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Frequently Asked Questions


Posted: May 2014

Contact Us

We are committed to making your transition to Greener Garbage Collection as easy as possible.

Let us know if you have questions or comments on how we can improve the collection program, or if you need assistance.

Solid Waste Services

Monday to Friday, 8am-4pm

Tel: 250-475-5595

What you need to know about Greener Garbage Collection and more.







Does the CRD's kitchen scraps processing uncertainty affect the Greener Garbage program?

No, Saanich has signed a separate contract with Fisher Road Recycling in Cobble Hill to process our kitchen scraps and yard trimmings.

My Garbage was collected but my Organics Recycling was missed, why and what do I do?

Place carts curbside by 7am. There are two truck passes approximately 2 hrs apart to collect the two different waste streams. Ensure your carts are empty prior to pulling them in as the collection of the other cart will be missed if not curbside.

If the collection of one of your carts was missed, contact us at or call 250-475-5595 to report a missed collection. If you have been approved for Curbside Assistance, please indicate this when you call.


Cart Cleanliness: How can I control odour and larvae (maggots)?

Maggots are a common, naturally occurring problem with many municipal organic collection programs. Before we separated our organics into the green cart, maggots were commonly found in residents' garbage bags or containers, even if tightly sealed. While maggots cannot be guaranteed to be totally eliminated, there are preventative measures we can use to reduce the likelihood of them occurring.

Maggots are fly larvae and occur when flies lay eggs on organic waste. They typically have a 7-day life cycle with fluctuations depending on temperatures and other conditions such as moisture. Maggots are more common in warmer temperatures. To prevent maggots from occurring we have to prevent mature flies from laying eggs in the green cart by eliminating odours and reducing their access to the green cart.

Avoid maggots in your green bin by:

  • Wrapping your meat scraps and bones in a sheet of newspaper or soiled paper towel.
  • Freezing your meat scraps until your pick up day.
  • Putting a layer of yard waste or newspaper on top of your food scraps.
  • Keep kitchen container and cart lids closed at all times.
  • Store carts in a secure, cool, ventilated location out of direct sunlight.
  • Rinsing your green bin with a mild detergent and water.

Which bags can I use in the green bin?

You do not have to line your kitchen scraps container or organics recycling cart. However, using a compostable bag or paper liner will help keep your kitchen container and organics recycling cart clean and reduce odour.

If you wish to line your kitchen container and organics recycling cart, you can use compostable bags, newspaper or paper products like paper towels and paper bags.

Large and small compostable bags and paper bag liners for containers and carts are available at grocery stores, drug stores and home hardware stores.

How do I know I'm using compostable bags?

Compostable bags and paper bag liners are available in many sizes at most local retailers (check at your local grocery or home hardware stores). Certified compostable bags are accepted in the Organics Recycling Cart and Kitchen Container and are identified by the following logos from the Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI) or the Bureau de normalisation du Quebec (BNQ):

CompostableBags. Canadian Compostable Logo

Why can't I use plastic or biodegradable bags in the green bin?

Plastic and biodegradable bags contain plastic and cannot be processed with your organics into compost. If plastic or biodegradable bags are used, the organics recycling will not be collected because it cannot be recycled or taken to the landfill because of the food scraps ban.

How do I make a liner out of newspaper?

See how to make your own kitchen container liner from newspaper PDF or watch the video!

Can I use plastic bags to collect my garbage in the garbage cart?

Yes, plastic bags can be used to bag your garbage in the garbage cart.

Where do I put fireplace ashes, Organics or Garbage?

Fireplace ashes should be bagged and placed in the garbage cart.



I didn't receive my carts, who do I contact?

Cart delivery is now complete. If you did not receive carts, contact or call 250-475-5595.

When are the carts being delivered?

Carts were delivered to households January and February 2014.

Starting January 2, 2014 through February 2014, garbage and organics recycling carts will be delivered to households. Please store your new carts until the program begins with your first scheduled collection pick up in April 2014. Our current garbage collection trucks are not equipped to pick up the new carts. The carts will be clearly marked belonging to the District of Saanich and registered to each property address by serial number and electronic tag.

What do I do with the carts until the program begins in APRIL 2014?

Please store your new carts until the program begins with your first scheduled collection pick up in April 2014. Our current garbage collection trucks are not equipped to pick up the new carts.

The lid on my new wheeled garbage cart doesn't close?

Please be aware that if the lid on your new wheeled garbage cart does not close properly, it will over time as the outside temperature warms up. The reason for this condition is due to the carts being shipped with the lids already attached while stacked along with being shipped and stored in cooler temperatures. The lids should regain their shape and close properly with time and as the temperature warms. If the lid has not regained its shape and close properly by the beginning of the program in April, please contact us at 250-475-5533 or email

The Kitchen Catcher I received is broken, who do I contact?

If you received a cracked or broken Kitchen Container upon delivery of your new wheeled collection carts, contact us at 250-475-5595 or email and we will replace it prior to the program commencing.



How will Greener Garbage Collection work?

