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Cart wizard sticker program

Throughout the summer, staff complete visual assessments of green (organics) and blue (recycling) carts for contamination and materials that don't belong. Residents either:

  • Receive a 'cart wizard' sticker for correctly sorting and placing their cart(s) OR
  • Receive an educational orange 'oops tag' if additional assistance is needed to understand how to use either green and/or blue carts  

Reasons to properly sort your carts:

  • In 2021 and 2022, recycling contamination cost Airdrie $38,645.51 
  • Sorting properly saves money, reduces truck emissions and reduces the likelihood of injury to workers

Common incorrects

Incorrect items found in green carts include:

  • Plastic (i.e. dog waste bags, garbage bags). 

    Bags need to be certified compostable, paper or newspaper. Plastic is NOT allowed in the green cart.

  • Food in packaging (i.e. berries in a container, chips in bags).
    Remove all packaging before placing food in your organics cart. Rinse and recycle if possible.
  • Coffee/soft drink cups. Empty and clean cups go in your blue cart. Lids and plastic straws are garbage.

Incorrect items found in blue carts include:

  • Multi-materials. These are two or more items that can't be separated or plastics that can't be identified (i.e. shipping envelopes made of bubble wrap/paper,  Pringles© cans, plastic toys and cutlery). If items cannot be separated, please place in your garbage.
  • Loose, stretchy plastic. Plastics that stretch (i.e. grocery bags, pop case overwrap) need to be bundled and tied into one stretchy bag.
  • Bagged recycling. All recycling must be loose in your blue cart except for stretchy plastic and shredded paper.

Use our what goes where tool

Why we can't recycle or compost certain items

Multi-material items: these can't be separated at the sorting facility  (i.e. separating paper portion of Pringles© can from metal bottom)

Polystyrene packaging foam: Causes a large mess as it easily breaks apart; we have a dedicated recycling program for it where it is contained and processed on site at the Recycle Depot

Plastic drink lids and other small items with a recycling symbol: These items are too small and light to be captured by the machinery at the sorting facility. Better option is to use a reusable mug/tumbler/water bottle when able to.

Plastic in green carts: Organic material breaks down into a nutrient dense soil ammedement product in an eight week period. Plastic would be left after this time and not allow the final product to be used for agriculture purposes.

Overfilled or heavy green carts: The truck automatically lifts the cart with mechanical arms, and when collecting an overweight cart it could fall into the truck or easily slip and fall. If overfilled with large material (yard waste) it can blow around.

Electronics and household hazardous waste: These items in any cart pose a danger to collection contractors and staff at sorting facilities as they can cause fires, get tangled up and stop the sorting lines. Bringing them to the Recycle Depot will allow them to be properly recycled and disposed of.