Do you have space in your waste cart on collection day? Looking for an incentive to reduce your waste even further? Sort and Save is a new way of charging for waste based on cart size. 

Logo that says 'sort and save, with a the circular recycling arrow symbol as the o in sort and a dollar sign as the s in save. Following the word mark there is a graphic of a shrinking waste cart.

What is Sort and Save?  

Strathcona County is introducing new, smaller cart sizes for waste and organics! These smaller (120L) carts hold approximately half as much as a regular sized (240L) cart.

These new smaller carts are part of a variable rate structure that charges households based on the volume of waste they produce and encourages materials such as organics and recycling to be properly diverted.

Different pricing based on cart size introduces equity into the system so that households that divert (sort) more into their recycling and organics can lower their bill (save).

Households can sign up to exchange their large, 240L waste or organics cart for smaller, 120L carts and see a savings on their Utility bill. Carts exchanges will begin May 1, 2023.

Side by side comparison image of large and small carts. Text on image says small cart, 120 litres, 23 inches by 20 inches by 39 inches and large cart, 240 litres, 27 inches by 26 inches by 44 inches.

The large cart holds 3 - 4 bags of waste and the small cart holds 1 - 2 bags of waste, based on a standard 30" x 34" garbage bag.

How much can I save? 

  • Swapping to a small black cart will save $12 per month
  • Swapping to a small organics cart will save $1 per month
  • Swapping both carts will save $13 per month

Any residents who currently have small carts will see their rate changed automatically. No action is required.

You can see the full range of prices below.

Urban and hamlet waste collection (seasonal weekly organics)

Carts Rate
Large waste cart, large organics cart $27.25
Large waste cart, small organics cart $26.25
Small waste cart, large organics cart $15.25
Small waste cart, small organics cart $14.25

Rural waste collection (annual biweekly organics)

Carts Rate
Large waste cart, large organics cart $25.15
Large waste cart, small organics cart $24.15
Small waste cart, large organics cart $13.15
Small waste cart, small organics cart


Changing how we charge for waste

Strathcona County recently introduced its Waste Management Roadmap, which outlines a collective, community-wide commitment to rethinking waste and diverting more from landfill. Residents shared their thoughts on how to reduce the amount of waste produced and increase the amount of material diverted from the landfill. We heard they wanted a system that was:

  •     More equitable
  •     Offered greater flexibility for users
  •     Provided incentives for reducing the amount of waste created

Strathcona County is shifting its waste collection services to be like other utilities that charge based on what a household uses, such as power, gas, water and internet. This creates a more equitable utility system where waste collection costs are distributed more fairly and in proportion to the amount of waste each household generates.

Costs of waste

Costs related to collection, landfilling and long-term management of waste have increased over the past decade. The costs associated with handling waste and managing it at the landfill are based on weight, so the more garbage we throw away, the higher our costs.

Currently we distribute these costs equally to all households, so even if you reuse, recycle and compost everything possible you are paying the same amount as those households who don’t.

Variable rates do not restrict household choices as you are not prohibited from putting out more waste. Variable pricing gives residents greater control over their costs, while allowing the flexibility to increase your waste capacity (such as when children are in diapers) or decrease it (when children leave home) as needed.

Image of four carts lined up on a concrete floor against a wall. Left to right a small black waste cart, a large black waste cart, a large green organics cart and a small green organics cart.

Request a smaller cart  

Fill out the form below or call Utilities at 780-449-5514 to request to exchange your cart(s).

Cart exchanges will begin May 1, 2023. Your cart may arrive with the lid slightly warped but don't worry it's not damaged. Leave it in the sun with the lid closed and it will correct itself.


The Sort and Save program officially begins May 1. However you can request your new carts starting now.

Sign up before May 1
Residents who sign up to exchange their cart(s) before May 1, 2023, will see the lower rate applied effective May 1, regardless of when Utilities can schedule the exchange of the cart(s).

Sign up after May 1
After May 1, 2023, your new rate will be applied from the date you request your new cart(s). Depending on the dates of your billing cycle it may not show up on your next bill. It will show up on the bill which includes the date you requested your new cart.

Any residents who currently have small carts will see their rate changed automatically. No action is required.

If you find the smaller cart does not work for you, you can always switch back to the larger size. You can swap out your cart once a year, for free. This allows you the flexibility to adjust your carts as your waste collection needs change.

You can change your carts more than once a year, but there will be a $50 non-refundable administration charge for each additional time.

Maximize your diversion  

You can make more room in your black cart by ensuring everything that can be disposed of somewhere else is going to the correct place.

Did you know that there is still lots of recyclables and organic material that can be diverted from our black carts? Recently, Strathcona County conducted waste audits and found that much of what we are throwing away shouldn’t be going to the landfill.

What is in the average black cart on collection day?

Graphic illustration of a waste collection cart showing the breakdown of what's inside, 7.4% textiles and reusable items, 8.6% enviroservice and depot items, 4.8% blue bag recycle items, 48.6% organics and 30.6% actual waste.

Make sure all organic materials including soiled paper and pet waste are going into your green organics cart.  

Household hazardous waste, electronics, batteries and recyclable materials including glass and Styrofoam can be taken to Broadview Enviroservice Station.

Textiles and reusable items can be donated to a local thrift store.  

Reusable items that are hard to donate can be dropped off at the HodgePodge Lodge.  

If you’re not sure where something goes you can check out our helpful Waste Wizard or download our mobile app.

Other disposal options  

If you have extra waste occasionally that will not fit into your black cart, you can take these materials to the Broadview Enviroservice Station. Fees will apply.

There are also regional waste transfer station options that accept waste.

Related topics

Last updated: Monday, May 15, 2023
Page ID: 51397