Green Cart Tips
Compostable organics are banned from disposal in landfill. In order to help residents keep compostables out of regular garbage, green carts have been used by homes in the Valley since 1999. Green carts are designed to hold compostable matter between collection days. The green cart should be stored outside, while the mini-bin should be used in your kitchen. If you get an OOPS! sticker on your green cart you may have something in it that isn’t compostable i.e. diapers, ceramics, plastic bags, drinking straws etc. Carts are available in two sizes – large (240L) and small (140L). Mini-bins can be purchased from the Valley Waste office and Lawrencetown Transfer Station Scale House for $5.00 inc. tax. COLLECTION STARTS AT 7AM.
How heavy can my cart be?
The maximum cart capacity is 220 lb (100kg). Carts exceeding this weight cannot be lifted by the hydraulics on the collection truck.
What bags can I use?
Compost can be put in empty boxboard containers (i.e. cereal boxes).
- Paper bags may be used for compost.
- Film ‘compostable’ bags may be used for compost provided they are identified by one of these symbols:
Please refer to our PDF guide for more information.
Cart Care and Ownership
Carts belong to Valley Waste but are assigned to properties using the cart serial numbers. If your home has extra carts, contact us to make arrangements to have them returned. When requesting carts for a new home, please allow three weeks for delivery, and when selling your home, leave the assigned carts at the property for the new residents. Carts will not be replaced because they are dirty. It is the owner’s responsibility to clean their cart on a regular basis. Buyers should have the green cart condition as part of their homeowner’s checklist. Contact Valley Waste using our online form or by calling our Hotline (902 679 1325) if your cart is lost, or if repair or replacement is necessary. Do not paint the carts, drill holes in them, or intentionally alter them in any way.
WARNING: Don't put ashes in your green cart
Ashes put in the green cart can cause a fire. Ashes are generally fine for your backyard compost pile. If you are unable to put ashes in your garden, put ashes outside until they are cold before putting them a clear garbage bag for collection. Do not put ashes in your green cart as they could contain metal pieces or other items.
How can I control Pests?
Drivers will not tip a cart that is secured with bungee cords. To deter raccoons and other animals we suggest using a heavy rock or brick to hold the lid down. In more rural areas building a storage box at the end of the driveway to store your green bin and bags in can also be a solution. Repellents such as cayenne pepper or baby powder sprinkled around the cart may also help deter pests. Adding a No-Pest strip to the inside of your bin can also help to repel insects.
It is also important to not overfill the cart so that the lid will close properly. If using a bungee, completely remove it from the cart on collection day. The primary cause of odours and insects in the compost cart are meat and fish as well as excess moisture from fruit, vegetables and grass clippings. Using boxboard to contain kitchen scraps is helpful. Table salt, hydrated lime, coffee grounds or baking soda can be used to absorb moisture and/or reduce odours and pests.
During the summer months, flies and maggots can be a problem. If you encounter this:
- Put your cart out to air and dry in the sunshine.
- Cleaning your cart out on a regular basis can also help to alleviate odours which attracts animals and pests.
- Lining your bin with a compostable paper bag helps keep your bin dry. Please refer to our PDF guide for more information.
- Wrap your food in newspaper or box board to help reduce odours. You can also freeze smelly foods like seafood and dispose of it on collection day. Putting your cart out for every collection, even if it is not full, can help reduce the attraction of rodents.
- Rats love small, dry, dark, and warm places to hide. Give carts and their surrounding area a good wash with disinfectant. This will make it less likely for the rats to stick around.
- Cleaning up yard debris and potential nesting areas also gives them no place to hide! Restricting access to food and shelter will make your home less hospitable to rats and other vermin.
- Rats have a very sensitive nose, which they use to find food, but it can also be used to deter them. Here are some more repellent remedies:
- Peppermint oil
- Castor oil
- Citronella oil
Soak several cotton balls in whatever oil or chemical you’re using, and tuck them in and around your garbage cans and other places you may expect to find rats.
How do I reduce and control odours?
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.
By minimizing the moisture level of the material you place in your cart, you can reduce odour. Using boxboard boxes (like cereal boxes) for compostables is helpful as is lining your kitchen bin with paper bags or paper towels. When placing especially odorous materials (meat, fish etc.) in the cart, put them in a 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. Empty sugar or flour bags are also great for putting cat litter or compost items in to help reduce odours.
Another option is to store items in your fridge or freezer until collection day. Other suggestions include sprinkling hydrated lime, baking soda, or coffee grounds over the material in the compost cart, or wrapping meat, bones, fish and cat litter in used paper towels or serviettes. If possible, store the carts in a shady area on your property and wash them regularly using a garden hose and detergent or vinegar.
When the cart is empty, place some loosely balled-up newspaper on the bottom 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.
Winter care for my cart
Often drivers are unable to empty carts fully because the contents are frozen to the bottom of the cart due to excess moisture.
- A layer of balled-up paper on the bottom of the cart can prevent freezing of material. Another option is to spray your cart with cooking spray to reduce food from sticking to the side of the cart.
- Wrapping food waste in paper products (cracker and cookie and other boxboard like cereal boxes) can help reduce moisture that can freeze. Using compostable paper bags can also stop food from sticking to the sides of the cart.
- When setting out carts, please make sure carts are not stuck in snow banks or set on icy surfaces. Carts should be set out no further than 15 feet from the curb and not impede pedestrian, vehicular traffic or snow plows. Leave a minimum of one metre clearance around the entire cart and two metres above the cart to ensure trucks are able to access it safely. Carts places behind or on top of snow banks will not be collected.