Green carts, leaf and yard material

Green carts and leaf and yard material are collected curbside every second week. During the months of July, August, and September green cart collection is every week across the municipality.

2022 Weekly green cart collection began Saturday, July 2 (holiday collection for Friday, July 1). Bi-weekly green cart collection resumed on Monday, October 3.

Learn how to reduce green cart pests and odours.

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What goes in the green cart

Acceptable for the compost process:

  • fruit and vegetable peelings
  • table scraps, meat, fish, bones
  • dairy products
  • fat, cooking oil, and grease 
  • bread, rice, pasta
  • coffee grounds, filters, tea bags
  • eggshells
  • food napkins
  • kitchen paper towels and soiled paper

Use boxboard or one sheet of newspaper to wrap wet food waste.

Not for the green cart

Materials unaccepted in the compost process

  • NO "compostable/biodegradable" plastic bags or cups
  • NO paper or Styrofoam coffee cups
  • NO ashes
  • NO waxed or film packaging
  • NO corrugated cardboard (i.e. pizza boxes)
  • NO cans, bottles, or glass
  • NO decorations or wire wreaths
  • NO milk containers
  • NO pet or animal waste
  • NO soil, sods, rocks, logs or tree trunks
  • NO grass clippings

Reducing nuisances 

To get the most out of your green bin with the least amount of hassle, consider the following tips: 

  • Place wet food waste in boxboard, or wrap using one sheet of newspaper
  • Empty your mini-bin daily and place the green cart for collection even if isn’t full
  • Fruit flies are more common during warm weather. In the kitchen, capture fruit flies with a bowl of vinegar covered with plastic wrap with several small holes in it
  • Store cart in a ventilated, shady location
  • Line both your mini-bin and green cart with a large paper bag
  • Food waste can be stored in the freezer until collection day

 

        No Plastic Bags or Packaging Labelled Biodegradable/Compostable

        Green carts that contain plastic (including those labelled biodegradable or compostable plastic bags) will not be collected. The plastic must be removed prior to the next collection day. While some retailers have responded to customers and Halifax Solid Waste requests to remove plastic compost bags from store shelves, if you have purchased such a product, please return it to the point of purchase.

        We do not want plastic of any kind in our compost. In some cases ‘biodegradable’ or ‘compostable’ plastic may break down in a laboratory setting but have not been proven in a municipal compost system. Hot and cold drink cups and single-use soup bowls are typically lined with plastic to prevent leaking. When that plastic breaks down, it is still there, just in microscopic pieces. We ask businesses to connect with us at wasteless@halifax.ca to explore products that claim to be biodegradable and compostable.

        Acceptable materials for the green cart:

        NOT accepted in the green cart

        When will my green cart be collected?

        Sign up for weekly reminders and service alerts, or print a calendar customized for your address.
        Collection can start as early as 7:00 a.m. but may not happen at the same time each week. You can place your green cart curbside as early as 7:00 p.m. the night before. Any carts not collected must be removed from the curb by 9:00 p.m. on the day of collection. 

        Leaf and yard material

        The following items can also be placed curbside for collection:

        • leaves and brush
        • house and garden plant waste
        • sawdust and wood shavings

        Any leaves that you do not mulch or backyard compost can go in your green cart or large paper leaf and yard waste bags for collection. Up to 20 bags, 25 kg (55 lb) maximum weight each, are allowed each green cart collection day.

        Branches should be tied in armload-sized bundles to a maximum of 5 bundles each collection day. No bundle can exceed 34 kg (75 lb) and no individual piece can be more than 4 feet long (1.2 m) or larger than 8 inches (0.2m) in diameter.

        Grass clippings will not be collected curbside.

        Natural Christmas trees will be collected on your regular green cart collection day. Remove all wires, nails, and stands. Trees cannot be in a bag.

        Composting at home

        Backyard composting is an easy way to return nutrients to your gardens and doesn’t require a special container to start. 

        Green cart delivery and repair

        The municipality provides green carts and mini-bins to properties that received curbside collection. Call 3-1-1 to request cart delivery for new homes, or for repairs to a damaged cart. 

        Carts are assigned to the property, not the owner. If you move, the cart and mini-bin must stay at the property.

        Green Cart Tips for Winter

        When temperatures drop, collectors try to empty the contents of your green cart, but it may be too cold to get frozen items out of the cart. If you are having any problems with frozen material in your organics green cart, try some of these helpful tips:

        • Line the bottom of the green cart with newspaper or boxboard, like a cereal box
        • Use a yard waste bag to line your cart
        • Place your green cart in an area where the sun can reach it, if possible
        • Wrap food scraps in newspaper, boxboard, or paper bag
        • Put out your green cart to the curb for every collection, even if the bin is not full, as this minimizes the time the material has to freeze