Cereal boxes and the boxes from pop and beer can go in MIXED PAPER. Waxed paper however can NOT be recycled and has to go in the garbage.


The District of Squamish introduced a new residential curbside program for organic material (food scraps) and yard waste in May 2015.
Residential units including single-family dwellings and multi-family dwellings (townhouses, stratas, condos) and trailer parks with exiting garbage and recycling curbside collection services will receive a third, bear-proof tote with a green lid for food scraps and yard waste material.
The organics totes will get serviced every other week on the same day like your blue recycling totes.

3 EASY steps - how organics collectioN works

  1. COLLECT your food scraps & food soiled paper in your kitchen container. Wrap food scraps in newspaper or use paper liners. No plastic bags (biodegradable or compostable)
  2. EMPTY kitchen container into your organics tote and layer with yard waste if possible.
  3. PLACE your unlocked organics tote curbside by 7:45 am in the morning of collection day (same day as recycling) >> DOWNLOAD & PRINT ORGANICS CURBSIDE FLYER HERE 

Video: how does the organics tote program work?

Take a look and learn everything you need to know to become a successful 'composter' from these three short and entertaining videos. 
All three videos were created by Quest students in cooperation with Squamish CAN and Carney's Waste Systems. 

Video 1)

Video 2)

Video 3)

what material goes in your organics tote and what stays out?

How to prevent wildlife conflicts and pests (e.g. maggots)?

  • Keep your organics tote locked with both locks at all times. Only unlock in the morning of collection day as per Wildlife Attractant Bylaw.
  • If possible, keep your tote in a shed or garage.
  • Put your organics tote out by 7:45 am in the morning of collection day, never the night before.
  • Wrap your food scraps in newspaper or paper bags/ paper liners to reduce odours and keep your organics tote and kitchen container clean.
  • Keep meat, fish and bones in your freezer or fridge until collection day to reduce odours, if possible.
  • Cover and layer food scraps with yard waste in your organics tote whenever possible. 
  • Wash your organics tote with vinegar and water solution to reduce odours. 
  • Maggots: Maggots come from fly eggs. Flies lay their eggs hundreds at a time and the eggs can begin to hatch after just eight hours. The maggots eat non-stop so flies lay the eggs where there is a sufficient amount of food. This is why it's common to see them in old or rotting food. Follow the steps above to prevent maggots. 
  • Additional measures that can help to prevent maggots:  
    - Use weather stripping around the lid of the tote to tighten the seal and prevent flies from accessing the tote. Note that the lack of air flow might increase odor issues when opening the tote.
    - Rinse your tote out regularly and keep it clean. Pay particular attention to the lip and underside of the tote where flies may land and lay their eggs;
    - Store the tote away from direct sunlight whenever possible;
    - Keep the tote lid closed (and locked). If broken, please call Carney’s Waste Systems (604-892-5604) to arrange for a repair;
    - Don’t leave food waste on your counter tops or out in the open for too long. The smell will attract flies, and the flies may lay their eggs;
    - Transfer waste food into your kitchen catcher as soon as you can and keep the lid tightly closed when not in use;
    - Clean out your kitchen catcher regularly with a mild detergent or vinegar/water solution.
  • How to get rid of maggots?
    - Maggots can sometimes be killed by putting salt, vinegar or lime directly on them; 
    - After pick-up day, maggots can also be killed in your tote with boiling water;
    - Please
    do not apply chemicals to totes that contain organic material for collection.

