Read on for updated information...

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. This page has been updated to provide you with new information on the second Phase of the Sort Toss Roll project coming summer 2018!

Residents of Central Nanaimo began receiving this popular service in the fall of 2017. Good news! Residents of North and South Nanaimo will begin to receive the service this summer (2018)!

Sort Toss Roll information stations and displays have been set up around Nanaimo for residents to check out and learn more about automated curbside collection. Check out the schedule of Upcoming Events and Displays.

Sort Toss Roll Implementation Areas

Phase 1- Central Nanaimo, fall 2017

Phase 2- The rest of the City, Summer 2018

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. Residents in Central Nanaimo began to receive the new service in fall 2017, residents in the rest of Nanaimo will receive the new service in summer 2018!

Automated Truck

Before automated collection begins, a set of three (3) 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 North and South Nanaimo

20,000 households in North and South Nanaimo will receive the new service beginning in July and August 2018!

Residents of those areas don't need to do anything. You will receive a door hanger at your home about two weeks prior to receiving your new carts. When your new carts arrive they will come with a complete information pack on how to use them. Please check your new 2018-2019 waste collection schedule for the triangle symbol which will indicate when you are to begin using your new carts. The new collection schedule will arrive in late May/Early June.


Automated Carts

Each household 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 


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, extra 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

New Solid Waste Collection Schedules will arrive at your home in Early June 2018. Please check your schedule carefully as your route and collection day may have changed. Look for the triangle symbol on your schedule that indicates when to begin using your new carts (please don't put them out before this date).  

Costs to Residents

The costs of the Sort Toss Roll program are expected to be around $8 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 2018 are $165 per household.  

Have questions?

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

Last updated: October 2, 2018

Help us improve our website

Don't include private or financial information in this form.