Green Can / Food Scraps

Food scraps make up 40 per cent of our household waste, so please make sure you use your curbside Green Can or multi-family Green Bin to dispose of food waste. Organics that end up in landfills produce methane gas, which is 25 times more damaging to the environment than carbon dioxide. When composted, food waste can turn into a valuable nutrient for farming and gardens.

Curbside Collection

Stick to 6

Please remember to Stick to 6 for Green waste curbside collection! The weekly maximum is 6 cans, bags, or bundles in total (maximum 45lb each). If you have more than 6, either hold for the following week's collection or take to the North Shore Recycling and Waste Centre (open 7 days a week with a $10 minimum fee for loads up to 100kg).

Green Can picked up before garbage

To minimize wildlife conflict, don't put your Green Can out the night before. To ensure collection, place at the curb between 5:30 and 7:30am on collection day.

Hygiene & Safety

Please ensure all personal hygiene products, used tissues, cleaning cloths, face masks, gloves, and similar items are disposed of in garbage bags.

  • Place food scraps, food-soiled paper, and yard trimmings together in a 77 litre can with a lid and a Green Can decal.
  • Curbside Green Cans (i.e. food scraps and yard trimmings) are collected by City crews every week.
  • Green Can/Yard Trimmings: weekly limit of 6 total containers, bags, or bundles.
  • Yard trimmings are also accepted in kraft paper bags with folded tops (but no food scraps please) - please keep them dry until collection day.
  • Bundle twigs and branches with biodegradable string or twine (no wire, nylon rope or plastic strapping), and place beside - not inside - Green Cans. Maximum bundle size is 1m long and 30cm in diameter, with a maximum branch thickness of 7.5cm.
  • Maximum weight is 20kg (45lb) per can, bag, or bundle.
  • Get green waste tips in the City's Curbside Collection Guide.

Green Can: What Goes In

Bread, toast, cereal, baked goods & pizza
Cake, cookies, pie, muffins & candies
Coffee grounds & filters, teabags (no silk bags)
Dairy products, cheese & yogurt (no containers)
Eggs & egg shells
Fruit, vegetables, salads, corn cobs, corn husks & pumpkins
Meat, fish & shellfish (including bones)
Nuts & nutshells
Pasta, couscous, potatoes, rice, oatmeal, flour & grains
Sauces, mayonnaise, salad dressing, syrups, peanut butter, jams & jellies (no containers)
Small quantities of fats & oils (soak into used paper towels or newspaper)
Lard, gravy, butter & margarine
Food-soiled paper and paper food packaging (not wax-lined)
Paper towels, paper napkins, facial tissues
Paper towel & toilet paper rolls
Popsicle sticks, small wooden utensils, toothpicks, wood chips, sawdust from untreated wood & cold wood ashes (in paper bags)
Cardboard egg cartons
Paper plates
Plants and yard trimmings
Houseplants (without soil)
Weeds, plants, flowers
Yard trimmings, leaves, grass clippings, small branches and prunings (curbside collection only)

Green Can: What Stays Out

Plastic bags & wrap, Styrofoam
Biodegradable or compostable plastic bags
Plastic containers and plastic cutlery, even those marked biodegradable or compostable
Bread tags and twist ties
Foil wrap, containers and pie plates
Metal cans or glass jars
Cereal and cracker box liners
Chip and cookie bags
Pet food bags and other lined bags
Make-up remover pads, cotton swabs and balls
Butter wrappers (foil)
Dental floss, rubber bands
Soiled diapers, baby wipes
Cigarettes and butts
Vacuum contents and bags
Pet feces or kitty Iitter
Coffee cups and lids

Green Can: Critter-proof it

Garbage is the cause of 80 per cent of bear-human interactions on the North Shore. Keep your garbage and green can clean in order to keep bears (and other animals such as raccoons and crows) away.

    Keep the Green Can in a secure location such as a garage, shed or lockable storage container until collection day. Place at the curb between 5:30 and 7:30am on collection day - not the night before.
  • WRAP
    Wrap food scraps in newspaper, paper towels or paper bags to reduce odours and help keep your can clean (do not use biodegradable/compostable plastic bags).
    Store food scraps in the freezer until collection day.
    Wash the bin regularly with a mild detergent or a water & vinegar solution.

Learn about reducing human-bear conflict on our Wildlife Awareness page.

Backyard Composting - Skip the Green Can

You can compost most food scraps and yard trimmings in a backyard composter, and skip the Green Can. Composted organic materials turns into a nutrient-rich soil that you can use to feed your lawn and garden. Learn more in Metro Vancouver's brochure on backyard composting.

City Farmer is offering subsidized compost bins for $35 (cash only), with pick up from their compost demonstration garden at 2150 Maple Street, Vancouver. Please call 604-736-2250 to reserve a composter and schedule a pick-up time. Learn more on the City Farmer website


Multi-Family Collection

  • For multi-family collection, place food scraps and food-soiled paper together in your apartment building’s Green bin.
  • Most multi-family Green bins don't allow yard waste (i.e. grass clippings, leaves, and yard trimmings) - check with your building or strata manager for details. 
  • Multi-Family collection day will vary - check with your building or strata manager for details.
  • Learn more in Metro Vancouver's Food Scraps How-To Guide for Apartments & Condos.

Get in Touch

Curbside missed collection (garbage/Green Can)
Contact City Operations 604-987-7155

Download our CityCollect App
Apple store | Google Play

Get Green Can decals
604-983-7333 |

Missed recycling pick up or get bags/bins
Contact Emterra Environmental 778-589-3221 |

North Shore Recycling & Waste Centre
30 Riverside Drive W, North Vancouver | 604-681-5600

Recycling Support
Questions about how/where to recycle an item? 
Recycling Council of BC hotline 604-732-9253 |


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