Green Cart Tips

Acceptable Bags in Green Carts (PDF 1.3MB)

Organics Collection Carts: "Green Carts"

Compostable organics are banned from disposal in landfill. In order to help residents keep compostables out of regular garbage, more than 35,000 green carts have been delivered to homes in Annapolis and Kings counties. Green carts are designed to hold compostables between collection days. The green cart should be stored outside, while the mini-bin should be used in your kitchen.

Hints on Using Your Green Cart

  • Place your mini bin in a convenient location in your kitchen and empty it frequently — every day or every second day. It is also important to clean your mini bin frequently and wash your hands after using it.
  • Place your green cart in a convenient location outside your home.
  • Wrap table scraps in paper or boxboard before placing them in the cart.
  • Do not use plastic bags to line your mini bin or green cart. Plastic is not compostable.
  • Remove plastics from boxboard (i.e. plastic liners from cereal boxes and plastic windows from tissue boxes).
  • Do not overfill your cart — the lid must be able to close.

Approved Authority Cart Policies:

The organics collection system is meant to be flexible to meet the special needs of individuals. Three options to the standard cart are available:

  1. a resident may trade the 240 litre cart for a 140 litre cart
  2. a resident that does not need a cart because (s)he is already properly managing all organic materials, can opt out of the cart program
  3. a resident may share a cart with a neighbour

Odour Control

Odours in organic materials are generally caused by anaerobic decomposition which produces sulfur and nitrogen gases. Odour control is accomplished by keeping stored organic materials dry and aerated thus limiting anaerobic conditions.

  1. Green carts are designed to control odour by keeping the stored material relatively dry and aerated.
    This is accomplished in two ways:
    • The grate on the bottom of the cart allows excess liquid to drain to the bottom which helps to dry out the material.
    • Venting in the sides and lid of the cart creates a convection air flow which further dries materials and also provides some aeration.
  2. You can help to reduce odours by keeping stored materials relatively dry or by containing odours.
    This can be achieved in a few ways:
    • When the cart is empty place some loosely balled-up newspaper on top of the grate to soak up any excess liquid. Thick layers of matted paper will restrict air flow so it is important to use only enough loosely balled–up paper to soak up liquids and no more.
    • When placing especially odourous materials (meat, fish etc.) in the cart put them first in an empty cereal box or other box board container and fold over the top or wrap them in two or three sheets of newspaper to seal in odours. Another option is to store these items in your fridge or freezer until collection day.

What Goes In

Food Waste
  • Baked goods
  • Bones
  • Bread
  • Butter and margarine
  • Cake
  • Candy
  • Cereal
  • Cheese
  • Coffee filters and grounds
  • Cookies
  • Corn cobs and husks
  • Dairy products
  • Eggs and eggshells
  • Fish and fish parts
  • Flour
  • Fruit
  • Grains
  • Gravy and sauces
  • Grease / lard / fat
  • Herbs and spices
  • Jams and jellies
  • Mayonnaise
  • Meat and meat products
  • Nuts and nut shells
  • Oatmeal
  • Pasta
  • Peanut butter
  • Pizza
  • Popcorn
  • Rice
  • Salads
  • Shellfish
  • Sugar
  • Syrup
  • Tea bags
  • Vegetables
  • Yogurt
Paper Products
  • Facial tissues
  • Freezer paper
  • Greasy pizza boxes
  • Paper bags
  • Paper napkins / plates
  • Paper towels
  • Waxed paper
Other Items
  • Feathers
  • Hair
  • Houseplants
  • Kitty litter
  • Nail clippings
  • Pet Hair
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Sawdust (in paper bags)
  • Toothpicks
  • Wood chips

What Does NOT Go In

If you got an OOPS! sticker on your green cart you might have put something in it that isn’t compostable. Your green cart takes a lot of things, but not everything! Check the list below to see if you put one of these things in it:

  • Aluminum foil – blue bag
  • Ceramics – garbage
  • Compostable chip bags – garbage
  • Diapers – garbage
  • Dirt, earth, soil or sod
  • Drinking straws – garbage
  • Dryer sheets – garbage
  • Glass jars – blue bag
  • Milk cartons – blue bag
  • Cereal box liners – blue bag
  • Biodegradable bags
  • Disposable cups – garbage
  • Hazardous waste – Click here for details...
  • Expired Medical waste – return to your pharmacy
  • Dog waste – garbage
  • Plastic bags and containers – blue bag
  • Rocks
  • Sanitary products – garbage
  • Styrofoam products – Blue bag
  • Textiles – garbage
  • Tree stumps
  • Wood (treated or large pieces)

Winter Conditions


A layer of balled–up paper on top of the grate prevents freezing of material to the metal grate. The cart is large enough to allow sufficient storage if one or two collections are missed due to storms. The resident can choose to not set out the cart on stormy days.

  • Wrapping food waste in paper products (cracker and cookie and other boxboard boxes are excellent) and using balled up paper on the grate is very important to help prevent freezing to the cart.
  • The cart does not have to go roadside every collection. If the cart is not full and the weather is poor, wait until the next collection to roll it out.
  • In snowy conditions, set the cart about 6 feet from roadside if possible.
  • No Ashes in the green cart, they could cause a fire. Ashes are generally fine for your backyard compost pile.

Valley Waste–Resource Management
The Municipalities of Kings, Annapolis Royal, Berwick, Kentville, Middleton and Wolfville:
Partners in Waste Reduction