The City used data and feedback from our pilot participants to build a residential food and yard waste service. The citywide service will save landfill space, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the material collected will be processed to create a useable product.
Here’s what residents with curbside waste collection can expect:
- Bring your kitchen catcher inside. Cut the zip tie holding the kitchen catcher to the cart and bring it inside to place in a convenient place in your kitchen.
- Review the materials inside the kitchen catcher. You will receive a guide, a magnet and some sample kitchen catcher bags to help you get started using the service.
- All food scraps, including meat, bones, dairy and greases, yard waste and soiled paper (paper towel, cardboard and tissues) can go into the green cart, which will divert roughly 50 per cent of the average household’s waste from the landfill.
- Materials can be placed in the cart loose or bagged in paper or BPI-certified 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.
Food and Yard Waste Rollout
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 valuable resources 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.
Have my collection days changed?
Yes, the collection schedules have been updated to accommodate the new service. While there might be occasional exceptions, most residents will encounter the following changes:
- The day when your brown cart (garbage) was previously collected is now allocated for your green cart collection (e.g., if your brown cart was collected on Wednesdays, your green cart collection will commence on Wednesdays starting from September 4).
- The day you previously set aside for your blue cart will now serve for both blue and brown cart collections on alternate weeks (e.g., if your current blue cart collection day was on Fridays and your brown cart collection day was Wednesdays, your brown cart collection will shift to every other Friday starting from September 4).
- During the summer, green carts are collected weekly, while in the winter, they are collected every two weeks.
- Starting in September, brown carts will be collected every two weeks throughout the year.
- Blue carts will continue to be collected every two weeks throughout the year.
How will this new service be funded?
- On October 26, 2022, City Council approved a new approach to how residents pay for garbage, recycling and the upcoming food and yard waste collection.
- Starting on January 1, 2024, all three curbside collection services (garbage, recycling, and food and yard waste) will be funded by a user fee on the City of Regina Utility bill, meaning garbage collection will no longer be funded by property taxes.
How much do I pay for my waste services in the new year?
- The user pay system will be based on the household garbage cart size. Households can choose from two sizes of garbage cart: the 240-litre or 360-litre. The Curbside Collection Fee comes into effect January 1, 2024. The fee includes the 360-litre recycling cart and a 240-litre food and yard waste cart. The cost will be $193.45 per year with a 240-litre garbage cart and $284.70 per year with a 360-litre garbage cart. This fee will cover all three carts.
Can I opt out of the green cart service?
- Like garbage and recycling, there will be no opt out as specified in the Waste Management Bylaw (Bylaw No: 2012-63). The City is authorized to provide this service under The Cities Act and the Waste Management Bylaw.
I already have a backyard compost. How 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.
Green Cart Frequently Asked Questions
What items are acceptable in the City’s green carts?
It is commonly referred to as “scrape the plate,” meaning that all food scraps, including meat, bones, dairy and greases will be accepted. Yard waste and soiled paper (paper towel, cardboard and tissues) will also be accepted.
- All food
- 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)
- BPI-certified compostable bags
- Paper bags
- Large amounts of dirt
- Large items that do not fit in the cart, or weigh >200lbs
- Plastic bags, and “biodegradable” bags. Only BPI-certified bags are accepted.
- 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 NOT accepted in the City’s green carts unless they are BPI-certified.
What if the food waste in the cart is creating too much of a smell/odour?
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 in a small amount of vinegar or baking soda
- Keep lid closed
If items are sticking or freezing in the cart, what can be done?
- Avoid packing the cart tightly with waste
- Make sure the 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 prevent 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, crumpled 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 ran a small, year-round pilot before implementing the service city-wide.