Green Cart - Organic Materials

Green Cart Basics

    • Check your "Collection Calendar” to confirm your collection schedule. 
    • Remember to place your carts at the curbside by 8 a.m. on your scheduled collection day.  Read more Cart Placement guidelines here. 
    • Place items loosely in carts. Food scraps, leaves, grass and light trimmings can stick to the cart, especially when they are moist and squished in. Your cart has a better chance of emptying into the truck if you line bottom of the cart with newspaper or compostable cardboard. If you use a compostable liner, only BPI certified please!

    Accepted Green Cart Materials






    Not Accepted Green Cart Items

    • Animal Carcasses
    • Biodegradable Plastics
    • Clean or Unsoiled Cardboard
    • Compostable Plastics
    • Construction Materials
    • Cork
    • Garbage
    • Liquids
    • Personal Hygiene Products
    • Pet Waste
    • Plastics
    • Recyclables
    • Sawdust, Wood, Wood Refuse
    • Soil, Sod, or Rocks
    • Styrofoam
    • Wire, Twist Ties, Rubber Bands, Netting or Stickers
    Nanaimo Recycles App

    Download the FREE NanaimoRecycles App to learn What Goes Where and #RecycleRight!

    Download the Nanaimo Recycles app for Android from the Google Play Store Download the Nanaimo Recycles app for iOS from the Apple App Store

    Optional Cart Liner

    • Acceptable liners include paper bags, newspaper, paper flour, sugar, or fast food bags, a cereal box or certified compostable bags.
    • If purchasing compostable bags, look for one or both certification logos to ensure they break down when composted:

    Certified Compostable


    Why is Certified Compostable important?

    Certified Compostable bio-products are designed to fully break down into water, carbon dioxide and biomass in industrial composting facilities.  Any bio-product that is not Certified Compostable is NOT guaranteed to break down fully and will stay intact or break down into smaller plastic pieces.  Biodegradable and degradable products and packaging cannot go into the Green Cart, because they are likely to contaminate our compost stream with macro- or micro-plastics.


    What happens to the Green Cart materials once they are collected?

    Click here to find out!

    Keeping Pesky Critters out of your Garbage/Green Carts

    Wildlife may be attracted to your garbage cart and/or organics cart, but here are steps you can take to avoid unwanted contact with these critters. Use the tips below:

    • Wrap food in newsprint or paper bags
    • Freeze any smelly foods and place them in your green bin on the day of collection
    • Keep carts clean by rinsing with soapy water; leaving soap residue may also mask food odors
    • Keep carts in a secured location such as garage or shed until collection day
    • Put carts in a secured location such as garage or shed until collection day
    • Put carts out as close to collection time (8 a.m.) as possible
    • Try using vinegar and baking soda - a natural odor eliminator
    • Use a bungee cord or weight on lid. The cord and weight must be removed for collection!

    The carts feature a patented rodent-proof rim that is designed to keep critters out.  If your wildlife problem persist, please contact the Public Works Department.

    Preventing Insects and Maggots

    • Maggots are attracted to cooked and raw meat.  Store these scraps in the freezer until collection day.
    • Tightly wrap meat scraps and plate scrapings in newspaper before placing in your cart, and then cover with yard waste.
    • Transfer waste food into your kitchen catcher as soon as you can and keep the lid tightly closed when not in use.
    • Using compostable or paper bags, closed and tied at the top, helps to prevent houseflies from getting in contact with your food waste.
    • Clean out your kitchen catcher regularly with a mild detergent or vinegar/water solution.
    • You can sprinkle salt, vinegar or garden lime in your organics cart to reduce odour.

    Contact Us

    Public Works Department
    Zero Waste
    Monday to Friday | 8:00 - 4:30

    Last updated: June 20, 2024

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