New Residents and Off-Campus Students
Halifax residents are proud of their world-class waste resource management program and they should be; after all, the citizens of HRM designed the entire program! The program is easy to follow, and this page explains how it all works.
Single family homes, duplexes, flats and apartment buildings with 6 or less units have their household waste picked up at the curb. It must be placed out by 7:00 am. To find out what day your garbage, recycling or green cart is picked up, check our Halifax Recycles App or call us at 311.This is also how you contact us if your house does not have a green cart or mini bin.
If you live in an apartment building (over 6 units) or condominium, please contact your building superintendent for details on their recycling and composting program. All properties are required by law to have a program in place.
In our Recycling Program, residents recycle using see-through blue bags. Items include all plastic containers (no Styrofoam), beverage containers, glass jars, steel and aluminum cans, all milk containers and all plastic bags.
Blue bags can be purchased in the cleaning aisle of any grocery store.
Newspaper and other paper products are recycled seperate from blue bag materials by placing them in a grocery/retail bag or a clear or blue bag (separate bag from other recyclables). Corrugated cardboard is bundled and placed next to other recyclables.
Recycling is collected every week in most areas,bi-weekly in rural areas.
The Organics Green Cart Program collects all of your kitchen food waste and yard waste.
Simply put all your food scraps (including meat, dairy, vegetable peelings) in your green cart. If you have cooking oil or fat let it cool, wipe the pan with paper towel and put it in the green cart.
If you are concerned about mess or smells,here are some tips to help you out.
Grass clippings should remain on your lawn. Effective August 1, 2015 grass clippings will not be collected curbside.
If you have leaves you cannot use as mulch or compost in your yard, they can be placed in your green cart, or next to it in kraft paper bags. There is a limit of 20 bags each collection day.
Branches should be tied in armload-sized bundles, no longer than 4 feet long and no piece larger than 8 inches in diameter. Maximum of 5 bundles.
Carts are collected on the opposite week from garbage (but weekly in July and August).
In the Halifax Region garbage is collected every second week.
If you live in a single unit house, you are permitted up to six bags of garbage per collection day. Five of those bags must be clear, one can be dark for privacy items. You can also place 1 bulky item on each garbage collection day (for example, an appliance or piece of furniture).
If you live in a multi-unit building (up to 6 units), each unit is allowed 4 bags. Three of those bags must be clear, one can be dark for privacy items. 2 bulky items per building are permitted.
Residents are responsible to clean up any mess resulting from bags broken open. If this is a concern, bags of garbage can be placed in a can.
To ensure collection, place materials curbside AFTER 9 p.m the night before, or BEFORE 7 a.m. the morning of collection. Do not put material out on non-collection days/week.
All residents who receive curbside collection of garbage are eligible to have CFCs removed from fridges or other cooling appliances free of charge. This must be completed before such items are collected. Call 311 for details.
Extra waste can be taken to the Otter Lake disposal facility for a fee. Material weighing up to 100 kg is charged $5.00. Material weighing 100 kg or more is charged $12.50 for every 100 kg.
What weeks will garbage, recycling and green carts be collected?
- Download our app to receive weekly reminders of what materials are scheduled for collection.
What about other recycling programs?
- Nova Scotia has a deposit/refund program for beverage containers (pop, water, alcohol). You can take bottles back to any ENVIRO DEPOT in the province.
- Many charities and non-profit groups take items that are still in good working condition to raise funds or distribute to those in need. AfterWear is a group of charities with drop-off and pick-up options.
- In the Spring look for notices about the Halifax Dump & Run - a community garage sale/waste diversion project and environmental fair. Used items are collected from the community and then resold at a community yard sale. You can also participate in our Curbside Give Away Weekend in Fall and Summer.
Some things should not go in the garbage, blue bag or green cart.
- Some waste products such as batteries, propane tanks and solvents can harm the environment if discarded improperly. HRM operates a Household Special Waste Depot where residents can drop off these wastes for safe disposal. Each year 6,000 to 8,000 households use this service.
- Electronics - Certain electronics need to be taken back to a recycling depot (free of charge). Some electronics retailers also take these items back.
- Sharps - Containers for diabetic needles can be picked up at any pharmacy.
- Hazardous Wastes - Info on Halifax's HSW drop-off depot and other locations you can take things like paint, batteries, CFL bulbs.