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Food Scraps & Yard Trimmings

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Who can recycle food scraps?
  • Residents in single-family (detached) homes
  • Residents in townhomes with City garbage and/or Blue Box service
  • Residents in multi-family complexes with City Green Cart collection service
2. What kind of food scraps are accepted in the Green Cart Food Scraps Recycling Program?
Fruit & vegetable peelings, coffee grounds & filters, table scraps & food scrapings, meat, poultry, shellfish, bones, eggshells, paper towels/napkins/plates, tea bags and dairy products.

3. Can I use biodegradable/compostable plastic bags to line my Green Cart or kitchen container?
No. When biodegradable plastic bags break down, they leave behind flecks of plastic.  This plastic is a contaminant and can compromise the quality of the finished compost.  The composting facility will not accept material in biodegradable/compostable plastic bags for this reason.  Please use newspaper or paper bag liners instead.

4. Could I drop-off food scraps at the Recycling Depot or Ecowaste?
No. The Recycling Depot and Ecowaste does not accept food scraps for recycling. See Recycling Depot for a list of accepted materials. 

5. Should I continue to use my backyard composter if I use the Green Can or Green Cart?
We continue to recommend home composting, which is the most cost-effective and environmentally friendly way to recycle fruits, vegetables and yard trimmings - and to make your own fabulous compost. Compost bins are available for $25 at the City Recycling Depot. Use the Green Can/Cart for "other" things like meat, bones, fish and bread.

6. Should I line my kitchen and yard container?
You do not need to line your yard container or kitchen container. However, using a paper liner can keep your kitchen or yard container clean and reduce odour. If you choose to use a liner, you can use newspaper, paper bags, cardboard or paper towels. Do not use plastic or compostable bags, as they are not accepted.

7. What should I do if my cart is damaged, lost or stolen?
Please call the Environmental Programs information line at 604-276-4010 or email garbage and recycling.

8. What are the size selection for Green Cart?
Single-family homes  Townhomes 
PDF Document Extra Large- 360 L
PDF Document Large- 240 L (standard size) 
PDF Document Medium - 120 L
PDF Document Small- 80 L
PDF Document Small - 80 L
PDF Document Extra Small - 45.5 L (standard size) 
9. How do I exchange my Green Cart for a different size?
All cart exchange requests are assessed a fee of $25 each. This fee will appear on your utility bill. The request must come from the registered property owner. To request  a cart exchange, please contact Environmental Programs at 604-276-4010 or email garbage and recycling.

10. What happens to all the food scraps and yard trimmings?
These recyclables will be delivered to Harvest Power, located off of No. 8 Road in Richmond, for recycling into a nutrient-rich compost that our farmers, gardeners and landscapers can use. 

11. If I move, do I take the Green Cart with me or does it stay with the property?
The Green Cart stays with the property.  If you move to another single-family home in Richmond, you will have a Green Cart at that location.  If a cart is not there call 604-276-4010.

12. What should I do if I have extra food scraps and yard trimmings that cannot fit into my Green Cart?
  • Continue to use your existing Green Can to recycle food scraps and yard trimmings.  (Program restrictions apply, such as weight limit, container size, clearly displayed decals, etc.)
  • Put grass clippings and yard trimmings in paper yard waste bags. When using bags, tightly fold and secure the top of the bag before placing them at the curb.
  • Tie branches into bundles no larger than 3 ft x 2 ft. (Branches must not exceed 4 inches in diameter.) 
  • Drop off trimmings only at City's Recycling Depot at 5555 Lynas Lane (Wednesday to Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:15 p.m.)

13. What are my responsibilities as a resident?
As a Richmond resident, you are asked to use the Green Cart to recycle food scraps and yard trimmings.  You are responsible for ensuring only acceptable items are placed in the Green Cart or paper yard waste bags.  If unacceptable materials are placed in the cart or bags, they will not be emptied or collected since the composting facility will not accept any materials with non-compostable items. You are also responsible for maintaining the cart (cleanliness, rinsing, etc.).  

Helpful Links and Resources
Green Cart Recycling
Recycling Depot
Metro Vancouver Recycling Directory
Recycling Council of BC Hotline - 604-732-9253
Composting Hotline - 604-736-2250