After a successful pilot, City Council has approved a citywide curbside food and yard waste service to be rolled out in fall 2023. This new service is part of the City’s long-term solid waste management plan, Waste Plan Regina, to send less waste to the landfill and reach the 65 per cent residential diversion target.
The City used data and feedback from our pilot participants to build a food and yard waste service specific to the needs of Regina residents. The city-wide service will save landfill space, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the material collected will be processed to create a useable product.
Here’s a look at what residents can expect coming in 2023:
- A 240-litre green cart will be used to collect the material - this is two-thirds the size of the blue carts that residents have today
- All food scraps, including meat, bones, dairy and greases, yard waste and soiled paper (paper towel, cardboard and tissues) can go into the green cartwhich will divert roughly 50 per cent of the waste that is currently going into the garbage in Regina
- Residents can use compostable bags
- Green carts will be collected weekly between April and October and biweekly between November and March; garbage will be collected biweekly year-round
Learn more about the implementation of food and yard waste service.
Why is it important to implement a food and yard waste service?
- Food and yard waste currently make up about 50 per cent of what goes in the average Regina resident’s garbage cart over the course of a year.
- We can only achieve the 65 per cent waste diversion goal set by Council by implementing a food and yard waste service. The City's waste diversion rate has remained static at 20 per cent since 2015.
- This will prolong the life of our landfill and reduce the greenhouse gasses which are produced when food and yard waste are landfilled.
Why is it important to divert food and yard waste from the Landfill?
- Food and yard waste are not garbage. They are a valuable resource which can be turned into nutrient-rich compost
- Landfill space is beneficial for long-term waste management and should only be used for materials that cannot be reused or recycled.
Why is the service not being rolled out until 2023?
- Curbside food and yard waste service is new to the City of Regina. The City conducted a pilot project to test the service and identify and address any issues before rollout to the whole city.
- Service implementation in 2023 was the timeline set out by Council in 2018, we are on track to meet that timeline.
How will this new service be funded?
- Solid waste services can be funded through property tax, user fees or a combination of both. A report will go to City Council in Q2 2022 to determine the funding model to accompany the three services. Today, garbage is paid through property tax, and the recycling service is paid through a user fee.
Are there any programs aimed at businesses, restaurants, schools, etc.?
- Expansion into industrial, commercial and institutional sectors (IC&I) will come after the residential service is established city-wide in 2023.
Will multi-residential areas be eligible for this service?
- The City’s green cart service will be rolled out to those that receive current garbage and recycling service. imilar to garbage and recycling services, multi-residential properties will be required to secure food and yard waste (organic) waste services via contractor.
I already have a backyard compost, is this different?
- This service will accept some items that cannot be processed in a typical backyard compost, such as meat, dairy and greasy cardboard. You are encouraged to continue use of your backyard compost if you choose to do so.
If your home was part of the Food and Yard Waste Pilot, you can find general information here.
What are the acceptable items in the City’s green carts?
It is commonly referred to as “scrape the plate,” meaning that all food scraps, including meat, bones, dairyand greases will be accepted. Yard waste and soiled paper (paper towel, cardboard and tissues) will also be accepted.
- Grass clippings
- Garden waste (plant and vegetable waste)
- Bush/tree trimmings
- Branches (not from elm trees) up to 1ft thick and 3ft long
- Sod - as long as <200lbs
- Pizza Boxes
- Tissues and napkins
- Butcher paper and parchment paper
- Cotton Balls
- Paper towel
- Duck/goose bones and feathers and deer hides and bones (related to hunting)
- Paper bags
- Large dirt
- Large items that do not fit in the cart, or weigh >200lbs
- Pet waste
- Plastic bags, including all types of “certified compostable” and “biodegradable” are not accepted.
- GLAD compost bags
- Shiny cardboard, like cereal boxes
- Fast food paper cups
- Keurig compostable coffee pods
- Makeup remover wipes
- Disinfecting wipes
I heard the compostable plastic bags were accepted in the green carts, did that change?
Compostable plastic bags are currently NOT accepted in the City’s green carts.We are planning to accept compostable plastic bags after we transition to city-wide service in 2023, but they are NOT accepted today.
The food waste is creating too much smell/order.
Here are some tips to prevent odours and pests in the warmer months:
- Set out your green cart on your collection day even if it’s not full
- Store your cart in a shady location between collection days
- Keep cart lid closed
- Layer paper and cardboard products like paper yard waste bags, tissues, paper towel and egg cartons to absorb liquids
- Wrap wet or smelly scraps (meat, fish) in paper bags or newspaper
- Rinse out your green cart with a garden hose periodically
- Empty your kitchen catcher daily
- Rinse with warm water and soap or put directly in the dishwasher
- Line kitchen catcher with paper liner, cardboard, paper towel, newspaper or egg cartons
- Sprinkle a small amount of vinegar or baking soda
- Keep lid closed
Items are sticking or freezing in the cart, what can be done?
- Avoid packing the cart tightly with waste.
- Make sure there is material is small enough to empty when the cart is tipped. Items like large pizza boxes can become lodged in the cart if they are too big.
- Line the bottom of your green cart with newspaper, tissues, paper towel or cardboard to minimize items freezing to the cart
- Wrap food scraps in newspaper or use kraft or starch-lined paper bags (available at major retailers)
- Layer cart with wet material (food scraps) and dry material (newspaper, soiled cardboard)
- Store your green cart outdoors to avoid the freeze-thaw cycle
- Use a broom or shovel to loosen stuck or frozen items so the cart empties easily. Lining the bottom with newspaper, crumbled paper or cardboard makes it easier to loosen.
- Freezing happens because of the moisture content of this waste. Creative solutions like pre-freezing waste (place your kitchen catcher outside), or pre-straining excess moisture, can help.
- Testing this service in all weather conditions is part of why we are running this small, year-round pilot before implementing the service citywide. Thank you for providing your feedback.
Food & Yard Waste Pilot
Pilot households received a kitchen catcher to store food scraps and welcome package material.
We are testing three green cart sizes in pilot – 120L, 240L and 360L
Load of food, yard waste and soiled paper material from pilot's green carts at the processing site.
The processing site uses GORE Cover technology to aerate the piles and lock-in moisture to ensure a high-quality finished compost.
Some of the compost created in the first six months of the pilot program.