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Maximize your green bin’s potential



Since 2010, the City’s green bin program has been essential to divert organic waste from the landfill. From kitchen scraps to yard waste, you can easily help divert organic materials to proper composting facilities, helping to reduce methane emissions and produce nutrient-rich compost instead. This Earth Day, consider taking a deep delve into the green bin program that is available for everyone, regardless of what type of household they live in.


Bin buzz: some fun facts about your green bin

Do you know which of the items below can go in the green bin?

  • Banana peels

  • Eggs shells

  • Microwave popcorn bags

  • Apple core

  • Soiled paper towels, napkins and tissues 

  • Potato peels

  • Meat bones

  • Sugar, flour and potato paper bags


If you guessed “all of the above”, you’re correct! Did you know you can also place some of the ickier items in plastic bags before tossing them in your green bin? Things like cat litter and dog waste must go in plastic bags to keep your bin clean and to help keep our collection crews safe. At the composting facility, the bags are ripped open and separated from the organics.

Want to learn more about what happens to your green bin waste after it gets collected? We’ve got just the video for you! Check out ottawa.ca/greenbinvideo to learn more.


Multi-residential organics program

Along with our curbside customers, residents living in multi-residential units can also participate in the green bin program. Many properties are already signed up for the organics program. You can do your part to divert waste from the landfill. If your building, condo or townhome complex has not registered yet for the multi-residential organics program, encourage your property manager to contact 3-1-1 and sign up today! Visit ottawa.ca/multires to learn more.


Leaf and yard waste

Now that what was hopefully the last winter storm has passed, it’s finally time to start spring clean up. Extended hours for leaf and yard waste collection began last week and will continue on until the end of May. Twice a year, in the fall and spring, waste collection operators have until 8 pm to pick up separately set out leaf and yard waste at the curb. The peak season typically lasts for approximately four weeks but can be longer depending on yard waste quantities and the weather. While leaf and yard waste is technically accepted in the green bin, setting it out separately allows the City to bring it to our Barnsdale leaf and yard compost pad at the Trail Road Waste Facility, which is more cost effective than bringing it to our contracted organics processing facility. To learn more about leaf and yard waste and proper set out, visit: ottawa.ca/leafandyard.


Need tips on how to sort items?

The City has many great resources to help you know which items get sorted into which bin:

  • Have a random object you want to throw out and unsure where it goes? Our Waste Explorer app is here to help! It’s easy to use- just type in the name of the item you want to throw out, and it will list your best options for disposal. If the item counts as hazardous waste, the app will even list which retailers will take it back safely.

  • If you live in a multi-residential home, be sure to check out our “Which bin to put it in” brochures. These downloadable brochures are available in eight different languages and are a great at-a-glance resource for where to dispose of common everyday items.

  • Read our Green Bin Tips for practical information on using your green bin!


For more information on City programs and services, visit ottawa.ca, call 3-1-1 (TTY: 613-580-2401) or 613-580-2400 to contact the City using Canada Video Relay Service. You can also connect with us through Facebook(link is external), X (formerly Twitter)(link is external) and Instagram(link is external).

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