What is the Green Cart Program?
The Green Cart Program collects household organic waste such as food scraps separate from blue boxes and garbage every week.
Why does the City of Hamilton have a Green Cart Program?
We're running out of space to put our garbage. The Green Cart Program has the potential to divert over 40% of our garbage that is landfilled.
What is a green cart?
A green cart is a cart made from rigid plastic with wheels and a lid that is used for putting food scraps in for weekly pick up.
What is a mini bin?
A mini bin is a small plastic container with a snap-lock lid that for your kitchen to collect food scraps on a daily basis.
Can I exchange my green cart for one that is a different size?
Our current policy does not allow for exchanges of green carts.
Where should I keep my green cart?
Keep your green cart in a location that is convenient for you – like where you currently keep your garbage can. Avoid storing it in direct sunlight or near railings and other structures that rodents can use as leverage to get on top of it.
What can I put in my green cart?
Items that go into your green cart include food waste, paper products and plants.
Click here to see a longer list of acceptable items.
What should not go into the green cart?
Diapers, glass, metal, pet waste, plastic of any kind, sanitary napkins and large or treated pieces of wood should not go in your green cart.
Click here to see a longer list of non-acceptable items.
Why can’t I put diapers, sanitary products or pet waste in my green cart?
The marketplace for finished compost has indicated that material containing human or animal feces is not acceptable.
When will my green cart be collected?
Your green cart will be collected weekly on your regularly scheduled waste collection day along with your blue box(es) and garbage.
Do I have to put out my green cart every week?
You do not have to put out your green cart every week. If you prefer to set your green cart out for collection every two weeks, or once a month, you can. However, keep in mind that frequent emptying of your green cart will reduce the potential for odours and rodents.
Should I continue to use my backyard composter?
Yes, you can continue to use your backyard composter. Backyard composting is a great way to produce ready-made compost for your garden. It also leaves more room in your green cart for materials such as dairy products, meats, and fats that shouldn’t go into your backyard composter.
Click here for more information about backyard composting.
Can I put leaf and yard waste in my green cart?
You can add leaf and yard waste in your green cart if there is room. Layering leaf and yard waste with food scraps will reduce odours, moisture and facilitate proper emptying.
During the spring and fall seasons leaf and yard waste is collected separatelyevery other week according to your Leaf and Yard Waste Schedule.
During the rest of the year you can put out two additional containers of leaf and yard waste with your green cart every week.
How many bags of garbage can I put out each week?
One container of garbage will be collected each week.
Why does my garbage and green cart 'stuff' go in the same truck?
The collection trucks are called ‘split body’ trucks. There is a wall inside that keeps green cart stuff separate from garbage so that they don’t get mixed up. Each side of the truck is emptied separately.
Where does green cart 'stuff' go after it’s collected?
Green cart stuff is processed at the City’s Central Composting Facility in Hamilton. An aerobic process is used to turn the materials into a soil enhancement product that can be used for landscaping, etc.
What happens to unacceptable materials that are in my green cart?
If unacceptable materials such as plastic and glass are visible in your green cart, it will not be collected. You'll get an 'OOPS!' sticker and you will be responsible for taking out the unacceptable materials. Unacceptable materials such as plastic and glass do not breakdown in the composting process.
Will my green cart attract pests or rodents?
Green carts are designed to be pest and rodent resistant with a tight fitting lid and in some cases a locking mechanism so that it's more secure than a regular garbage can or bag.
Will my green cart smell?
Odours are often caused by too much moisture. Rinse your mini bin and green cart often to reduce odours. Tips include:
- Keep a 50-50 balance of wet and dry material
- Avoid putting your green cart or mini bin in direct sunlight
- Freeze items such as meats, bones and seafood until collection day
- Clean your green cart and mini bin regularly
- Use leaf and yard waste to help soak up moisture
- Use lemon juice, vinegar or baking soda to hold down odours
- Line your mini bin or green cart with paper bags or leaf and yard waste bags
What can I line my mini bin and green cart with?
The best option is not to line your mini bin and green cart with anything. Rinse your mini bin daily and your green cart weekly.
The next best option is to line your mini bin and green cart with paper based products such as newspaper and flyers.
Another option for lining your mini bin and green cart is to use certified compostable liners that have this logo on the packaging:
Will the City be collecting food scraps from schools, restaurants and cafés?
The City is currently collecting food scraps from single-family homes, apartment buildings and condominiums.
Plans to collect food scraps from schools, restaurants and cafes are ongoing.
Should I put my address on my green cart?
Yes. Use a permanent marker to write your address your green cart.
Should I take my green cart with me when I move?
No. Green carts stay with the house when you leave.
What should I do if I won't be physically able to drag the container to the curb every week?
If you don't fill a green cart evert week you can place your mini bin at the curb for pick up. Another option is to ask a family member, friend or neighbour to help you get your green cart to the curb along with your recycling and garbage.
Have the green carts been tested for durability?
Yes. The containers have been tested both in a lab and in the field to make sure they are durable.
If my green cart breaks or cracks will the City replace it?
If your green cart breaks or cracks as a result of normal use contact us at (905) 546-CITY (2489) or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You must present your broken or damaged green cart in order to receive a new one.
Do I have to use my green cart?
Using your green cart will help you to stay within the one container of garbage limit per week. If you are hesitant at first, you can:
- Use it for leaf and yard waste and slowly add kitchen scraps each week
- Put it out if it is only partially full
- Put it out every other week
- Put your mini bin at the curb if you can’t fill your green cart
Can I get an additional green cart for my leaf and yard waste?
No. The City does not supply or sell green carts for leaf and yard waste.
Can I have two green carts?
No. The City supplies one green cart per household.
If a property is classified as a duplex, then two green carts will be supplied. If a property is a triplex, then three green carts will be supplied and so on.