Fold a newspaper liner for your kitchen container

FAQ's - Frequently asked questions: Organics Tote

  • What happens to my collected food scraps and yard waste?
    All collected organic material is delivered to a composting facility in the corridor where it gets composted and turned into nutritious, organic soil for local farmers and landscapers.
  • Why should I participate and collect my organics separate?  
    Organic material accounts for nearly 45% of all garbage going to the Squamish landfill, yet it is a reusable resource. Collecting organic materials separately from garbage helps to extend the life of the landfill, reduces greenhouse gas production in the landfill, and produces a valuable soil product. 
  • I compost at home, why do I need organics recycling?
    Backyard composting is the most environmentally friendly way to recycle fruit and vegetable scraps and yard trimmings. If you backyard compost, please continue to do so. Use your organics tote for items that are not suitable for composting safely in your backyard, such as cooked plate scrapings, meat, fish, dairy and grains.
  • Can I put plastic bags in my organics tote?
    Plastic bags are not permitted in the green totes. This applies to all types of plastic bags including biodegradable and compostable bags. Municipalities that have allowed compostable plastic bags in their organics programs report higher levels of contamination from all types of plastic, and the non-compostable plastics are much harder for the compost facility to identify and sort out. Paper bags, newspaper, or specially designed paper kitchen catcher liners (e.g. Bag to Earth) are an acceptable alternative.
  • What can I use to line my kitchen catcher and keep it clean?
    Liners are not required but help to keep your kitchen catcher and organics tote clean and odour free. Line your kitchen catcher with newspaper, paper bags or specially designed paper kitchen container liners (e.g. Bag to Earth paper liners) or wrap your food scraps in a piece of newspaper before putting them in your container. No plastic bags (even if labeled biodegradable or compostable) are allowed in your organics tote. >> Learn how to easily fold a paper liner out of newspaper HERE
  • Won't organics collection attract wildlife?
    Just like your garbage tote, the organics tote has the potential to attract bears and other wildlife. The District of Squamish Wildlife Attractant Bylaw states that all wildlife attractants must be made inaccessible. Your organics tote is outfitted with a new and improved locking system as well as a reinforced lid. The organics tote has to be locked at all times except in the morning of collection day. Put your organics tote out in the morning of collection day, not the night before!  More Tips on: 'How to prevent Wildlife Conflicts'.
  • When and how often will my organics tote get serviced?
    Your organics tote will be serviced every other week on the same day as your recycling tote. >DOWNLOAD & PRINT SQUAMISH CURBSIDE 2015 SCHEDULE
  • Can organics collection take place weekly instead of every other week?
    More frequent collection would substantially increase the Solid Waste Utility fees paid by residents. The District of Squamish has attempted to keep costs low while still delivering good service. The District is aware of a variety of municipalities across BC who manage successful bi-weekly organics collection program. 
  • When will I receive my new organics tote and kitchen container, and when is my first collection day?
    Organics totes, including one kitchen container with information, will be delivered prior to the May 11th 2015 start date. 
  • What will happen to the yard waste tote that I have now?
    If you currently have a yard waste tote supplied by Carney's it will be replaced with a new bear proof tote for your food scraps and yard waste. 
  • Can I get a smaller or larger organics tote?
    At this time, the District of Squamish only provides the medium (65 gal) organics tote as part of the residential curbside collection program. 
  • Can I get another kitchen container?
    Every household will receive one kitchen container with their organics tote, including information material on organics recycling. If you need more kitchen containers or your kitchen container breaks, you can use for example ice cream buckets or large yogurt containers as a kitchen container. Most hard ware stores also sell kitchen containers for food scraps.
  • Can I put additional craft bags or containers with extra yard waste? 
    If you do have additional yard waste that does not fit in your organics tote, consider composting it in your backyard if possible. You can take extra yard waste to the Squamish Public Landfill or in Whistler to the Callaghan Transfer Station (charges apply). 



What is accepted in the organics bin at the depot sites?

Locations for Food Scraps Drop Off Bins:

You can drop off your food scraps free of charge at these locations:

Carney's Recycle Centre: 38950 Queensway, Phone: 604-892-5604
Mo-Sat 8:30am-4:30pm
Squamish Landfill Public Depot: Landfill Rd, Phone: 604-898-5635 
Mo-Sun 9am-6pm

Function Junction Depot Site: 101 Lynham Road, Mo-Sun 7am-7pm
Nesters Depot Site: 8010 Nesters Road, Mo-Sun 7am-7pm
(Drop off for Residents Only at Whistler Depot Sites, no commercial drop off)

Whistler Transfer Station:  Calaghan Valley Rd, Phone: 604-213-606 
Mo-Sun 9am-5pm

Pemberton Transfer Station: 1947 Carpenter Rd in the Pemberton Industrial Park, Phone: 604-894-6371
Mo & Wed: 1pm-6pm, Fr: 1pm-6pm, Sat & Sun: 10am-6pm, Closed Tue & Thrs

Yard Waste can only be dropped off at Squamish Landfill and Whistler Transfer Station, 
NOT at Depot Sites. 


Yard waste drop off at Squamish landfill and whistler transfer station

Yard waste can be dropped off at the Squamish Landfill as well as the Whistler Transfer Station (Callaghan) for composting. Charges apply. 

What happens to my Food Scraps? 

All collected organic waste (food scraps) is delivered to a compost facility in the corridor where it gets turned into nutritious soil used for landscaping and farming. 

Why Should I compost my Food Scraps? 

The best thing that can happen to food is that it makes it to our plates and is enjoyed. Avoiding to throw out food that could have been eaten reduces costs in your household budget and helps decrease greenhouse gas emissions, saves water and fertilizer and 

Organic waste/ food scraps currently represents around 40% of the total waste going to the landfill.

Composting your Food Scraps helps the Climate
Organic material (like food scraps) breaks down extremely slow in landfills due to the lack of oxygen there and produces methane gas, a greenhouse gas 20 times more harmful to the climate than CO2. 

