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In the simplest terms, organic waste is household food waste and garden waste. Until now, we referred to that kind of thing as garbage. But like paper, plastic, glass and aluminum, we can recycle organic waste. Your orange peels, uneaten barbecue chicken, and leaf and grass waste are sent to a processing plant in Brownsburg-Chatham run by the company Mironor , where it is transformed into valuable, nutrient-rich compost for gardens.
Please note: Do not overfill your brown bin (organic waste). Bins over 25 kg cannot be collected as the lifting grip can break and the bin exceeds safety standards for employees.
Acceptable for organic waste
Household organic waste
- Fruit and vegetable scraps
- Pasta, bread and cereal
- Meat and fish products
- Dairy products and egg shells
- Coffee grounds, coffee filters and tea bags
- Cake, cookies and candy
- Soiled paper towels and tissues
- Soiled paper and cardboard food packaging (pizza boxes, popcorn bags, flour bags)
- Unsoiled kitty litter
Leaf and outdoor waste
- Household plants
- Grass clippings, weeds and other yard waste
- Dead and fallen leaves
- Flowers and potted plants (including the discarded earth)
- Bark, wood chips and sawdust
- Small branches less than 30 centimetres (12 inches) long in bundles of no more than 45 centimetres (18 inches) in diameter
Not acceptable for organic waste
- Plastic wrap and styrofoam trays
- Plastic bags (even if certified as compostable or biodegradable)
- Diapers and sanitary products
- Clothing and textiles
- Wood, ashes and cigarette butts
- Wax, wax paper and chewing gum
- Vacuum bags and their contents
- Hair, pet fur and feathers
- Cotton balls, makeup removal pads
- Dryer sheets and lint
- Pet waste
Frequently asked questions
Can I put yard waste into the brown bin?
Yes, you can place yard waste, such as grass clippings and weeds, directly into your brown bin or in paper or compostable bags beside the brown bin. If you have a gardener maintaining your lawns, we encourage you to speak with your gardener to ensure he uses your brown bin correctly.
Do I have to sort my garbage?
Yes. You will want to keep two bins in your kitchen—one for organic waste (like vegetable peels, leftover food and soiled napkins) and another for garbage (like Styrofoam cups and certain types of non-recyclable plastics). The city can provide a small kitchen collector that you can use for your organic waste, which you can keep under your sink, or on your counter.
We recommend that you do not use your garburator to dispose of food waste, as it ends up in landfills and can clog sewers. It is not an environmentally friendly way of disposing of organic waste.
How to I prevent leaks and odours?
Newspaper or brown paper bags are absorbent and help reduce odours. Whenever you have some food stuff that is particularly wet or smelly, wrap it in newspaper (before putting it in the paper bag) like your grandma used to do when she brought home fresh fish.
How do I prepare my brown bin for collection?
- Option #1: Line your kitchen collector with used newspaper or a paper bag and fill with organics. Wrap the newspaper into a secure bundle, or roll the paper bag closed, and transfer to your brown bin. Place your brown bin at the curb on collection day.
- Option #2: Line your brown bin with a larger paper bag or loose newspaper at the bottom. Fill your kitchen collector directly with organics. Transfer the loose organic material into your lined brown bin. Roll the paper bag closed. Place your brown bin at the curb on collection day.
Where can I buy paper bags?
Residents should only use paper bags or newspapers in their kitchen collector or brown bin. Bag to Earth paper bags are sold at Côte Saint-Luc City Hall (5801 Cavendish Blvd.) and Public Works (7001 Mackle Rd.).
Download instructions on how to make an organics origami to line your kitchen bin using newspaper (PDF)
How can I get a brown bin?
Contact Public Works (514-485-6868, [email protected]) to get a second brown bin or blue bin, if you need a different sized bin or if your bin in damaged. Replacement bins are free. Additional brown bins are free.
Keeping your brown bin clean
Warm weather tips
- Rinse the brown bin with your garden hose periodically to keep it clean, especially if you don’t line your bin with paper
- Capture fruit flies (more common during warm weather) with a bowl of vinegar covered with plastic wrap with several small holes in it. Empty as required
- Put salt or vinegar on maggots to kill them. If maggots appear in the brown bin, a fly has laid eggs on some exposed food waste
- Wrap wet food waste (e.g. meat, fish, fruit and vegetable waste) in old newspaper or used paper towel
- Use the special food waste bag or other paper (e.g. grocery, popcorn, sugar, flour or potato) bags to hold your material
- Put meat and fish waste into a paper bag and then in your freezer until collection day
- Alternate layers of food waste with layers of dry waste (e.g. leaves, dead plants, sawdust, wood shavings)
- Periodically rinse the brown bin using a mild detergent or white vinegar/water solution immediately after collection
- Sprinkle a small amount of powdered garden lime, baking soda or powered laundry detergent (no bleach) in the brown bin
Cold weather tips
- Spray your brown bin with cooking oil in the winter to minimize risk of items freezing to the bin and ensure easy removal of waste
- Put newspaper in the bottom of your brown bin to prevent contents from freezing
- Wrap wet food waste (e.g. meat, fish, fruit and vegetable waste) in old newspapers, used paper towels or cereal boxes
- Use popcorn, sugar, flour or potato paper bags to hold your material to prevent waste from freezing to bin
- Large paper bin liners may be purchased for your brown bin at local retailers
- Store your brown bin in an accessible location during the winter months where there is easy access to the curb
- Set out your brown bin the morning of collection day (before 7 am) rather than the night before
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