Have a question about the waste program? Please check out the following FAQs. If you don't find the answer to your question, please call 780-992-6218 or email us.

My cart was not collected. What should I do?

There are many possible reasons why your cart was not collected. Please read the following list to determine if any of these reasons apply:

Is this your collection day?

Please double-check that this is your proper collection day for your green and/or black carts. You can check your waste collection schedule.

Did you place your cart on the curb before 7:00am on collection day?

In accordance with the Waste Bylaw, if waste has already been collected in your area and you set your waste out after 7:00 am, it will not be collected. Please note, collection drivers may change their pickup routes and schedules: even if they normally pick up your waste at a certain time, there is no guarantee that this will happen every week.

Was your cart visible and free of any obstructions?

If your carts are obstructed (e.g. blocked by a parked vehicle) or not set out on the curb, the collection truck drivers may not see them, meaning they will not be collected. Please help the collection truck driver by making your carts visible and accessible. If there is a vehicle parked near your carts, please pull your carts up in line with the obstruction.

Is there a sticker on your cart?

If there is a sticker on your cart, please read it. Does the note say that your waste will not be collected today, and explain why? For example, your cart may have been refused because it was too contaminated or too heavy to collect.

Oops waste sticker

If none of these four conditions apply, please call the Waste Hotline at 780-992-6218 within two business days to report a missed collection. Please follow the instructions you are given. Do not put your carts away unless staff instruct you to. The waste collection truck may be on its way already, and if your cart is not set out, it will not be collected.

Why is garbage only collected once every two weeks?

The City of Fort Saskatchewan has chosen biweekly garbage collection to encourage residents to reduce their waste. Compared with having weekly collection of both organics and garbage, biweekly garbage collection decreases costs substantially and increases the likelihood that residents will divert their organic material.

In most cases, families who place their food and yard waste in their green cart and who recycle using their blue bags will have very little garbage in their black cart. Check out our sorting guide to see if there is anything else you could be placing in your green cart or blue bag.

If you are still having difficulty with biweekly collection, please call the Waste Hotline at 780.992.6218 and we will work to help you.

Why won't my excess garbage be collected?

The main purpose of the new waste program is to reduce residents' waste. Collecting excess garbage from some households would be unfair to those households that have reduced their garbage. Additionally, an automated truck arm collects your waste carts, meaning that the driver does not get out of the truck to pick up extra waste.

What can I do if I have extra garbage?

You can take extra garbage to the Transfer Station. There is a fee of $2.50 for each bag. Or, you can wait until your next garbage collection day and put it in your black cart.

What does compostable mean? How is it different from biodegradable?

When an item is compostable, it means that it will fully degrade into natural elements. Biodegradable simply means that the item will break into smaller pieces of plastic, but it will never fully degrade.

To make sure that our organic material becomes high-quality compost, we can only use BPI certified compostable bags in our green carts. Any bag that is not BPI certified, or is biodegradable, must go in your black cart.

BPI Compostable logo

Do I have to buy compostable bags for my green cart?

No. There are several alternatives, including placing your organic waste in the cart loose (i.e., no bag), using a paper bag, or using a cardboard box (e.g. cereal box).

Why did I get a sticker about plastic pet waste bags?

The green cart is for organic material only, meaning that we cannot put any plastic inside. If you want to put pet waste in your green cart, please put it in loose (i.e., no bag), inside a BPI certified compostable bag, or inside a paper bag or cardboard box.

BPI Compostable logo

If you prefer to put pet waste in plastic bags, please put it in your black cart.

What is the small plastic bucket for?

The small plastic bucket that came with your green cart is your kitchen catcher. You can use it in your kitchen to collect food scraps. When it is full, empty it in your green cart.

How can I dispose of grease, fats and cooking oils?

Please do not pour these liquids down the drain: they will block the sewer lines. Instead, dispose of oils using your green cart.

To avoid creating a mess in your cart, you can pour the liquid into a disposable paper coffee cup before placing it in your cart. Or, pour the oil into a container, freeze it, and on collection day, dump the solidified contents into your green cart. Please do not put any plastic or metal containers in your green cart because these materials are not accepted.

