What belongs in the green cart?

Food Scraps

  • Meat & fish
  • Bones
  • Peels & pits
  • Bread, grains, pastries
  • Eggshells, dairy products
  • Jams, sauces, dressings
  • cooking oils & fats (let hot oil & fat cool and absorb with paper material first)
  • Nuts & seeds
Non-Food Items
  • paper plates, napkins, paper towel
  • greasy pizza boxes
  • unlined paper food packaging. i.e. french fry basket
  • Coffee filters, coffee grounds, tea bags
  • Animal bedding made of organic materials
  • Pet fur, hair, feathers
  • Pet waste/feces, kitty litter
  • Cotton balls
  • Popsicle sticks, toothpicks, chopsticks
  • Leaf and yard waste less than 1.5cm in diameter and no longer than 1 meter
  • Grass clippings
  • Flowers
  • Kleenex, facial tissue (Most bodily fluids (saliva, tears, mucus etc.) are acceptable. 
  • For sod only fill the bin half full due to weight


Lid must be closed to be collected

NO! The following items CANNOT go in your green cart:

  • plastic bags (garbage bags, grocery store plastic bags)
  • cardboard (Only soiled cardboard, for example Pizza Boxes, saturated with grease, cheese and oil are accepted)
  • foam cups, containers and packaging
  • plastic containers
  • diapers/ baby wipes
  • toilet paper with human waste of any kind (as it is a biohazard)
  • noxious weeds (to prevent the spread of noxious weeds) Noxious Weeds Link
  • q-tips (have a plastic coating)
  • carcasses/wild game/entrails
  • paper drink cups
  • compostable food ware (eg. soup containers, cutlery, cups that say "compostable") as they are designed to break down under a different set of standards than Airdrie's processing
  • gravel/stones/concrete
  • soil

Acceptable Compostable Bags

Options for lining your kitchen pail or green cart include:

  • Compostable bag
  • Paper bag
  • Newspaper
  • Nothing

If using a compostable bag, it must have one of these symbols:


Compostable bags are available at most grocery, hardware and pet retailers in Airdrie. 

Compostable bagsBiodegradable or oxo-biodegradable bags
Made from a food by-product such as corn starch and break down into compost Are made from plastic
Are usually opaque and feel softer than plastic bags Plastic bags prevent the flow of air, which is required during the composting process
Guaranteed to completely break down during the composting process Break apart into small plastic pieces, which do not completely decompose
Have a certified compostable logo Diminishes the quality of the finished compost


Acceptable Compostable Bag Options (not limited to these):


Green Cart Placement

Your green cart should be placed in the same location (front street or back alley) as your garbage and recycling is collected from.

Always ensure there is one metre of clearance all around the cart to allow the automated truck to pick up the cart safely. This includes clearance from cars, basketball nets and your garbage.

Ensure the front of the bin faces the street/alley (arrows on the cart indicate the front)green


Green Cart Care

Residents new to the organics program express concerns about potential odours and/or pests. Weekly pick up of the green cart during the warmer months (May until November) should minimize potential odours/pests and here are a few additional tips to try as well:

  • Sprinkle baking soda in your green cart.
  • Wrap your organics in newspaper or paper towels.
  • Although they are not required, compostable bags help to control odours effectively.
  • Keep your green cart shaded from the sun.
  • Keep the lid on your green cart closed.
  • Rinse out the green cart as needed with plain water or a vinegar and water mixture.
  • Try layering your organics with wet/dry layers. To do this, place a layer of newspaper, leaves, or other dry compostable material then alternate layers with wet kitchen waste or grass clippings.
  • Set out your cart on collection day, even if it's not full.

Clean the carts the same way you would clean a garbage can - rinse them periodically to wash off any debris. Empty the water from the cart onto your lawn or garden (please do not allow rinsing water to wash into the storm water system) and allow it to dry completely. You can also hire private companies to come clean your green cart.

Green carts are the property of City of Airdrie but the responsibility and care for it lies with the home owner. Please write your address on the top of your green cart.  The green carts remain with the home if you move. If your cart is unintentionally damaged Waste & Recycling will repair/replace the cart as needed.


Contact us

Waste & Recycling

P. 403.948.0246

F. 403.948.8819


Recycle Depot hours
Monday, Tuesday
Wednesday to Saturday, Sunday
9 a.m. - 5 p.m.