Cart FAQs

Common Cart Questions
When is my garbage, organics and recycling collected?

Black garbage and blue recycling carts are collected weekly on the same day of the week year-round. 

Green organics carts are picked up:

  • every week from May to the end of October,
  • and every two weeks from November to the end of April

Some exceptions occur on statutory holidays. 

All carts must be out by 7 a.m.

Use the online collection schedule to find your collection day. Using just your address, access your own personalized schedule and sign up for reminders. 

Download the free Okotoks Waste app to get instant access to your garbage, recycling and organics information in the palm of your hand, including your schedule. 

Download on the App Store      Get it on Google Play

Where do I place my carts for collection?

Visit the Cart Placement and Care page to find out more information.

How do I request a different size garbage or organics cart or a 2nd recycling cart?

To request a different size garbage or organics cart or to request a 2nd recycling cart, please fill out the online Garbage, Organics & Recycling request form.

Please allow a maximum of five business days to complete your change request. 

If you have any questions please contact Waste Services online or at 403-938-8054. 

My cart is damaged/missing. How can I have it repaired or replaced?

If your cart has been damaged, please fill out the online Cart Maintenance and Replacement form.

Please allow a maximum of five business days to complete your change request. 

If you have any questions please contact Waste Services online or at 403-938-8054. 

If my cart breaks or is damaged, do I have to pay to replace it?

 If your cart breaks or is damaged, the Town of Okotoks will replace it for free.

What do I do if my cart was missed?

If your cart was missed, please fill out the online Report a Missed Collection form, or report your missed collection through the mobile waste app.

If you have any questions please contact Waste Services online or at 403-938-8054. 

I purchased a new build, how do I get a garbage, organics and recycling cart?

To have carts delivered to your new build, fill out the online Utility Change of Ownership form. Once this form is filled out Waste Services is notified that carts need to be delivered. Your carts will be delivered within 5 business day of your possession date, and collection service will start immediately once you've received your carts.

If you have any questions please contact Waste Services online or at 403-938-8054.

I am moving, can I take the carts with me?

No, the garbage, organics and recycling carts are assigned and scanned to the specific address they were issued to. Please leave the carts for the new tenants. 

I've moved into a property with no carts, what do I do?

If you are a new occupant of a property with no carts, please submit a request for carts through the online Garbage, Organics & Recycling form

What goes in my green, blue and black carts?

Use the Waste Wizard to find out how to properly dispose of hundreds of items.

Can I use bags or liners inside my cart?

Green cart (organics)

Contents can be placed loose inside the cart without using a bag or liner. A paper liner or certified compostable plastic bag is optional.

Animal waste and bedding are the exceptions: they must be placed in a certified compostable bag inside the green cart. 

Blue cart (recyclables)

Do NOT use a bag or liner. Contents must be loose, not bagged or bundled.

The following items are exceptions:

  • Shredded paper must be placed in a transparent bag inside the blue cart.
  • Plastic bags, plastics wrap and bubble wrap must be bundled into one plastic bag and tied closed. 

Black cart (garbage)

All garbage placed into the black cart must be bagged. 

I'm already composting at home, why do I need a green cart?

If you are already composting at home - keep it up. The green cart can be used along with your backyard composter since the green cart accepts a wider range of food and yard waste - materials such as meat, bones, fish, shellfish, dairy products, pasta and breads. 

Your yard waste (grass and leaves) is accepted in your green cart. Whatever excess yard waste you have that doesn't fit in your backyard composter can be put in your green cart. 

Is it safe to put animal waste into the green cart?
  • Our program accepts pet waste and kitty litter in the green cart. During the composting process, the material is heated to temperatures at which any harmful bacteria is killed. Strict testing is conducted to ensure the compost is safe to use.
  • Animal waste must be in a certified compostable bag before placing it in the green cart.
  • Please do not use plastic or biodegradable bags because these bags do not break down during the composting process and will reduce the quality of the finished compost.
What will happen to the finished compost?

Your organic waste stays local! It’s turned into compost at an Alberta facility and is then sold in bulk within our province to local gardens and farmers.

What about the smell of the food and pet waste in my green cart?
  • Put your green cart out for collection on your waste collection day, even if it is not full
  • Keep the lid of the kitchen pail and green cart closed at all times.
  • Empty your kitchen pail into your green cart every 2-3 days.
  • Consider freezing meat and fish waste until collection day - especially during warm weather.
  • Sprinkle a small amount of vinegar or baking soda in your kitchen pail and green cart to minimize odour.
  • Regularly wash out your cart

How do I clean my cart and kitchen pail?
  • Use a compostable bag, paper bag or newspaper liner in your kitchen pail and you can purchase compostable large bags for your green cart.
  • Layer your green cart to keep material from sticking. Place crumpled newspaper on the bottom of your cart and alternate layers of kitchen waste/grass clippings with soiled newspaper or leaves.
  • Rinse your kitchen pail with hot water or place inside your dishwasher.
  • Rinse your cart and pour the dirty water onto grass/gravel, not down the storm drain.
How will I know what week to put out my green cart when it is bi-weekly from November to April?
  • Use the online collection schedule to help you remember your waste collection day. By typing in your address, you can access your own personalized Collection Schedule. 
  • Import your personalized Collection Schedule to your online iCal, Outlook or Google Calendar.
  • View, download (PDF), or print your personalized Collection Schedule.
  • Sign up for personalized reminders by email, voicemail or Twitter.
  • Make it even easier and download the Okotoks Waste Mobile App!
Why is composting the better solution?

Food and yard waste doesn't breakdown into soil when it's buried in the landfill, instead it releases greenhouse gases.

More than half of the garbage from Okotoks’ homes is made up of food and yard waste. Composting this material is an important step in leading our community towards zero waste.

You may think when food and yard waste goes in the landfill that it breaks down quickly and becomes a part of the soil, but that's not what happens. Watch a quick video to understand how a landfill works and why turning food and yard waste into nutrient-rich compost for gardens, parks and farms is a better solution than burying it in a landfill.


How do I prevent my organics freezing to the cart?

Frozen contents may not empty. Help ensure your green cart empties by keeping it

  • lined with certified compostable plastic liners or crumpled newspaper sheets
  • loose – layer organic waste with soiled paper products or leaves
  • sheltered against your home, in a shed or garage until set out at the curb for collection
Why can't I bag recyclables?

The material needs to be loose to be sorted by the machines. For the safety of workers, garbage bags are assumed to be garbage and are never opened.

Shredded paper and plastic bags are hand-sorted for recycling; transparent bags make them easy to identify and grab.

How are recyclables sorted at recycling facilities?

Watch this video to learn about how recyclables are sorted at recycling facilities.

Sun: Closed
Mon - Fri: 7:30 am - 4:00 pm
Sat: Closed
Closed weekends and stat holidays.
  • Garbage, Recycling and Organics Inquiries: 403-938-8054 Contact Online