Why can't I put plastic bags in my blue bag?

We no longer accept plastic bags for curbside recycling because of contamination risks. Plastic bags are very light, meaning they often get stuck in processing equipment at recycling plants. When this happens, workers must stop the sorting process to remove the obstructions. This is time-consuming and makes the process more expensive.

For this reason, please put plastic bags in your black cart or put them in the correct bin at the Transfer Station.

Why can't I put glass in my blue bag?

We no longer accept glass for curbside recycling because of contamination risks. During recycling collection, glass tends to break inside blue bags. This poses safety risks to recycling workers, and it is also time-consuming and expensive to separate the glass shards from the other recyclables.

For this reason, please put glass in your black cart or put it in the glass bin at the Transfer Station.

Why isn't there a blue cart for recyclables?

The City decided to use blue bags instead of a recycling cart because blue bags allow residents unlimited recyclables collection. Blue bags also consume less space than a blue cart, creating fewer obstructions on roadways.

Do I have to use blue bags for my recycling?

No. You may also use a bin measuring between 45 cm and 80 cm in height and not exceeding 60 cm in width, depth or diameter. However, it is the resident's responsibility to ensure that their recycling remains tidy and does not become litter during inclement weather (e.g. windstorm).

I saw a person look inside or move my cart. Why are they doing this?

Periodically, Waste Services staff or waste collection contractors may do quick visual inspections of residents' green carts. If an error (e.g. contamination, wrong placement) is found, the staff member leaves a helpful note. The goal of auditing is to educate residents about contamination and proper placement. When our carts are contaminated, the composting facility charges the City penalties. These penalties are reflected in your utility fee. Similarly, when carts are improperly placed, collection takes longer and requires more labour, which also raises costs. Cart inspections and educational notes therefore save residents money.

Why did I get a note on my cart?

Notes are friendly, educational reminders about sorting your waste and placing your carts. The waste truck driver or City staff may leave a sticker on your cart for one or more of the following reasons:

Your green cart was contaminated

The green cart is for organic material only. If your green cart contains plastic, metal, glass, rocks or any other unauthorized material, it is contaminated.

Your cart was too heavy (greater than 90 kg or 200 lbs)

The truck's mechanical arm is unable to collect carts heavier than this weight.

Your cart was positioned incorrectly (backwards, obstructed)

Your cart must be free of obstructions (e.g. parked vehicles) and facing the street in order for the collection truck's mechanical arm to access it.

Your cart was overflowing or there were excess bags of waste

Your cart's lid must fully close in order for the truck to collect it. The truck cannot collect excess waste because collection is done by a truck's automated arm.

Will I be fined if my cart is contaminated?

Generally, no. The City's approach is educational: we want to help residents get used to the new waste program. This is why we leave educational notes on contaminated or improperly placed carts. However, in cases of repeated, heavy contamination, and after several written warnings, we may apply fines as a last resort.

Why did I get a yellow “Great job” sticker on my cart?

This means that City staff checked your cart and found that its contents and placement were great. Thank you for sorting your waste properly!

If you have not received a sticker, it might be because you are not using your cart to its full potential (e.g. you may only be using it for yard waste, when you could also be placing food waste in your cart). It is also possible that City staff have not been able to check your cart yet.

What do I do if someone dumped garbage in my cart?

Please call the Waste Hotline at 780-992-6218 or email us.

What do I do if my cart was damaged or stolen?

Please call the Waste Hotline at 780-992-6218 or email us and we can repair or replace it for you.

I don't produce very much waste. How do I get a smaller cart?

We can replace your standard 240 L cart with a 120 L cart. Please call the Waste Hotline at 780-992-6218 or email us and specify whether you want to downsize your black or green cart (or both).

I live in a multi-unit residential complex, such as a condo. Will I be getting carts and organics too?

Currently, only residents whose waste is collected at their curb or in their alley will receive carts and organics service. However, we are planning to provide this service to multi-unit residential buildings in the future.

I am a business owner. Will my business be getting carts and organics too?

Currently, carts and organics service is only available to homes. However, we are planning to provide this service to businesses in the future.