Please read through these frequently asked questions. If you still have questions, please call:

Utilities at 250.361.0226 regarding:

  • Changing the size of your grey bin
  • Reporting a damaged bin
  • Billing
  • Registering for the Helping Hand Program

Public Works at 250.361.0400 regarding:

  • Missed pick up
  • Your collection schedule
  • A missing or stolen green or grey bin
  • Reporting a damaged bin

If you have additional questions, you can also email greenbin@victoria.ca.

  1. How can I find out when my collection days are?

    You can find your collection schedule here.  You can enter you address and sign up for collection day reminders or print a calendar.  Collection day reminders are available by email, text, tweet or voicemail.  You can also integrate the collection schedule into your online calendar.

    Residents that don't have computer access can call 250.361.0400 and a printed schedule will be delivered to their home.

  2. What can go in the Green Bin?

    All kitchen scraps can go in the Green Bin. Kitchen scraps include:

    • All food leftovers: fruit and vegetable scraps, eggshells, meat, fish and poultry, bones, dairy products, tea bags, coffee grinds and filters, nuts and shells, solidified fats and grease. Houseplants, cut and dried flowers can also be included. Avocado pits and crab shells can be included as well. Oysters or clam shells can not go in the green bin.
    • Food- soiled paper products: food soiled paper towels and napkins, flour and sugar bags and soiled paper food packaging such as used paper cups and plates.
  3. What can go in the Grey Bin?

    These are some examples of garbage that belong in your Grey Bin:

    • Make-up remover pads, cotton swabs and balls
    • Dental floss, rubber bands
    • Dryer sheets and lint
    • Pet food bags and other wax-lined bags
    • Foil chip and cookie bags
    • Butter wrappers
    • Hair
    • Bread clips or ties

    These are items that must be bagged in your Grey Bin:

    • Diapers, baby wipes, used tissues with human waste
    • Sanitary hygiene products, condoms and other bathroom waste
    • Cigarette butts, ashtray waste or sawdust
    • Vacuum contents and bags
    • Pet feces or litter
    • Tissues with cleaning products, chemicals or human waste on them
  4. What do I need to keep out of my Grey Bin?

    Kitchen scraps, yard and garden waste, recyclable materials (such as cardboard, small and large appliances, tires), commercial waste, building and construction materials, furniture, explosive or radioactive materials and hazardous materials such as pesticides, herbicides, hypodermic needles and syringes.

  5. How strong should my compostable bags be?

    Compostable bags are designed to help contain kitchen scraps and reduce moisture and odour. They are also designed so that they do not negatively affect the quality of the compost that is produced. The ECOSAFE brand that the City of Victoria sells have been known to break down slower than other bags, but when they are used the compost produced is of a high quality and can be sold as regular compost (Class A). This is important for both human and environmental health.

  6. Can I purchase compostable bags at City Hall?

    Yes. Large rolls of 90 compostable bags can now be purchased for $10 plus tax from the Public Service Centre at City Hall and at the Crystal Pool and Fitness Centre. By purchasing large quantities of these bags the City is able to pass along these savings to residents. Compostable bags, paper bags or newspaper must be used to contain your kitchen scraps. Plastic bags and biodegradable bags are not accepted, as they do not break down in the composting process.

  7. What can I do to keep my bins clean and reduce odour in warmer weather?

    Here are a few tips:

    • If possible, find a place to store your green and grey bins that is out of the sun.  During the summer you might want to store them in your garage, if that is an option.
    • Always use compostable bags, paper bags or newspaper to line your kitchen catcher.  This will help contain your kitchen scraps when you transfer them to the larger green bin.  It  will also help reduce moisture and odour and will help to keep your large green bin clean. Adding extra crumpled newspaper to the bottom of your bin will also absorb moisture and ensure your bin empties fully on collection day.
    • Rinse out your kitchen catcher, green bin and grey bin on a regular basis.  Rinsing your bins and using the approved bags for your kitchen scraps will help to prevent items from sticking to the bottom of your bin when they are dumped. Extra crumpled up newspaper at the bottom of your bin will also help to keep your bin clean. Rinse your bins after every collection day with water and vinegar.
    • During the summer months it is a good idea to freeze your waste meat products, in a large freezer bag or container.  The day before your pick up, empty these bags into your green bin. 
    • Sprinkling baking soda in layers throughout your green bin will also help reduce odours.  Please don't put large amounts at the bottom of your bin.  It is more effective to sprinkle it in layers as you add your kitchen scraps to the green bin.
    • Freeze leftover meat waste and other higher odor compostable materials in large ziplock bags or ice cream tubs and them empty them into your green bin just before collection day.
  8. What can I do to reduce the amount of fruit flies in my kitchen catcher?

