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Green Routine

Green Routine guide to waste services (941.4 KB)

What is the Green Routine?

The Green Routine is what we call our weekly waste collection services. Waste services include a curbside recycling program, organics collection and roll-out collection carts.

This system asks residents to sort their waste into organics, waste and recycling.

Frequently asked questions

Green Routine overview

Learn more about how to separate your waste.

Organics

Green organics cartOrganics go into your green roll-out cart. Use the small covered pail (green catcher) to collect organics in your kitchen, then transfer them to the large cart for collection.

What goes in the green cart?
Food scraps, soiled paper, coffee filters, plant materials, twigs, kitchen scraps, grass clippings

How much can I put out for collection?
All organics must fit inside the cart with the lid closed. Overfilled carts or materials left outside the cart will not be collected.

How often do I put my organics out for pickup?
Every other week (alternated with waste)
From mid-June to mid-September organics is collected every week

WasteBlack waste cart

Waste goes into your black roll-out cart.

What goes in the black cart?
Aluminum foil, cleaning wipes, items made of two or more materials that cannot be taken apart (i.e. chip bags, granola bar wrappers)

How much can I put out for collection?
All waste must fit inside the cart with the lid closed. Overfilled carts or materials left outside the cart will not be collected.

How often can I put my waste out for pickup?
Every other week (alternated with organics)

Recycling

ph-UT-blue-bag-214x300.jpgRecycling goes into clear blue plastic bags only. Bags can be purchased at most grocery or home improvement stores.

What goes into recycling?
Recyclable containers, glass, metals, plastic, sytrofoam, paper products, newspaper, corrugated cardboard, cereal and tissue boxes, writing paper, milk cartons

How much can I put out for collection?
As many bags as you need. There is no limit.

How often do I put out my recycling for pickup?
Every week.

Green Routine FAQs

Why do I need to separate recycling and organics?

Sorting materials is a major step in reducing the amount of material Strathcona County sends to the landfill. The Green Routine has the potential to divert up to 89 per cent of waste.

Waste now has to travel further away, meaning higher transportation costs. By moving to a system that recycles and composts a large amount of waste, we are able to minimize rate increases as transportation costs rise.

By having you separate organics, waste, and recycling we are able to reduce our waste collection service fees, saving money for customers and the county.

Where are the sorted materials sent to?

Households are asked to sort their waste into three streams because the contents go to three different places.

  • Organics materials are sent to a regional organics processing plant. The organics will decompose and, in time, become nutrient-rich soil that will be used in landscaping and land reclamation projects.
  • Recyclables are sent to a local material recovery facility. Recyclables are broken down to make new material or products. For example, some plastics are used to make fleece and paper is used to make new paper products, such as egg cartons.
  • Waste is sent to the Roseridge landfill. 
Why can't I just use my garburator for organic materials?

We do not recommend using your garburator.

  • Kitchen scraps disposed using a garburator end up at the wastewater treatment plant where they are removed and sent to the landfill because the material is no longer suitable for composting. This not only increases the amount of materials being sent to the landfill but also increases wastewater treatment costs.
  • Over time organic material will collect in the pipes and lead to sewer backups.
  • Garburators use extra water, so you will be paying for the extra water you use to flush the organic material down the sink and the extra wastewater that is leaving your house.
What can I do to prevent odours coming from my waste bins?

Here are some tips for preventing odours:

  • Store your carts in a shaded or covered area
  • Layer your organics in the cart. Place a layer of paper or newspaper on the bottom, then alternate layers between wet waste and dry waste.
  • Add a small amount of baking soda, salt, vinegar or powdered detergent (without bleach) around the lips, vents and at the bottom of the cart
  • Wrap wet or smelly organics in newspaper, paper bags or soiled boxes
  • Use a compostable bag for organics. Make sure the bag is compostable (not biodegradable or plastic)
  • Rinse your cart regularly during summer months
  • Put your organics cart out on its proper collection day even if you only have a small amount
  • Rinse recyclable containers
  • Use a regular black garbage bag in the waste cart
My grass clippings don't fit into my organics cart. What do I do with them?

There are several options for managing your grass clippings:

  • Your best option is to grasscycle or mulch. Grasscycling is a natural and easy process that saves time and money. Simply leave the clippings on your lawn as you mow. They will quickly decompose, usually within three days, and act as a natural fertilizer to the soil. They will also help retain moisture in your lawn, so you don’t have to water as often.
  • Another option is to put grass clippings into a backyard composter. Dry clippings briefly before adding them to the compost pile. Alternate layers of grass clippings with leaves or other organic materials. 
  • You may also bring clippings to the Broadview Enviroservice Station.
What kind of bags should I use for the different materials?

The only bag required for the program is the blue bag used for recycling.

Optional bags include:

You can put waste materials into regular green or black garbage bags.

Organics can also be placed into compostable bags, which are made out of a vegetable-based product that breaks down during the composting process. Plastic or biodegradable bags are not accepted as they do not break down and will contaminate the composting process. Contaminants increase processing costs.

You can find these bags at most grocery or home improvement stores.

My family already uses a backyard composter. Should I stop using it?

We encourage you to continue your backyard composting. However, it is important to know that the green organics cart can take many materials that cannot be handled by the typical backyard composter including:

  • baked goods and bread
  • cheese and dairy products
  • fish and fish remains
  • grease
  • meat products and bones
  • oily, fatty foods
  • sauces and spreads
  • soiled paper
  • toothpicks and popsicle sticks
  • paper napkins, plates and cups
  • pasta
  • soiled tissue
  • hair
  • rice
  • soiled pizza boxes

These materials will not properly compost in a backyard pile and some can even attract unwanted pests.

Questions?

780-449-5514

greenroutine@strathcona.ca

Last updated: Tuesday, November 29, 2016
Page ID: 39493