Be a pro with the Green Bin
The food scraps and green waste we collect are recycled into valuable compost, so it’s important to ensure you do your part in reducing waste by only putting compostable materials in your green bin.
Accepted food scraps
Did you know that food scraps can total up to 40 percent of the household waste collected by the City? By adding them to your green bin we can keep them out of the landfill and turn them into valuable compost. To keep this process smooth and avoid contamination, it’s important to know what’s accepted and what’s not.
- fruit and vegetable scraps
- meat and bones
- eggs and dairy products
- coffee grounds and tea bags
- fish and seafood
- plate scrapings
- salad and dressings
- sawdust (bagged in paper bags)
- bread, pasta and grains
- soiled pizza boxes and paper napkins
- small amounts of cooking oil absorbed in paper
- recyclable containers
- liquids of any kind
- diapers and hygiene products
- plastic bags
- compostable or biodegradable plastic bags (Find out why.)
- plastic foam packaging (Styrofoam)
- plastic or biodegradable compostable cutlery
- large volumes of cooking oil
- pet waste such as cat litter and dog poop bags
Accepted yard waste
Like kitchen scraps, yard and green waste can be recycled into valuable compost. Here’s what’s accepted and what isn’t.
- grass clippings and weeds
- small branches (up to 4 inches diameter)
- plants and flowers
- wooden cutlery (like chopsticks, or popsicle sticks)
- clean wood waste (no plywood or glue laminates)
- tree stumps or branches larger than 4 inches in diameter
- animal waste or carcasses
- vacuum or dryer lint
- dirt, rocks, soil and sod
Green bin tips for a hassle-free experience
To help prevent odours and to keep your green bin clean, try these tips:
- freeze food scraps and place them in your green bin on collection day
- wrap food scraps in newspaper, paper bags or boxboard (e.g., cereal boxes) to prevent leakage or make a newspaper liner for your kitchen countertop bin
- put green yard waste in a bag or loosely pack it in the green bin
- keep your bin in a shaded area and always keep the lid closed
- don’t overfill your green bin—the lid must be closed for collection
- keep your green bin clean and odour-free by rinsing it weekly with mild soap or vinegar water mix (Note: pour soapy water on gravel or grass, not down outdoor drains.)
Help protect parks and natural areas
You might think yard and grass trimmings dumped in outdoor areas will simply decompose and become soil- but doing so can be as harmful to the environment as dumping garbage. Dumping your green waste in public is illegal and is subject to fines up to $2,000.
Don’t jump to dump
Green and garden waste dumped illegally is unsightly and has environmental consequences like spreading invasive species, attracting unwanted wildlife and even contaminating our waterways.
Spreads invasive species - Common garden plants like English ivy, Periwinkle, Lamium and others are invasive species that displace native plants with their extensive root systems and stems. Even a tiny 1-centimetre knotweed fragment in your garden waste can create a new infestation. Invasive plants negatively impact our wildlife too, as their native plant food sources get outcompeted for space, water and sunlight.
Attracts unwanted wildlife - Dumping green waste can attract raccoons and rodents that may eventually make their way into your yard. It can also attract and habituate larger wildlife, like bears and coyotes.
Soil and water contamination - Yard waste may be contaminated with pesticides which can pollute our waterways.
Have extra yard waste?
If it won’t fit in your green bin, you can drop it off for free (up to 100 kg) at the Burnaby Eco-Centre, located at 4855 Still Creek Drive. You’ll need to provide proof of residency and charges apply for loads over 100 kg.
Get a backyard composter
Backyard composters can be purchased for $30 from the Eco-Centre.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has confirmed the presence of Japanese beetles, an invasive species, in the Government Road area of Burnaby. These beetles pose a serious threat to our environment as they eat flowers, foliage and fruit of more than 300 native plant species.
Questions and answers
About food scraps
Food scraps can be easily composted into useful products such as soil, fertilizer or soil amendment. If you put them in the garbage, they’ll be buried in a landfill creating avoidable, and harmful, greenhouse gas emissions. For this reason, they are banned from your garbage.
Bags labelled “compostable” or “biodegradable” don’t break down properly during composting and may contaminate the finished compost as a result. Only paper liners, including the Bag to Earth® bag, which has a cellulose liner, are permitted in your green bin.
About the green bin
Small amounts of cooking oil and grease can go in your green bin as long as paper towels or newspapers have absorbed it. Larger volumes of cooking oil and grease can be dropped off at the Eco-Centre.
Yes. We’ll collect your green bin waste even if it isn’t full. But don’t overfill it, as we won’t pick up bins with lids that won’t close.
Yes, please continue to use it as home composting is one of the most cost-effective and environmentally friendly ways to dispose of food scraps. Backyard composters are also available to purchase at the Eco-Centre for $30.
Private companies can be found via an Internet search. You can also contact the Recycling Council of BC for information.