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Automatic Curbside Pickup - Sort Toss Roll

Welcome to the City of Nanaimo’s Automated Curbside Collection Information page. The announcements, maps, videos, and questions and answers found on this page are intended to keep you informed and up to date on the rollout of Nanaimo’s automated curbside collection. Please revisit this page monthly for updates and new information.

Central Nanaimo has been chosen as the location of the first phase of the automatic collection pickup. To determine if your address is included in the initial phase, please check the map below.

Sort Toss Roll Fact sheet

Sort Toss Roll FAQs

The basics of automated collection

Nanaimo residents know the benefits of curbside recycling, kitchen waste and garbage collection. It’s convenient — and makes it easy for you to sort your materials and to keep as much waste as possible out of the landfill. And that’s good for the environment.

Automated curbside collection makes a good system even better.

Automated collection trucks use automated arms to grasp specially designed carts, lift the carts and empty them into the truck. Earlier this year Nanaimo City Council approved the two phased implementation of automation collection services for the whole City.  

Phase 1- Central Nanaimo, fall 2017

Phase 2- The rest of the City, Summer 2018

Before automated collection begins, a set of three carts — and an information kit on using the carts — will be delivered to each household receiving the new service. 

Automated collection eliminates the need for collection crews to lift heavy containers.

Automated collection:

  • offers a tidy three-cart system
  • is easier and cleaner for residents
  • allows you to include yard waste in with your kitchen waste
  • makes recycling more convenient
  • reduces workplace injuries

Service begins in Central Nanaimo

About 8,000 households in Central Nanaimo will be first to receive the new service beginning in late fall, 2017.

Check out the map below to see whether your household will be among the first to receive the new service.


Before service begins, each household in Central Nanaimo will receive one set of three colour-coded wheeled carts and a complete information kit.

The carts:

  • make recycling more convenient
  • save homeowners from buying garbage bags
  • are easy to roll to the curb and back to your storage area
  • stop materials blowing away in the wind
  • are durable and easy to maintain
Cart Colour Capacity (litres) Replaces Holds
Organics - Kitchen and Garden waste  Green 120 Green Bin About 3 times as much as your current green bin
Recycling  Blue 240 Yellow Bags About 3 times as much as a yellow bag
Garbage*  Black 120 Garbage Bags About the same as 1 1/2 garbage bags

* Tags can be purchased for extra waste bags. Maximum 2 containers or bags per collection day. 


The carts make it easy to:

SORT — your materials the same way you’re used to doing.

TOSS — your sorted materials into the correct cart.

ROLL — your carts to the curb on collection day, and return them to their storage area after they are emptied.

Cart size, cart exchanges and extra bags

Residents are asked to try the standard set of carts for the first three months of service. After this time, there will be a one-month period of “free cart exchanges” where residents can upsize the size of their carts without paying the standard $25 change-out fee. (Please note: if you are upsizing your garbage cart, your garbage rates will increase. There is no fee to upsize your recycling cart and there is no option at this time to upsize your organics cart.)

During the first three months of service, the City will continue to collect bagged “extra garbage” so long as it has a $3 tag on it. After the three-month period, bags will no longer be accepted.

Cart Ownership

The City will maintain ownership of your carts. This means that if you move you leave your carts behind. Homes will automatically be provided with a new set of carts and the City will look after cart repairs and maintenance.

Carts are equipped with ID tags that are GPS located to your address so please don't swap carts around!

Collection schedule changes

Central Nanaimo’s collection schedule will change when automated collection begins. A new calendar will be distributed.

Costs to Residents

The costs of the Sort Toss Roll program are expected to be around $7.5 million in total. This includes the purchase of 8 new trucks and 3 wheeled carts for every home in Nanaimo.

The project will be paid for by garbage user rates. The user rates in 2017 are $118 per household. 

Next steps for automated collection

After the collection service in Central Nanaimo has been automated in the fall of 2017, the rest of the City will receive automated collection services in the summer of 2018.

Have questions?

Call the Sort - Toss - Roll Hotline at 250-756-5390 or email


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