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Garbage Totes

Organics Totes

  • What is the Organics tote program?

    Starting in May 2015, the District of Squamish will be providing bi-weekly residential curbside organics collection for single family houses, duplexes and some townhouses through a contract with Carney's Waste Systems. Townhouse and apartment complexes that receive commercial waste collection can contact their provider to discuss options for organics collection


  • Why collect organics?

    Organic waste accounts for nearly 45% of all garbage, yet it is a reusable resource. Collecting organic material separately from garbage helps to extend the life of the landfill, limits greenhouse gas production from the landfill and produces a valuable soil amendment.

  • How does organics collection work?
    1. Collect food scraps and food soiled paper in your kitchen container. You can line your kitchen container with newspaper or paper bags, or use it on its own. Plastic bags of any type are not permitted.
    2. Empty your kitchen container into your organics tote and layer with yard waste if possible. Rinse your kitchen catcher regularly.
    3. Place your unlocked organics totes curbside by 7:45 am on your collection day. Your organics tote will be collected bi-weekly, year round, on the same day as your recycling tote. 
  • I compost at home. Why do I need organics recycling?

    Backyard composting is the most environmentally friendly way to recycle fruit and vegetable scraps and yard trimmings. If you backyard compost, please continue to do so. Use your organics tote for items that are not suitable for composting safely in your backyard, such as cooked plate scrapings, meat, fish, dairy and grains.

  • Can organics collection take place weekly instead of bi-weekly?

    More frequent collection would substantially increase the Solid Waste Utility fees paid by residents. The District of Squamish has attempted to keep costs low while still delivering good service. The District is aware of a variety of municipalities across BC who manage successful bi-weekly organics collection programs. 


  • Won’t organics collection attract wildlife?

    Just like your garbage tote, the organics tote has the potential to attract bears and other wildlife. The District of Squamish Wildlife Attractant Bylaw states that all wildlife attractants must be made inaccessible. The new organics tote is outfitted with a new and improved locking system and reinforced lid. The tote should be properly locked with both locks at all times, except on collection day.


  • How can I reduce odour and help prevent wildlife encounters?
    • Wrapping your food scraps in newspaper or paper bags helps to reduce odours and keep your organics tote and kitchen catcher clean.
    • If possible, keep meat, fish and bones in your freezer or fridge until collection day.
    • Cover and layer food scraps with yard waste in your organics tote whenever possible. 
    • Allow grass clippings and leaves to dry before placing them in the tote.
    • Sometimes maggots (fly larva) grow in organic material. To reduce this problem make sure that both your kitchen catcher and organics totes are tightly closed at all times so that flies cannot lay eggs in your organic material. If you do see maggots in your tote, they can be killed by putting salt or vinegar directly on them.  
    • Rinse your kitchen catcher and tote regularly. You can use a mild detergent or vinegar/water solution for this purpose.
    • If your tote is damaged and/or is not locking, call Carney’s Waste Systems for a repair: 604.892.5604.  
  • Can I put plastic bags in my organics tote?

    Plastic bags are not permitted in the green totes. This applies to all types of plastic bags including biodegradable and compostable bags. Municipalities that have allowed compostable plastic bags in their organics programs report higher levels of contamination from all types of plastic, and the non-compostable plastics are much harder for the compost facility to identify and sort out. Paper bags, newspaper, or specially designed paper kitchen catcher liners (e.g. Bag to Earth) are an acceptable alternative.


  • When will I receive my new organics tote and when is my first collection day?
    • Organics totes for single family homes and duplexes will be delivered starting on April 29, 2015. The first collection will occur the week of May 11, 2015.
    • Organics totes for townhouses will be delivered in late-June to early-July, and collection will begin on the first recycling collection day following delivery. 
  • What will happen to the yard waste tote that I have now?

    If you currently have a yard waste tote supplied by Carney’s it will be replaced with a new bear-proof tote with the improved locking system.

  • Can I get a larger/smaller organics tote?

    At this time, the District is not offering a size selection for organics totes. 

  • I have more yard waste that I can fit into my organics tote – what are my options?
    • Backyard composting is an effective way to manage much of your yard waste.
    • Yard waste can be dropped off at the Squamish Landfill public depot for a fee of $45/tonne. Often small residential loads come in at the $5 minimum charge.
    • If you have a large property, you can stockpile your yard waste through the growing season and slowly put it out for collection over the winter.
    • The District is considering providing additional spring/fall yard waste collection.
    • Backyard burning is not permitted.

Recycling Totes

  • Can I get a larger/smaller recycling tote?

    At this time, the District only provides the medium (246 litre) recycling bin as part of the residential curbside collection program. Residents may contact Carney’s Waste Systems to inquire about additional services at 604.892.5604.

  • What can I do if my recycling tote gets full before collection day?

    Recycling, when it occasionally overloads your tote, can always be taken directly to the Landfill (open 7 days a week), or Carney’s (open Monday to Saturday). Drop-off is free at both locations. Remember though to break down boxes, which helps provide more room in your tote.

  • Are there any changes to my recycling service in 2015?

    No – your recycling will continue to be collected bi-weekly. Check your schedule or sign up for our email / phone call reminders on the Collection Schedule page. Please note that plastic bags, glass and Styrofoam are not accepted in your curbside tote, but can be dropped off at Carney’s Recycle Centre or the Squamish landfill.  

Yard waste collection

  • When will yard waste collection take place?

    Yard waste collection will take place during the weeks of April 13 to 17 and April 27 to May 1, 2015. After this time, the Organics totes will replace the seasonal yard waste program and will be collected year round.

Solid Waste Fees

  • Can I opt out?

    It is not possible for individual residences to opt out of any portion of the solid waste services. The solid waste fees reflect the costs of providing all the solid waste services provided by the District including collection and processing of materials, staff time, and communications; there is no opportunity to break down the fees into their component parts. Whole townhouse complexes do have the option of receiving service directly from a commercial provider – contact the District if you would like to receive more information about this option. 

  • Can I choose not to use an organics tote?

    It’s likely that at some point in the future there will be a ban on organic material at the Squamish Landfill. If you have alternative ways of managing all of your organic material (e.g. by dropping it off at Carney’s Recycle Center), then you can choose to either not use your organics tote, or not to receive one at all. Your solid waste fees will not change if you choose not to use or receive an organics tote. Contact the District if you do not want to receive an organics tote.

  • Are secondary suites required to have individual garbage service?

    Home owners with secondary suites can choose to cancel their garbage service - only for the secondary suite.  The District expects that tenants in secondary suites will then use the main (single family home) garbage/recycling/organics totes for their secondary suite. 

  • What happens if I pay my solid waste fees ahead of the December 31 deadline?

    The District will apply a 1% interest rate on tax and utility account prepayments. This will occur automatically. The rate is a provincially set rate of 1%.