FAQ

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Garbage Totes
How do I know what size I will need?

A small tote (132 litre/35 gal) can hold approximately 1-2 regular sized (75L) garbage bags. A medium tote (246 litre/65 gal) can hold approximately 2-3 regular sized (75L) garbage bags. A large tote (356 litre/95 gal) can hold approximately 4-5 regular sized (75L) garbage bags.  

Totes sizes are on display at Municipal Hall until mid-March.

What if I miss the deadline to choose a tote size, or later on, decide I need a different tote size?

After March 16, 2015, tote size exchanges will only occur one time each year. Residents can visit or call Municipal Hall (604-815-5010) to request a different tote size at any time, but you will not receive your tote until the end of the year, and changes to your utility bill will take effect January 1 of the following year. Starting January 1, 2016, there will be a $25 fee to exchange your tote.

I already have a small or large tote – can I keep it? How will my billing change?

Residents who currently have a small or large tote may keep their tote without submitting a ‘size selection’ form. Residents who wish to continue with a large bin size will now pay directly through their Solid Waste Utility fee and will no longer receive any bills from Carney’s for this size. 

If I’m changing sizes, when will I receive my new tote?

Totes will be exchanged on a garbage collection day prior to May 2015.

Are there any other changes to my garbage service?

No – your garbage and recycling totes will continue to be collected bi-weekly. Check your schedule or sign up for our email / phone call reminders on the Collection Schedule page.  

Organics Totes
What is the Organics tote program?

Starting in 2015, the District of Squamish will provide a third tote to collect yard waste, food scraps and food-soiled paper. Collection will be bi-weekly on the same day as recycling collection.

Why collect organics?

Collecting organic materials separately from garbage helps to extend the life of the landfill, limit greenhouse gas emissions, and produces a valuable resource for soil amendment.

How does organics collection work?
  • Collect your kitchen food scraps in a kitchen catcher in your house. You may use newspaper or paper craft bags but NO plastic bags (including biodegradable and compostable) in your kitchen catcher.
  • All organic material including fruit and vegetable scraps, dairy products, cooked food/ plate scrapings, grains & pasta, meat & bones, fish & shellfish, eggshells, tea bags, coffee grounds & filters can be collected. Food soiled paper products and yard waste are also accepted. 
  • NOT accepted are all types of plastic (including any type of plastic bags) other recyclables, garbage and invasive species.
  • Transfer to your green tote regularly. If possible, layer kitchen scraps with yard waste or paper material in your green tote.
  • Set out and unlock your tote at 7:45 a.m. on the morning of your collection day, which is the same day as your recycling pick up day.
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. To this end, 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?

There are various ways to reduce odour and help prevent wildlife encounters. Layer kitchen scraps with yard waste, which helps to smother odours. Freeze meat scraps until the morning of collection, which assists with reducing odours and preventing maggots during hot weather. Contain food scraps within newspaper or Kraft paper bags, which assists with absorbing liquids. Clean your tote after each collection with a water/vinegar solution, which assists with reducing organic residue and odours.

Ensure you only unlock and place your organics tote curbside on the morning of collection. Never place an unlocked tote curbside the night before collection (doing so is a ticketable offence under the Wildlife Attractant Bylaw).

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 green tote?

Plastic bags are not permitted in the green totes. This applies to all types of plastic bags including biodegradable and compostable bags. Even biodegradable and compostable plastic bags often do not break down entirely in the composting process and result in a lower quality soil product. Paper bags, folded newspaper liners 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 will be delivered prior to the May 2015 program start date.

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 only provides the medium (246 litre) organics tote as part of the residential curbside collection program. 

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 recycling tote sizes (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 Mon – Sat). 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.