Starting January 2, 2014 through February 2014, households will receive new wheeled carts for garbage and organics recycling (kitchen scraps and yard trimmings). To help us meet the food waste ban at the Hartland landfill, households will be asked to place kitchen scraps (cooked and uncooked foods including meat and dairy) and food-soiled paper products into an organics recycling cart which will be collected and taken to a facility where they are turned into compost. A great new feature of Greener Garbage Collection is that yard trimmings can be added to the organics recycling cart too.

The wheeled carts being provided will make it easy for households to place their carts curbside on collection day as we are moving to automated curbside collection where standardized carts will be emptied from the curb using a mechanical arm on a truck, instead of collectors going into backyards to retrieve, lift and empty cans by hand.

By providing a service that is easy and convenient, we can keep kitchen scraps out of the landfill and make our community cleaner, greener and more sustainable.

When will organics recycling and curbside collection start?

Organics recycling and curbside collection will start with your first scheduled pick up in April 2014.

Why recycle kitchen scraps?

    To meet the region’s waste diversion goals, the CRD will be phasing out organic waste at the Hartland landfill, with a full ban on kitchen scraps effective January 1, 2015.

    Recycling kitchen scraps is the single most effective thing we can do for the environment. Kitchen scraps are the largest single item in our waste stream – making up more than 30% of what we throw away.

    Kitchen scraps recycling reduces our garbage and greenhouse gas emissions, extends the life of the Hartland landfill and turns a valuable resource into a useful product.


What goes in my organics recycling cart?

Organics Recycling Guide

Please remember, do NOT place plastics in your organics recycling cart. They can't be composted.

What goes in my CRD blue box and will the CRD blue box recycling program change?

The CRD blue box recycling program operates on an every second week basis.  For collection schedules and Accepted Items and Sorting Information call the CRD Information Line at 250-360-3030 to leave a message.

I already compost at home; why do I need kitchen scraps collection?

If you have a backyard compost, please continue to use it as it is the most cost-effective and environmentally friendly way to dispose of food waste. Kitchen scraps recycling complements backyard composting by accepting a wider range of food waste that may not be suitable for backyard composting such as cooked food, meat, bones, fish, baked goods, food soiled paper products including paper towels and napkins and paper food-soiled packaging such as used paper cups and paper plates.

I have a garburator; why is it better to use the organics recycling cart instead?

If you’ve been using a garburator, now you can put your kitchen scraps to good use by placing them in your organics recycling cart instead. It’s easy, creates compost and saves wear and tear on your pipes and plumbing too!

What happens to the kitchen scraps and yard trimmings that are collected?

Instead of becoming waste at the landfill, kitchen scraps, food-soiled paper and yard trimmings will be taken to a processing facility where they are turned into compost.

Is food and yard material in the landfill really a bad thing? Doesn’t this material break down into compost or soil anyways?

Food and yard waste does not break down into compost or soil in the landfill because it needs oxygen to decompose. When this material is placed in the landfill, it gets mixed up with other garbage and is quickly buried and compacted.

Often the garbage stays in an airless environment, and very slowly breaks down. This process can take decades. As it slowly breaks down, the food and yard materials release significant amounts of methane, a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change.

Will kitchen scraps recycling make a difference?

12,000 tonnes of garbage is collected from Saanich residents every year and taken to the Hartland landfill. It is estimated 30% of this garbage could be diverted through kitchen scraps recycling.

In three months, 583 households who participated in the Kitchen Scraps Recycling Pilot Project diverted 19 tonnes of waste from the landfill and reduced their garbage by 37%.


How much will the service cost?

In 2016, property owners will pay an annual base fee of $112.50 for solid waste services plus an annual *cart fee for their garbage and organics recycling carts. These fees will be included on the utility bill.

*The cart fees being charged cover the ongoing costs for disposal and processing of garbage and organics recycling collected in the carts - they are not cart rental fees.

Additional carts will be available to single and multi-family households for an additional cart fee. Saanich will maintain its current sticker and special pick-up programs.

Most households will find the standard sized 120-litre organics recycling and 180-litre garbage carts suitable. Cart size selections and fees are listed below.

2015 Collection Rate Schedule

If I have less garbage, can I pay less? How will this work?

To provide incentives for waste diversion, Greener Garbage Collection offers you the flexibility to choose the size of garbage and organics recycling carts that work best for your household.

Can I opt out of Greener Garbage Collection?

The CRD will be phasing out organic waste at the Hartland landfill, with a full ban on kitchen scraps effective January 1, 2015.

To help us meet the food waste ban, Saanich will be providing organics recycling and garbage collection to households starting Spring 2014. If you receive garbage collection services from the District of Saanich, you have been included in the Greener Garbage Collection program starting Spring 2014.

Saanich will not be able to collect and dispose of household garbage if it contains kitchen scraps, food leftovers and soiled paper products.

I live in a multi-family property: can I participate in the program?

All registered suites and dwellings on properties that currently receive garbage collection service from Saanich will automatically be included in Greener Garbage Collection.

Property managers and strata owners are encouraged to contact Solid Waste Services at or 250-475-5595 to discuss space saver options that would offer fewer, but larger carts for storage in a common area.

Will the Garden Recycling Drop-off and Leaf Collection Program continue?

