Green carts, leaf and yard material

Green carts and leaf and yard material are collected curbside every second week. During the months of July, August, and September green cart collection is every week across the municipality.

Learn how to reduce green cart pests and odours.

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What goes in the green cart

Acceptable for the compost process:

  • fruit and vegetable peelings
  • table scraps, meat, fish, bones
  • dairy products
  • fat, cooking oil, and grease 
  • bread, rice, pasta
  • coffee grounds, filters, tea bags
  • eggshells
  • food napkins
  • kitchen paper towels and soiled paper

Use boxboard or one sheet of newspaper to wrap wet food waste.

Not for the green cart

Materials unaccepted in the compost process

  • NO "compostable/biodegradable" plastic bags or cups
  • NO paper or Styrofoam coffee cups
  • NO ashes
  • NO waxed or film packaging
  • NO corrugated cardboard (i.e. pizza boxes)
  • NO cans, bottles, or glass
  • NO decorations or wire wreaths
  • NO milk containers
  • NO pet or animal waste
  • NO soil, sods, rocks, logs or tree trunks
  • NO grass clippings

Reducing nuisances 

To get the most out of your green bin with the least amount of hassle, consider the following tips: 

  • Place wet food waste in boxboard, or wrap using one sheet of newspaper
  • Empty your mini-bin daily and place the green cart for collection even if isn’t full
  • Fruit flies are more common during warm weather. In the kitchen, capture fruit flies with a bowl of vinegar covered with plastic wrap with several small holes in it
  • Store cart in a ventilated, shady location
  • Line both your mini-bin and green cart with a large paper bag
  • Food waste can be stored in the freezer until collection day


No Plastic Bags or Packaging Labelled Biodegradable/Compostable

Carts that contain plastic (including biodegradable or compostable plastic bags) will not be collected. The plastic must be removed prior to the next collection day. 

Plastics, even those labelled biodegradable and compostable, do not break down in the compost process and are not accepted in our composting system. Products like hot and cold drink cups, and single-use soup bowls are typically lined with plastic and when plastic breaks down, it is still there, just in microscopic pieces.

You should return unacceptable compost bags to the retailer. Some retailers have responded to customers and Halifax Solid Waste requests to remove these bags from store shelves.

If you're a business looking to purchase new products as alternatives to single-use plastic, please get in touch with us before you buy a supply that is labelled "eco-friendly" or "green". We can help you navigate options that can be included in the green cart. 

Acceptable materials for the green cart:

NOT accepted in the green cart

When will my green cart be collected?

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Collection can start as early as 7:00 a.m. but may not happen at the same time each week. You can place your green cart curbside as early as 7:00 p.m. the night before. Any carts not collected must be removed from the curb by 9:00 p.m. on the day of collection. 

Leaf and yard material

The following items can also be placed curbside for collection:

  • leaves and brush
  • house and garden plant waste
  • sawdust and wood shavings

Any leaves that you do not mulch or backyard compost can go in your green cart or large paper leaf and yard waste bags for collection. Up to 20 bags, 25 kg (55 lb) maximum weight each, are allowed each green cart collection day.

Branches should be tied in armload-sized bundles to a maximum of 5 bundles each collection day. No bundle can exceed 34 kg (75 lb) and no individual piece can be more than 4 feet long (1.2 m) or larger than 8 inches (0.2m) in diameter.

Grass clippings will not be collected curbside.

Natural Christmas trees will be collected on your regular green cart collection day. Remove all wires, nails, and stands. Trees cannot be in a bag.

Composting at home

Backyard composting is an easy way to return nutrients to your gardens and doesn’t require a special container to start. 

Green cart delivery and repair

The municipality provides green carts and mini-bins to properties that received curbside collection. Call 3-1-1 to request cart delivery for new homes, or for repairs to a damaged cart. 

Carts are assigned to the property, not the owner. If you move, the cart and mini-bin must stay at the property.

Green Cart Tips for Winter

When temperatures drop, collectors try to empty the contents of your green cart, but it may be too cold to get frozen items out of the cart. If you are having any problems with frozen material in your organics green cart, try some of these helpful tips:

  • Line the bottom of the green cart with newspaper or boxboard, like a cereal box
  • Use a yard waste bag to line your cart
  • Place your green cart in an area where the sun can reach it, if possible
  • Wrap food scraps in newspaper, boxboard, or paper bag
  • Put out your green cart to the curb for every collection, even if the bin is not full, as this minimizes the time the material has to freeze