How to handle, store, and set out your materials for collection

To ensure that your organics, recycling, and garbage is picked up each week, please follow these guidelines for handling and setting out your carts and containers.

WATCH | This 15 second video shows you how to set your garbage, organics, and recycling at the curb

Changes to fines for setting carts out early

Garbage and organics carts that are at the curb prior to 5:30am – including the night before – may be subject to fines instead of a warning as of December 1, 2020. Fines are $100 for the first offence, $500 for repeat offences.

Guidelines for setting out your containers

  • Place your carts and containers at the curb between 5:30am and 7:30am on your collection day
  • Set them side by side in a straight line, making sure your recycling is set apart from the carts
  • Place your yellow bag beside, not inside, the blue box or grey box
  • Unlock the metal clips from your carts and attach them to the lid handles before collection
illustration showing how to set out new garbage and organics carts
How to set out your garbage cart, organics cart, and recycling containers

Keeping our collection workers safe on the road

Our crews are on the streets five days a week in all weather, collecting around 8,000 garbage and organics carts daily across the District.

Motorists can help protect our staff, and other road users by doing the following:

  • Slow down when approaching a garbage truck, and be prepared to stop and wait
  • Watch for collectors working around the vehicle and crossing the road
  • Do not enter the “work zone”, the area at the rear and side of the truck where crews are loading garbage and organics carts
  • Only pass a waste collection truck where it is safe to do so, making sure there is no oncoming traffic, workers, pedestrians, or cyclists in your path
  • Don’t pass on solid double-yellow lines

Guidelines for handling your organics, recycling, and garbage


Food scraps and yard trimmings

  • Use a smaller container in your kitchen to collect and store food scraps during the week, and only add them to the yard trimmings in your organics cart when you set it out for pick-up
  • Place your food scraps and food-soiled paper together with your yard trimmings in your organics cart
  • Keep your cart in a secure location or locked tight to minimize wildlife encounters
  • Unlock the metal clips from your cart and attach them to the lid handles before placing them at the curb the morning of collection
  • Do not exceed the maximum weight (55kg for a 140L cart; 100kg for a 240L cart) 
  • If you are using brown paper yard waste bags, they must be placed inside your organics cart, not left loose at the curb. You must also put any bundles of twigs or sticks inside the cart

Learn what organic materials we collect 

Find out what containers you can use for your food scraps

Tips for managing yard trimmings

Larger volumes of waste

If, during certain times of the year, you have more yard waste than you can fit in your cart, you can store the additional waste in a separate container, and then continue to fill your cart each week with the stored organics until it's gone. 

If you don't wish to store your excess yard waste, you can consider taking it to the North Shore Recycling and Waste Centre (formerly North Shore Transfer Station). They accept additional yard trimmings in their green waste area for a fee.

If you consistently have more organics than a 240 litre cart will hold, you can request to have additional organics cart, for a fee.

Request additional organics carts

Using brown paper yard waste bags

You can use brown craft paper yard waste bags that you purchase, but the bags must be placed inside the cart. We cannot collect brown paper bags of waste set out separately.

Tips for managing food scraps

Setting up your kitchen to collect food scraps

  • Step 1 — Collect food scraps in a kitchen container of your choice
  • Step 2 — Empty your kitchen container into your organics cart with your yard trimmings
  • Step 3 — Place your organics cart curbside on the morning of your collection day

Containers for collecting your food scraps

You can use any container to collect food scraps and food-soiled paper in the kitchen. For example, you can reuse large yogurt containers or ice cream buckets with lids, or you can use a few sheets of old newspaper to wrap your scraps.

You can also buy a kitchen container or small countertop paper food waste bags from local retailers such as hardware stores or home and garden shops.

We recommend lining containers using newspaper or paper bags, as any kind of compostable plastic liner is not accepted in curbside collection.

Although the plastic is rated as “compostable”, the facility where our organic waste is processed does not accept them because they do not break down fast enough (little plastic bits are left in the compost) and clog the machinery.

Freeze or refrigerate meat, fish, bones and plate scrapings until collection day. Empty your kitchen container into your green can as needed. Your kitchen container will not be accepted curbside.

Composting your food scraps and yard waste

Backyard composters are available to purchase at a reduced cost for residents in all Metro Vancouver municipalities, including the DNV.

Composters must be picked up at the Compost Demonstration Garden, located at 2150 Maple Street in Vancouver. The cost for a composter is $35, and must be paid in cash when you pick it up. There is a limit of two composters per household.

To reserve a composter and schedule a pick-up time, call 604.736.2250

Learn more about backyard composting




  • Your garbage must be placed in your garbage cart for collection
  • Keep your cart in a secure location or locked tight to minimize wildlife encounters
  • Unlock the metal clips from your cart and attach them to the lid handles before placing them at the curb the morning of collection
  • Do not exceed the maximum weight (55kg for a 140L cart; 100kg for a 240L cart) 

Learn what garbage we collect



Starting July 1, 2020, Recycle BC is responsible for your recycling service. Recycle BC has contracted Emterra Environmental to pick up your recycling.

Your collection day will remain the same, you can continue to use your existing bins and bags, and use the DNVCollect app to track your recycling collection days.

Questions about recycling?

If you have questions about how to handle, store, or set out recyclable materials, please contact Emterra at 778-589-3221 or You can also contact Recycle BC at 778-588-9504 or

You can find out more about recycling by visiting the Recycle BC website.

Learn more about recycling collection services

Living safely with wildlife

The District is home to a variety of wild animals, including skunks, raccoons, coyotes, cougars, and bears.

Whether they're searching for food, or looking for a warm place to call home, there are steps you can take to make your property less inviting to them.

Was this page helpful?

Thanks for your input.