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Composting and Green Carts

By composting our organic waste, we can keep these materials out of our landfill. Learn what can go in your green cart, the composting process, and what happens to the compost we generate. 

Green Cart

Putting contaminating materials in your green cart could lead to compost being unsuitable and ending up in the landfill. Learn the ins and outs to keep our compost clean.

What’s In?

Food soiled paper products only. No paper or cardboard products that have been used with cleaning agents or other non-organic materials.

  • Pizza Boxes
  • Paper Liners/Yard Waste Bags
  • Greasy Paper Bags (e.g. Fast Food Bags)
  • Paper Napkins & Tissues
  • Parchment Paper

Only organic materials. Everything must be removed from its original packaging or containers and stickers must be removed.

  • Dairy (Remove from Packaging and/or Containers)
  • Eggs & Egg Shells
  • Coffee Grounds, Filters & Tea Bags
  • Solid Fat, Cooking Oil, & Cooking Grease​
  • Spoiled & Unspoiled Fruit & Vegetables
  • Table Scraps
  • Bread & Noodles
  • Meat, Fish, Poultry, & Bones​

Note: Not all yard waste materials are accepted in your green cart! See the What's Out for a list of exempt items.

  • Garden Trimmings
  • Leaves
  • Grass Clippings (No Rolls of Sod)​
  • ​Branches (smaller than 5cm diameter and 1m length)
  • Residential House & Garden Plants (No Pots)

Other organic materials are accepted in the curbside organics program. See the list below.

  • Popsicle Sticks
  • Shredded Paper​
  • Wood shavings, Sawdust in paper bags​
  • Untreated lumber (smaller than 5cm diameter and 1m length)

What’s Out?

Plastic bags and plastic film, even those that say Compostable or Biodegradable, are not accepted in the green cart program.

  • Plastic Bags
  • Plastic film
  • Biodegradable Plastic Bags
  • Compostable Plastic Bags​

Plastic containers do not belong in your green cart, even if they are labelled Compostable or Biodegradable. They can be placed in your blue recycling cart if they are labeled with recycling symbols 1-7.

  • ​Plastic Containers (even if they say Compostable/Biodegradable)

Household products can contain plastics, chemicals, and other materials that spoil the quality of the compost.​ Please place the following household products and materials in your black cart:

  • Coffee pods 
  • Paper drink cups (e.g. single use coffee cups, soda cups)
  • Foam trays, Foam Packaging & Butcher Paper
  • Fruit/Vegetable Stickers
  • Hygiene Products (Diapers, Wipes, Sanitary Products)
  • Paper Towels with Cleaning Products on them
  • Dryer Sheets & Dryer Lint

Our curbside organics program is designed to handle household organic materials only.

  • Painted & Treated Wood
  • ​Nails
  • Concrete
  • Screws
  • Scrap Metal​
  • Bricks
  • Tile
  • Carpet
  • Drywall - Clean, new construction drywall free of paint and debris may be recycled at the Waste & Recycling Centre (landfill), or placed in your black cart.

Not all yard waste materials can go into your green cart. The following materials are exempt:

  • Diseased Branches, Noxious Weeds, & Elm Wood - These may be bagged, tied closed and placed in your black cart. 
  • Rocks, Gravel, Soil & Sod Rolls - Take to the Waste & Recycling Centre (landfill).
  • ​Fire Pit, Fire Place or BBQ Ashes - Place cold ashes inside a paper bag and place in your black cart. Never place hot ashes in your black cart. 

Some organic materials such as pet waste or textiles are not able to go into your green cart. If you are unsure about an item, check out the Waste Wizard below.

  • Animal Carcasses - Take to the Waste & Recycling Centre (landfill)
  • Vehicle Oil - Take to the Hazardous Waste area at the Waste & Recycling Centre (landfill)
  • Kitty Litter, Dog Poop & Other Animal Waste - Place in your black cart.
  • ​Textiles - Donate to reuse centres or place in your black cart.
  • Medications - These can be taken to pharmacies participating in the ENVIRx Program or taken to the Waste & Recycling Centre (landfill).

What day and how often will my green cart be collected?

​The green cart is collected weekly from May to October and bi-weekly from November to April. Green cart collection will take place on a different day than your blue (recycling) and black (garbage) carts. 

Your blue cart and black cart will continue to be collected on alternating weeks on your regularly scheduled day of the week. 
If your Blue/Black collection day is… your Green collection day is…
Tuesday Wednesday
Wednesday Tuesday
Thursday Friday
Friday Thursday
Unsure of your collection schedule? Use the Waste Wizard to look up the schedule for your address or download the free smartphone app, Lethbridge Loop! You can set up reminders to be sent to you so you never miss another cart collection. Find answers to your other green cart questions below.

Frequently Asked Questions

Waste Wizard

Still not sure what's in or out? Ask the Waste Wizard! Use the Waste Wizard to:

  •  Search by item name to learn if it can be recycled or not and where to put it.
  • Get up-to-date collection schedules and information.
  • Set collection reminder notifications.


2024 Residential green cart (organics) fees

Cart Size

Fee per day

Fee per 30 days

240 Green Cart



Additional Green Cart



For the full list of fees, visit Residential Waste Utility Rates.

Stay in the Loop - Download the Lethbridge Loop App!

  • View collection calendars 
  • Set up collection reminders
  • Receive reminders other planned City services like neighbourhood street sweeping, snow route declarations and planned electric outages.
  • Use the Waste Wizard to check if something can go into (or needs to stay out of) your green cart

Available to download for free from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.

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