Cart Exchange

Click here for Garbage/Recycling Information on COVID-19. For general information, visit the COVID-19 informational page or see the COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions.


We are not taking any new cart exchange requests at this time. When our services resume normal operations, we will begin accepting cart exchange forms and payments.

We will continue deliveries to newly occupied homes that do not have an existing set of carts.

Our apologies for inconvenience this may cause.



Residents of Nanaimo are able to exchange, add or remove carts by submitting the Cart Exchange form and a $25 payment to the Service and Resource Centre at 411 Dunsmuir Street or the Public Works Department at 2020 Labieux Road.

The Cart Exchange form will be posted here when front counter services resume.

Please follow these important instructions while waiting for your cart(s) to arrive:

  1. Use your cart normally until it is exchanged.
  2. Your cart will be exchanged on the day or day after your regular collection day.
  3. Leave your empty cart at the curb, or in a location that is visible and accessible from the road.
  4. If your cart is not exchanged by 4:00 pm the day after your collection day, use it normally for two more weeks.
  5. On your next collection day, put your cart out for collection again.  Repeat this until your cart is exchanged.

You may receive a cart that has been gently used.

Single family dwellings:

Cart Standard Capacity (litres) Upsize Option (litres)
GREEN - organics (kitchen & yard waste) 120 N/A
BLUE - recycling 240 360
BLACK - garbage 120 240

Single family homes with a secondary suite & non-strata'd fourplex:

Cart Standard Capacity (litres) Upsize Option (litres)
GREEN - organics (kitchen & yard waste) 240 N/A
BLUE- recycling 360 Add either:
1x 240 cart
1 x 360 cart
BLACK-garbage 240 360

*If you swap two carts at the same time only one charge will apply.

Cart Dimensions:

Size (litres) Height (cm) Width (cm) Depth (cm) Weight (cm)
120 47 95 62 10
240 68 103 71 16
360 73 110 84 16

My family has too much garbage. What can I do?

Are you certain everything you are sorting into your garbage is truly garbage? Many household items that are not accepted in your carts should be taken to your local recycling drop-off depots.

Check out these facilities and the materials they accept here or download our app and search the “What Goes Where” wizard. Alternatively, read on for options regarding up-sizing your cart.

Are there other cost implications if I increase the size of my carts and what are my up-sizing options?

If you regularly find yourself with excess garbage or recycling, you can up-size your cart for larger ones.  The waste collection fee will increase $100 annually. (This increase covers the costs of tipping the additional waste at the landfill).

A $25 exchange fee will apply.  Please note, if you are renting your home, please contact your landlord to request changes, as all charges will be added to the user fees account.  If this is an occasional issue, read below for tips on how to deal with excess waste.

* Please note:  the size of the organics cart cannot be changed at this time.          

Can I downsize my carts?

Residents living alone may find the standard size (240 litre) recycling cart too big.  You may downsize your recycling cart to the smallest size, which is 120 litre. 

How many times can I change carts?

You may change your cart size once per year.

If I move into a newly built home, how do I get a garbage cart?

Once you have received “occupancy” for your new property, you will receive new carts.  Please contact the Public Works department if you have moved in and need carts.


Nanaimo Recycles 


Contact Us

Public Works Department 250-758-5222

Last updated: July 28, 2020

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