    Empty your kitchen catcher on a regular basis or at the end of each day if necessary.  Rinse your kitchen catcher with warm soapy water or vinegar to ensure that you are not getting a build up of kitchen scraps in your kitchen catcher, as this will also attract fruit flies.  Lining your kitchen catcher with a compostable bag, paper bag or newspaper will help reduce moisture which also attracts fruit flies.

    If you still have persistent fruit flies you can make fruit fly traps with a bowl of soapy water, that the fruit flies will be attracted to and then stick to.  You can also place a small amount of sweet liquid in the bottom of a cup, cover it with plastic wrap and then poke small holes in the plastic wrap.  This will also create a trap for the fruit flies.

  9. Is there a fine for putting kitchen scraps in the Grey Bin for garbage?

    No. However, if kitchen scraps are found in the garbage, or if garbage is found in the kitchen scraps, a note will be left for the customer and the bins will not be picked up.

  10. Do I have to line the kitchen catcher and the 120L Green Bin?

    You do have to line your kitchen catcher with either a certified compostable bag, a paper  bag, or newspaper.  The City of Victoria sells large rolls of compostable bags at City Hall and the Crystal Pool and Fitness Centre.  A roll of 90 bags is $10 plus tax.  Most grocery stores and home supply stores also carry compostable bags. Your 120L Green Bin does not need a larger bag to line it.

  11. What kind of bags can I use in my kitchen catcher?

    You can use bags with the compostable mark on them, or newspaper or paper bags.  All three options will reduce the moisture and smell in your kitchen catcher, but can be processed into compost with your kitchen scraps.

    We will not accept plastic bags, including plastic bags made from recycled content (like many shopping bags).  These bags take a very long time to break down and we don't want plastic in the end compost product.  Biodegradable bags are also not accepted.  Biodegradable bags have been designed to breakdown into smaller pieces of plastic over time, but will still leave pieces of plastic in the compost.

  12. Can I include garden waste in my Green Bin?

    No, but If you have a  City of Victoria residential Kitchen Scraps and Garbage account, you can drop of garden waste at the Public Works Yard (417 Garbally Road, Saturdays from 7 a.m. - 2 p.m.).  Note: Please arrive before 1:30 p.m. to guarantee that your waste will be processed before closing at 2 p.m. This is a year-round program that is included in your user fee.  Please bring your Kitchen Scraps and Garbage utility bill or a drivers licence showing residence at a property that has kitchen scraps and garbage service.  The fall leaves pick up service will also not change.

  13. Can any plant material go in the Green Bin?

    Houseplants and cut and dried flowers can go in your green bin.  Yard waste is not permitted in the green bin and must be taken to the Public Works Yard.

  14. If I have extra garbage, what can I do?

    If you occasionally have more garbage than will fit in your Grey Bin, please purchase Extra Garbage Tickets ($4 each) at the Public Service Centre at Victoria City Hall, the Crystal Pool and Fitness Centre or at the City's five parkades. This ticket must be attached to each extra bag of garbage and they must weigh less than 15 kilograms (33 pounds). Please place these bags and their tickets beside your Grey Bin for pick up. If you consistently have more garbage than will fit in your Grey Bin, you can request a larger sized Grey Bin for an additional annual fee.

    Please note, extra garbage drop-off is no longer available at the Public Works Yard. Click here for more information about other options.

  15. Can I put out extra garbage bags with a "ticket"?

    Yes, garbage tickets are still be available for purchase, to accommodate for extra garbage throughout the year.

  16. Can I build an enclosure for my Green and Grey Bins?

    You can build walls around the far sides of your bins, but you cannot fully enclose them with a gate or door. City staff need to be able to pull your bins from where they are stored, without opening a gate or door. 

  17. Will City staff open a gate to gain access to by back yard if that is where I am storing my bins?

    No. Your Green and Grey Bins need to be in front of any gate that you have on your property. If you have a gate, please leave it open on your collection day or place your bins outside of the gate.

  18. Will City staff bring my bins up a few stairs when they empty them into the trucks?

    No. The new bins will not be lifted up stairs. This is in the Solid Waste bylaw. Please leave your bins at the top of any stairs that you might have. This can be at the front of your yard, the side of your yard or at the back of your yard.