Compost is a valuable Resource
Compost is a valuable resource that improves soil, adds important nutrients for plants and reduces the need for expensive and often harmful commercial fertilizer 

Composting reduces municipalities costs
Through diverting organic material from the landfill (up to 50% of all material being land filled) municipalities save costs as the landfill's lifespan expands. 

(April 13, 2015 - May 11, 2015)

The District of Squamish will run a two week curbside Yard Waste 'Only' collection BEFORE the start of the curbside Organics & Yardwaste Collection in May. 

The Yard Waste ONLY collection will run from April 13, 2015 until May 11, 2015 (start of curbside Organics & Yard Waste Collection). 

YES -  shrubbery and hedge trimmings; grass clippings, leaves, and weeds, placed in Kraft Paper leaf bags, or old style garbage cans that have added drain holes; or small branches less than 2” in diameter and tied securely with organic twine in “bundles” no longer than 3 feet long and 2 feet  in diameter

NO - WILDLIFE ATTRACTANTS - food, fruit  or garbage;  no stones, soil, sod, wood products, including lumber, branches or pruning over 5cm around, kitty litter or animal feces;

NO -  plastic, including “biodegradable” or “compostable” bags  or other  recyclables

Four (4) bags, cans or bundles per dwelling unit,  no lids, no larger than 121 litres,( 35 gal),  less than 25kg  ( 55 lbs). Leave lids off garbage cans for pick up. Place Yard Waste curbside at 7:45am on the same day your recycling gets picked up. 

Collected materials are composted at the Whistler Compost Facility and returned to the community as a soil amendment, which can be purchased through Spectrum Landscaping.

Curbside Pickup Schedule 

  • MONDAY: Dentville, Government Rd. to Mamquam Bridge
  • TUESDAY: Valleycliffe, Hospital Hill, Stawamus Reserve
  • WEDNESDAY: Garibaldi Estates
  • THURSDAY: Garibaldi Highlands
  • FRIDAY: Brackendale


Subscribe for a “Collection Reminder Service” at recollect.net. The options include texting, phone calls, email, twitter and calendar feeds.


Backyard composting is the most environmentally friendly way to recycle fruit and vegetable scraps and yard trimmings. If you backyard compost, please continue to do so, despite the Organics Tote program. Use your organics tote for items that are not suitable for composting safely in your backyard, such as cooked plate scrapings, meat, fish, dairy and grains. These items are very attractive to bears and other wildlife as well as pests. 

Composting in Bear Country - Garden Smart

Worm Composting

Worm compost is made in a container, filled with moistened bedding and red worms. Food waste is added and with assistance from micro-organisms, the worms will convert bedding and food waste into compost. Worm composting can be done year-round inside; schools, offices and homes. It is a natural method for recycling nutrients in food waste without odour. The resulting compost is a good soil conditioner for house plants, gardens and patio containers.

How You GET Started:

Buy or build a box with holes in the bottom. Fill the box with moistened bedding. Add the red worms. Pull aside some of the bedding, bury the food waste and cover it up with the bedding. Add one cup of soil or sand to provide grit for worms' digestive process.

What You Need:

  1. A container (made of wood or plastic)
  2. Worms (500-2,000 red worms)
  3. Bedding (shredded newspaper, corrugated cardboard and/or leaves)
  4. Food waste (fruit and vegetable waste)

1. The Container

Buy or build a container or use an old dresser drawer, trunk or barrel. Wood containers are absorbent and good insulators for worms. Plastic containers do work but compost tends to get quite wet.

The container should be between 8-12 inches deep and provide one square foot of surface area for every pound of food waste per week (e.g., 6 lbs of waste requires a bin 2 feet by 3 feet or 2 bins 1 foot by 3 feet).

Depending on the container's size, drill 8 to 12 holes (3/16- 1/4 ") in the bottom for aeration and drainage. A plastic bin may need more drainage - if contents get too wet, drill more holes. Raise the bin on bricks or wooden blocks for air circulation. Place a tray underneath to capture excess liquid, which can be used as liquid plant fertilizer.

Worms like a moist, dark environment. Their bodies are 75 to 90 per cent water and worms' body surfaces must be moist for them to breathe. Cover the bin to conserve moisture and provide darkness. Indoors, place a sheet of dark plastic or burlap sacking on top of the bedding. Outdoors, use a solid lid to keep out unwanted scavengers and rain.

Worm bins can be located in the basement, shed, garage, balcony or kitchen counter. They need to be kept out of the hot sun, heavy rain and cold. When temperatures drop below 40 degrees, bins should be indoors, heated or well-insulated. The container can be heated with an electric heating cable placed in the bottom third of the container. To insulate, surround the container with rigid Styrofoam.

