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Garbage and Black Carts

Here are some tips to help you manage your garbage.

  • Remember the three R's we learned back in grade school? Reduce, reuse and recycle will all help in cutting down the volume of waste in your black cart. 
  • Use your blue cart, green cart, and the Recycling Drop-off Depots. Recycling and composting will reduce the volume of material you have in your black cart. 
  • Recycle throughout your home. Many people just think of recycling in the kitchen but recycling items throughout your home will help you reduce your waste. Remember to gather recycling materials from the bathroom and laundry room too.
  • Use your green cart or a backyard composter. Composting your organic waste can significantly reduce what goes in your black cart. You also get great, nutrient-rich compost for your yard.
  • Use the City's Yard Waste Sites and your green cart for yard waste so grass, leaves and branches don't fill up your black cart.

  • Bag all garbage that goes into your black cart – this reduces odours, prevents litter and keeps your cart clean.
  • Double bag particularly smelly items like pet waste and diapers.
  • If you can, store garbage outside in a shady part of your property.
  • There are many types of odour absorbers/neutralizers. A few options include: sprinkling baking soda in your garbage bin, placing clothes dryer sheets in your bin, using a few drops of essential oils or using various air fresheners.
  • For diapers, dump any solids contained in a diaper into the toilet before disposing of it.
  • Use your green cart or a backyard composter to manage your organic waste. Less food in your black cart will help reduce the smell.

Waste Wizard

Not sure where to throw away a particular item? Ask the Waste Wizard! Use the Waste Wizard to:

  • Search by item name to learn where to put it.
  • Get up-to-date collection schedules and information.
  • Set collection reminder notifications.


2024 Residential black cart (garbage) fees

Cart Size

Fee per day

Fee per 30 days

360 Litre Black Cart



240 Litre Black Cart



Additional Black Cart



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

Frequently Asked Questions

Understanding how to put your black cart out and when to bring it in helps us run a smooth and efficient program. Follow these easy steps for proper cart placement.

  • Fill it – Garbage should be bagged. Remember not to overfill your cart. The lid must be able to close.
  • Space it – Carts should be at least 1.5 metres from any objects like a fence, garage or car so the mechanical truck arms can safely grab them.
  • Park it – Have your recycling out by 7 am on your collection day and be sure the arrow on the lid is pointing into the street or alley.
  • Take it – Be sure to return your black cart to your property after pickup. Each cart is marked with a barcode specific to your address.

Black carts and blue carts are collected on alternating weeks. Use the Waste Wizard or the Lethbridge Loop app to check the collection schedule for your address and set collection reminders.

Yes. Black carts are available in two sizes: 240 litres and 360 litres. Contact 311 to request exchanging your cart for a different size. Fees may apply.

  • Make sure the lid is closed – An open lid will catch the wind and tip the cart more easily. It also means any loose material on the top of your cart could fly out. 
  • Don't over fill your cart – A propped up lid will again catch the wind and more easily tip. 
  • Put lighter items at the bottom and heavier items on top – prevent the lighter items from blowing out by putting them on the bottom of your cart. 
  • Angle the wheels into the curb at 45 degrees – If you angle your blue cart at 45 degrees to the curb, and if the wind does catch it, there is more chance the wheels will roll into the curb and stop it from blowing away. This slight angle doesn't cause any difficulty for the trucks collecting your cart. 
  • If you can, keep your black cart in on extremely windy days – A half full cart is lighter and could tip more easily. It also means you likely have enough space to continue collecting garbage until the next pickup date. If your cart is not full, it might be safest to wait until your next pick up date. 
  • Report problems by calling 311 – We want to track areas that might be more susceptible to wind gusts and can send cleanup crews if a large litter event occurs. 
  • Put your cart out the morning of pickup rather than the night before and roll it back in as soon as possible – Leaving your cart on the street or in the alley for long periods of time will mean more chance of it getting knocked or blown over.
  • Make note of your cart ID – Each cart has a serial number and a RFID (radio waves transmit data) tag to identify that it belongs to your house. To make sure you keep your cart at your house, make note of the cart serial number. This will help with any windy day mix ups with your neighbours. 

Excess household or bulky garbage can be disposed of at the Public Drop Off area at the Waste and Recycling Centre, located at 213044 Township Road 100. Loads of up to 250 kg can be disposed of for free every Saturday at the Waste and Recycling Centre, year-round.

Stay in the Loop - Download the Lethbridge Loop App!

  • View collection calendars.
  • Set up collection reminders.
  • Use the Waste Wizard to check if something should go into (or needs to stay out of) your black cart.

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

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