Green Organics Cart

Green Organics Carts will be switching to winter collection starting on Monday, November 4. Carts will be collected every two weeks.

green organics binsThe City of St. Albert provides all households and a small number of multi-family homes and condo complexes with a Green Organics Cart for use in the curbside program. Residents can utilize the carts to dispose of organic material such as grass and food waste, to be converted into compost.

There is no cost difference between the Medium (120 L) and the Large (240 L) Green Organics Cart. Options are provided to meet varying household needs with food scraps and leaf and yard waste.

To request a change in size, repair or replacement, please contact the City of St. Albert’s Utilities Services at 780-459-1520, Option 2, or complete the online request form at Change Garbage Cart Size.

Frequency of Collection

Your Green Organics Cart is collected on your household's designated waste collection day:

  • Every week from April to the end of October
  • Every two weeks from November to the end of March

Please refer to the Collection Schedule for specific details.

Tips for Collection

  • Please do not place any non-compostable material (such as plastic bags or metal) in the Green Organics Cart as it degrades the quality of compost and could even result in a rejected collection.

Non Compostable Trash Bags

  • Please place the Green Organics Cart a minimum of one metre (three feet) away from any obstacles to ensure safe collection. Generally, an arms-length is a good distance marker.
  • Do not pack material into the Green Organics Cart, as it can become stuck. Remember that in changing temperatures or with condensation, you will need to make sure the material in your cart is loose before pick-up. Please shake the cart or put a shovel down the side to loosen the material.
  • Do you need a food scraps container for your Green Organics Cart? Visit the Public Works - Jack Kraft Facility (7 Chevigny Street) during office hours to pick up a container. Limit of one per household. For St. Albert residents only. A photo ID may be requested. 
  • Food Scrap ContainerCreate a newspaper liner for your food scraps container. Once the liner is full, empty it into your Green Organics Cart. See the Organics Origami - Paper Liner instructions to learn how you can make your own liners.
  • Compostable bags are not required for collection; however, if you do use them, please ensure the packing contains a certified compostable logo. Please see the pictures below. 

Compostable Logo 1      Compostable Logo 2

Do I use bags to throw out my organics?

Bags are not required for organics disposal. If residents wish to use bags to dispose of their organics, BPI certified compostable bags must be used. These bags are made of organic materials and break down at the same rate as other organic material and they can easily be identified by our composting contractor. 

What is the difference between biodegradable and compostable?

Some plastic bags are marked as biodegradable rather than compostable. There is a significant difference between the two terms and ONLY compostable bags are accepted for the City of St. Albert's Green Organics Cart. Biodegradable bags may leave plastic residue behind or take an exceptionally long time to degrade, which would adversely affect the quality of the compost. Compostable bags (as identified with a BPI certified compostable logo) do not leave residue and take very little time to degrade properly, making them acceptable for use in this program.

What percentage of my household waste is considered organic?

Most residential waste contains approximately 40-50% of organic material which can be put into the Green Organics Cart. Approximately 30% is yard waste and 20% is household waste. By separating the organic material from the landfill material, most residents will find they produce much less waste and may be able to lower their Brown Garbage Cart subscription level. To change Brown Garbage Cart sizes, please call Utilities Services at 780-459-1520, Option 2 or complete the online request form: Change Garbage Cart Size.

Will the material in the Green Organics Cart smell?

The Green Organic Cart will be picked up weekly in the summer months (May to November), which should minimize any potential for odour developing in the carts.

Some tips to reduce potential odour issues include:

  • Wrap food scraps in newspaper or paper towels
  • Use compostable bags. These are not required in the Green Organics Cart program, but they do help to control odours effectively
  • Keep the Green Organics Cart in a shaded area so it is not exposed to the sun
  • Ensure the lid on your Green Organics Cart is closed
  • Try adding a small amount of baking soda or lime to the Green Organics Cart
  • Layer your Green Organics Cart with browns/dry and greens/wet. (See diagram below).

Cart with layersBrown/dry materials are items that are high in carbon and acts as a filter. This filter helps to absorb odours. Examples of brown/dry material include leaves, shredded paper, sawdust and cardboard.

Green/wet materials are items that may produce an odour, such as meat, dairy products and grass.

