​Food has always been present in the garbage. The same waste is now separated into a different bin. Use these tips to prevent odours, avoid spills, and avoid attracting bugs or wildlife.


Line Your Green Bin

Use newsprint, a paper bag, or a cellulose-lined compostable bag to absorb moisture, keeping your container cleaner, longer.

Yard trimmings, like grass clippings in the summer and dry leaves in the fall, can be used as an absorbent layer at the bottom of your green bin.

Plastic and plastic-lined bags, even the ones labelled "biodegradable" or "compostable," should not go in the green bin. They are not accepted at all local facilities as they can cause operational problems, may not break down properly during processing, and may contaminate the finished compost. If the collector identifies plastic bags or other non-compostable materials in the green bin, the entire load may be rejected and sent to landfill. Leave them out to be safe, unless specifically allowed by your municipality or service provider.

If you use a plastic bag to line your kitchen catcher, empty the contents of the bag into the green bin, and then throw the bag in the garbage.

 Download a "No Plastic Bags" sticker sheet for your building's green bin


Ice Your Scraps

Keep your food scraps in the fridge or freezer to prevent odours from developing and keep bugs at bay.

Keep A Lid On It

Lids help contain smells and prevent spills. If your bin doesn’t have a lid, try using a plate over a bowl, a large ice cream bucket, or a coffee can.

Wrap It Up

Wrap greasy or wet food scraps, fish, meat, and bones in newsprint to absorb moisture, which will reduce odours and keep flies from being attracted to your bin.


Rinse It Out

Rinse and clean your kitchen catcher and green bin regularly. Lemon juice, white vinegar, or baking soda and water are effective natural cleansers.

Commercial bin-cleaning services are available. The Recycling Council of BC maintains a list of service providers. Contact the Recycling Hotline at 604-RECYCLE (732-9253). You can also ask your waste hauler if they offer a bin cleaning service.

Talk to your hauler about options such as:
  • switching in clean bins after collection.
  • using a bin liner approved by the food scraps recycling facility when available.
  • having bins cleaned at time of collection.
  • more frequent collection during hot weather.


Store It Right

If your green bin is stored outdoors, choose a shady location that is convenient for residents. Just like with your garbage bins, secure it from wildlife, like bears. Position your green bin away from fences and keep the lid down to prevent animals from climbing into your bin.