Yes. The Garden Recycling Drop-off site at the Public Works Yard will remain open to Saanich residents and the leaf collection program will continue to be provided every fall.


Why is Saanich changing to curbside collection?

To collect garbage and organics recycling efficiently and control costs, we are changing to automated curbside collection, where standardized collection carts are emptied from the curb using a mechanical arm on a truck, instead of collectors going into backyards to retrieve, lift and empty cans by hand. The carts provided to households for automated collection will make handling easy for everyone and trucks can service more homes each day.

Will my collection schedule change?

The Garbage and Organics carts are be picked up separately on the same day with one truck following approximately 1.5 hours behind the first truck as the processing for each waste stream is handled differently. View, print or sign up for collection schedule reminders

Will my CRD blue box recycling program change?

The CRD blue box recycling program operates on an every second week basis.  For collection schedules and Accepted Items and Sorting Information contact the CRD Recycling Hotline at 250-360-3030.

Where do I place my carts?

On collection day, households will be asked to place their carts at the curb or in the mouth of driveways, oriented so the lids open toward the street, ensuring they do not impede sidewalks, traffic or bicycle lanes.

What if trees, cars or poles interfere with cart pickup?

Households will be asked to place carts 1 meter (3 feet) apart and at least 1 meter (3 feet) away from trees, parked cars and other objects like power poles to avoid potential damage to private property and collection equipment.

I have a long driveway, how will I get my carts to the road?

The carts are designed to be easy to move even when full over a variety of surface and grade conditions. Households with long driveways may wish to store their carts outdoors near the end of their driveways year-round. In fact, many households already have small outdoor enclosures for existing containers. Alternatively, residents who currently use their vehicles to transport their carts to the road on collection day will likely be able to continue to do so with the new carts.

Are assistance programs available for residents not able to take their carts to the curb on collection day?

The carts being provided are designed for easy mobility with large wheels under a stable base to accommodate maneuvering in difficult weather, surface and grade conditions.

Curbside collection assistance programs will be provided to residents with temporary or permanent mobility challenges who do not have someone to take their carts to the curb for them and if there is no able-bodied person over 18 years of age living in the residence. Documentation from a health care provider may be requested.

Staff will work directly with residents to ensure their needs are addressed and a satisfactory level of collection service is provided at no additional cost.

Residents can apply for the assistance program by contacting us at or call 250.475.5595.


Why are we providing carts to households?

The standardized carts provided are compatible with automated collection where collection vehicles equipped with mechanical arms lift and empty carts into collection vehicles.

How many carts will I receive?

    All single-family dwellings and registered suites will receive a standard sized 120-litre organics recycling cart and a standard sized 180-litre garbage cart unless smaller, larger or additional carts were selected.

    With the new carts all households will receive a kitchen container for daily collection of kitchen scraps, a supply of compostable bags and information on curbside cart placement and recycling tips.

What are the dimensions of the carts?

If you are building an enclosure for your new carts, or are making space for them, here are the dimensions:


Can I exchange my carts for a different sizes?

If the cart sizes you received are not to your satisfaction, they can be exchanged for different sizes for three months once the program starts. After the three months, a cart exchange administrative fee of $30 will be applied.

Additions or reductions in fees due to cart size changes and return, repair or replace fees will be charged on the next available utility bill. Charges will not be prorated retroactively.

The program is starting and I haven't received the cart sizes I requested?

Exchanges are being made as quickly as possible. Please use the carts that were initially delivered until the exchange takes place.

Can I continue to use my existing garbage can(s)?

No. Old cans and containers will not work with our new automated collection service. The standardized carts provided are compatible with collection vehicles equipped with mechanical arms that lift and empty carts.

What can I do with my old garbage can(s)?

Please re-use or recycle your existing garbage cans. Disinfect them and use them for storing emergency supplies or collect rainwater for garden watering.

RECYCLE: Go to for information on potential facilities that will accept your old cleaned garbage cans for recycling, Plastic or Metal. Call beforehand to inquire about any associated drop off fees.

What about animals?

If you are concerned about animals getting into your carts, they have a large wheelbase so they cannot be easily pushed over and include tight fitting lids. The organics recycling cart includes an animal-proof latch as well. You were already putting kitchen scraps outside in your garbage, now you’ll just putting them in a different cart.

If I move, do I take the carts with me?

No. The carts are the property of Saanich and will be assigned to each property. A serial number and electronic tag identifies the cart and property to which it belongs. The carts need to remain with the property for the next resident.

What happens if my carts get damaged, lost or stolen?

Contact Solid Waste Services 250-475-5595 should your carts need to be repaired or replaced. The carts have an extended warranty and Saanich will take care of any warranty repairs. Households are responsible for cart replacement costs for carts damaged beyond their repair warranty.

If carts are lost or stolen, staff will attempt to recover them through their serial number and electronic tag. If the carts cannot be recovered, households are responsible for cart replacement costs. 

When and where will the carts be delivered?

Carts will be delivered to households starting January 2, 2014 through February 2014. Residents are asked to store their carts until the new organics recycling and curbside collection begins with your first scheduled pick up in April 2014.




Last modified: January 08, 2016