2. The Worms

Red worms are best suited to worm composting. They are often found in aged manure, compost heaps, and piles of leaves. They are also known as red wiggler, brandling and manure worms. Their official names are Eisenia foetida and Lumbricus rubellus. Red worms are best suited for composting because they thrive on organic material, such as food waste. Dew-worms, on the other hand, are better suited to life in the soil and shouldn't be used in a worm bin.

You can get your worms from a compost bin, purchase them or find a horse stable or farmer with an aged manure pile.

For one pound per day of food waste, you'll need two pounds of worms (roughly 2,000). If you are unable to get this many worms at the start, reduce the amount of food waste until the population increases. And the population will increase. Red worms mature sexually in 60-90 days and can then produce cocoons which take 21 days to hatch baby worms. Once they start breeding they can deposit two to three cocoons per week with two baby worms in each cocoon. The limits on their reproduction include availability of food and room to move and breed. So worm populations don't usually exceed the size of the container.

3. The Bedding

Provide damp bedding. Suitable bedding material includes shredded newspaper and cardboard, shredded fall leaves, chopped-up straw and other dead plants, seaweed, sawdust, dried grass clippings, aged manure and peat moss. Peat moss is quite acidic and should be well soaked and combined with other bedding material. Vary the bedding in the bin to provide more nutrients for the worms and to create richer compost. Two handfuls of sand or soil will provide the necessary grit for worms' digestion of food.

Fill the bin with a mixture of damp bedding so the overall moisture level is like a "wrung-out sponge." Lift the bedding gently to create air spaces. This maintains aerobic activity, helps control odours and gives the worm’s freer movement.

4. The Food Waste

Your worms will eat food scraps such as fruit and vegetable peels, pulverized egg shells, tea bags and coffee grounds. To avoid potential rodent problems do not compost meats, dairy products, oily foods or grains. No glass, plastic or tin foil.

Pull aside the bedding, bury the food waste deep and then cover it up with the bedding again. Divide the bin into three or four imaginary sections (larger bin, more sections) and bury successive loads in different locations in the bin. Keeping a chart of burial sites can be helpful. Weekly food waste will help determine the size of bin and number of worms you'll need. Collect food waste in a container and weigh it. Do this for two weeks to get an estimate of average food waste. Your bin should provide one square foot of surface area for every pound of food waste per week. And you will need two pounds of worms for every pound of food waste per day.

Harvesting Your Compost

After six weeks, the bedding will be noticeably darker with worm castings. After two and a half months have passed, there will still be some of the original bedding visible in the bin plus brown and earthy-looking worm castings. Although food waste is being added regularly, the bedding volume will gradually decrease. As more bedding is converted into castings the worms will begin to suffer. It is time to decide whether you want to do "some fuss" or "more fuss" worm composting.

"Some Fuss" Harvesting

Some fuss worm composting involves moving the finished compost over to one side of the bin, placing new bedding in the space created, and placing food waste in the new bedding. The worms will gradually move over to the fresh bedding and food waste, and the finished compost can be harvested. Fill the space created with new damp bedding.

"More Fuss" Maintenance

If you want to use all of the compost at once, dump the bin's entire contents onto a large plastic sheet and make piles of material. Use sunshine or a hundred watt light bulb to drive the worms to the bottom of the piles. Worms don't like bright light because the single cells on the epidermis (skin) react to light. Scoop off the tops of each pile until all you have left is the worms. Most children love to help! Watch out for the tiny, lemon-shaped worm cocoons that contain the baby worms. Mix a little of the finished compost in with the new bedding of the next bin.

Common Problems:

  • Unpleasant Odors

Unpleasant odors may waft from your bin when it is overloaded with food waste. If this occurs, gently stir up the contents to allow more air in. Stop adding food waste until the worms and micro-organisms have broken down what food is already in the bin. Check the drainage holes to make sure they are not blocked and drill more holes if needed. If the moisture level seems right, the bedding may be too acidic from citrus peels and other acidic foods. Adjust by adding a little dolomite lime and cutting down on acidic wastes.

  • Fruit Flies

Fruit flies aren't harmful, but they are a nuisance, and a very common problem with worm bins. Discourage fruit flies by always burying the food wastes and not overloading the bin. Keep a plastic sheet, piece of old carpet or a lid on the compost's surface in the bin.

Mary Appelhof, author of Worms Eat My Garbage, acknowledges that she hasn't found the perfect solution to fruit flies. Adding a spider or two helps reduce fruit flies. If flies persist, move the bin to a location where flies will not be bothersome.

For more information on composting naturally please contact Lisa Dickson at (604) 898-1371 or by email compostnaturally@gmail.ca.


Compost Education Centre in Victoria, great website with many facts and resources on composting: www.compost.bc.ca