion goal, every household’s participation will be important to make our new system a success. The City cannot do what a million Edmontonians can at home by sorting their waste.

If you think you may have trouble with cart-based collection due to mobility issues, you may be eligible for Assisted Waste Collection.

Will my rate increase because I am now getting carts?

Your monthly waste service fee in January – September 2021 will be the same as your 2020 rate ($47.22/month) for curbside collection customers.

Beginning October 2021
  • Customers with the default large (240L) garbage cart will see their monthly rate increase by $1.10 to $48.32
  • Customers who select the small (120L) garbage cart will see their rate decrease by $3.90/month to $43.32/month
  • The monthly price difference between the small and large garbage cart is $5/month
Why are we introducing carts instead of our current system?

Carts make waste collection more efficient and reduce workplace injuries significantly among waste collectors due to the reduced heavy and repetitive lifting, and not having to handle potentially dangerous waste (needles, etc.) with their hands. This standard practice also helps the City maintain stable utility rates and a competitive curbside collection market.

Learn more about Edmonton’s 25-year Waste Strategy.

Why are we introducing food scraps collection?

Having residents sort their food scraps and yard waste at home makes waste easier and more effective to process than the mixed materials we currently collect in black bags. Separate collection of these materials will allow us to produce higher quality compost and increase the diversion from landfills.

Separate collection of compostable materials is a standard practice in North America for its significant environmental benefits. Edmonton is one of the last few large municipalities transitioning to this standard.

Learn more about Edmonton’s 25-year Waste Strategy.

Can I opt out of food scraps cart collection if I compost at home?

Thank you for composting at home. Please continue to do so as home composting is good for your soil and benefits the environment.

You can use your food scraps cart for certain food scraps that you may find more challenging to compost at home such as dairy, meat and bones or if your home composter is full.
When these materials are collected in food scraps carts, they will be sent to a processing facility, where the technology kills pathogens and turns these materials into useful resources. Home composting options also have their limitations in the winter months.

Providing food scraps collection will ensure residents have a place to sort all organic materials no matter the time of year.

Will my collection day and time change?

Some residents may change to a new collection day and others will remain on the same one. If your collection day is changing, it will be reflected in the collection calendar you received with your cart.

All collection routes will be changing so your garbage collector may come at a new time. Please ensure you set out your waste by 7am on your scheduled collection day  to ensure it is collected.

  • Garbage cart - picked up every two weeks
  • Food scraps cart  - picked up weekly from spring to fall and every two weeks in the winter
  • Yard waste - picked up seasonally, with two collections in the spring and two collections in the fall
  • Recycling - collected weekly all year round
What do I do with my existing garbage cans?

You may choose to use your existing garbage cans for other purposes such as storage. If you no longer require your existing garbage cans, clean them and bring them to a City Eco Station or Recycling Depot. Clean garbage cans will be accepted free of charge.

Will the City collect garbage placed in my current garbage cans?

With the implementation of cart-based collection, the City will only collect garbage from the carts provided by the City. Garbage set out in any other containers will not be collected.

What if I set out extra bags or use the wrong container?

The City will only collect garbage and food scraps set out in the carts provided by the City, on the specific collection days marked on the collection calendar.

  • If residents set out extra bags or their own garbage cans, they will not be collected
  • If residents set out a garbage cart on a food scraps cart collection day or vice versa, it will not be collected
  • Residents can set out unlimited blue recycling bags on their recycling collection day
  • Residents can set out unlimited yard waste on the seasonal yard waste collection days marked on their collection calendar
Can I use my own cart?

The City will provide carts in the Council-approved size, designed for use with the City’s automated collection vehicles. The City will not collect any carts that were not provided by the City.

Can I still use my garbage stand/enclosure?

Carts cannot be collected from garbage stands or enclosures, and most garbage stands are too small to fit carts for storage. 

If your carts fit, you are welcome to store them inside a garbage enclosure or on a stand when they are not in use, but for collection, carts need to be on level ground, not on a platform, garbage stand or on sloped ground.

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