Will the Green Organics Cart attract animals or insects?

The Green Organics Carts are sturdy and have a lid that closes. Keeping the lid closed will deter animals and insects better than a standard garbage bag.

Will the organics material freeze inside the Green Organics Cart?

It is possible that some material will freeze during the winter, but this will not damage the cart or the automated truck. To minimize material freezing to the inside of the cart, try the following:

  • Line the cart with newspaper, pizza boxes or cardboard
  • Wrap food scraps in newspaper, paper towel or soiled cardboard
  • Layer the cart with alternating brown/dry material and green/wet material
  • Use BPI Certified compostable bags. These are not required with the program but will help prevent material from freezing in the cart
  • Create a newspaper liner for your food scraps container. Once the liner is full, empty it into your Green Organics Cart. See the Organics Origami - Paper Liner Instructions to learn how you can make your own liners.

Can I just use my garburator instead of the Green Organics Cart?

A garburator is a unit that is typically installed underneath a kitchen sink. It shreds food and kitchen waste into small enough pieces to pass through the plumbing system. Using a garburator may seem like a convenient way to dispose of organic material, but it can cause problems with sewer lines in your home and put unnecessary stresses on wastewater treatment plants. Organic material that is ground up by a garburator accumulates on the small sewer pipes in your home causing sewer clogs and backups and the City of St. Albert does not endorse use of this unit for that those reasons.

Where is the City taking the materials from the Green Organics Cart?

The City of St. Albert brings it's Green Organics Cart materials to Roseridge Waste Management Services Commission. Roseridge composts the organic material into high quality garden compost that will be made available to the residents of St. Albert through Compost Giveaway events.

For more information about the Compost Giveaway events, check our Seasonal Waste Programs.

Can I opt out of the Green Organics Cart program?

No. In order for the City to implement an effective waste reduction program, each household that currently receives curbside waste collection will have the opportunity to utilize the Green Organics Cart as well.

The Green Organics Cart accepts items such as soiled pizza boxes, meat products, bones and dairy products that typically cannot be added into backyard composters. This will enable households to compost a wider variety of materials and reduce the amount of garbage we send to landfill.

Some multi-family complexes, apartment buildings and home owners associations may be able to opt out of City of St. Albert provided waste services in favour of private waste collection.

Where can I find compostable bags suitable for use in the Green Organics Cart?

Compostable bags are not required for the Green Organics Cart, but they are recommended. If residents choose to use bags for their organic waste, they must use only compostable bags. These bags are typically identified by their green colour and they are labelled as BPI certified compostable.

You can find these compostable bags at local grocery and hardware stores.

Is pet waste allowed in the Green Organics Cart?

No. The organic processing site discourages including pet waste in the Green Organics Cart as it affects the overall quality of the compost. Please do not include this material in the Green Organics Cart. Pet waste can be discarded into your Brown Garbage Cart instead.

Should I put newspaper in the Blue Recycling Bag or the Green Organics Cart?

Paper products cannot be recycled if they are food soiled or damaged by water. If the paper product is clean and free of food, then put the material into the Blue Recycling Bag. If the paper product is food soiled or water damaged (like pizza boxes) put the material in your Green Organics Cart. Shredded paper is also acceptable in the Green Organics Cart.

Acceptable vs. Unacceptable List

Acceptable Unacceptable
Check markBread and baked goods x mark Clothes and Textiles
Check markCoffee grounds and filters x mark  Electronics
Check markCooled and solidified grease x mark  Garbage
Check markDairy products x mark  Hazardous materials
Check markEggs and eggshells x mark  Plastic bags, wrap or wrappers
Check markFacial tissue, napkins and paper towels x mark  Single-use, to-go cups (e.g. coffee)
Check markFlour, grains and dough  
Check markFruit and vegetables and peelings  
Check markGrass, leaf and yard waste (e.g. branches, flowers, plants, etc.)  
Check markMeat products and bones  
Check markPaper food containers and soiled & greasy pizza boxes  
Check markPasta and rice  
Check markPumpkins and jack o'-lanterns  
Check markShredded paper  

What Goes in the Green Organics Cart?

Download the "What Goes Where?" Quick Sorting List or search for specific items using the tool below.


Related Pages

Last edited: November 8, 2019