  19. Can I leave my bins at the side of my yard or at the front yard?

    Although the program will still collect bins from your backyard, with no gates and steps, you can choose to place your bins at the side of your yard or the front of your yard. The empty bins will then be returned to the front of your property

  20. Can I swap my Green Bin for an extra Grey Bin?

    No. Each residential unit is given one Green Bin and one Grey Bin. Organics will be banned from the Hartland Landfill in 2015 and the City of Victoria Solid Waste bylaw indicates that all households must separate kitchen scraps from garbage. If you do compost most organic items in your backyard, that is great. There are some items such as solidified fats and grease, bones, and food-soiled paper products that are best processed in the Green Bin.

  21. If my bins are broken, should I continue to use them?

    Yes. Please fill in the damaged bin form and send it to Utilities. You can continue to use your bin until staff come to your property to repair or replace your bin. They will bring an extra bin to transfer your waste into while they repair or replace your bin. Our new trucks need to work with the new bins that can be mechanically lifted. In most cases, our staff will repair your bin while at your property.

  22. If I have a mobility challenge, can I apply for assistance to have my empty bins returned to the back of my yard?

    Yes. If you have a mobility challenge and will not be able to return your empty bins from the curb and did not select the “Helping Hand” box on the selection card this summer, please fill in the following application form.  If you are under 80 years old, you will need to provide an existing accessible parking pass or provide a note from your doctor.  If you are over 80 years old, no doctors note is needed.  The application form is available here.  [PDF - 139 KB] Please fill it in and return it to utilities@victoria.ca or drop it off at City Hall. If you have questions please call 250.361.0266.

  23. What happens when it snows?

    To maintain safe access to garbage cans, clear a path free of snow and ice to prevent injury to your collector. Collection will depend on road conditions. Missed pickups will be collected as conditions improve. Visit the City of Victoria web site for updates on garbage collection during snow, or check local media for announcements. If you have signed up for our collection reminder program, we will send you an update directly.

  24. If I have less garbage, will I pay less?

    The program rewards people with less garbage by offering the option to have a smaller grey bin for garbage, at a reduced annual cost. 

    All customers have the option of choosing the standard Grey Bin for garbage (120L) with an annual collection cost of $228.90, a smaller Grey Bin (80L) with an annual collection cost of $199.89 or a larger Grey Bin (180L) with an annual collection cost of $272.43. 

    Please call 250.361.0226 or email utilities@victoria.ca.  There is a $30 per bin size change fee.

    The standard Green Bin size is 120L.

  25. What are the dimensions of the bins?


    80L: depth 55 cm, width 41 cm, height 87 cm or
    120L: depth 54 cm, width 49 cm, height 96 cm
    180L: depth 74 cm, width 60 cm, height 97 cm


    80L: depth 21 5/8”, width 16 1/8”, height 34 3/16”
    120L: depth 21 1/16”, width 19 1/8”, height 37 5/8”
    180L: depth 28 3/4”, width 23 1/2", height 37 1/2”

  26. Do the bins have catching lids?

    The 80L and 120L Grey Bins are latching, as are the 120L green bin. The largest 180L Grey Bin does not have a latch, but has been designed to be sturdy enough so that raccoons won't be able to open it or push it over.

  27. Are the bins pest resistant?

    The bins are both compact, sturdy and the 80L and 120 L Grey and Green bins feature latching pest-resistant lids. The large 180L Grey Bin has been designed to be sturdy enough so that raccoons won't be able to open them or push them over.

    Here are some tips on how to avoid conflicts with wildlife:

    • Store your Green Bin in a secure location such as a garage or sturdy garden shed. Put it outside the day before or the day of collection.
    • Use a spray bottle filled with a bleach solution to deodorize the lid and exterior of your green bin to prevent food odours from attracting wildlife.
    • Sprinkle food waste with garden lime. Lime aids the composting process and reduces odours that might attract wildlife.
  28. Can I have a smaller Grey Bin than the 80L options?

    Not at this time. The bin sizes have been designed taking into consideration the current amount of waste being picked up.

  29. I have a duplex. Do I get two Grey Bins and two Green Bins?

    Yes, every residential unit gets their own set of bins. You will have a choice of size for your Grey Bins for garbage, like all other customers.

  30. Will the City of Victoria pick up any unused Green or Grey Bins?

    Yes. Please call 250.361.0400 if you have extra bins that you aren't using. There will be no charge to pick them up, but if you do request to have them back at a later time, the $30 bin replacement fee will apply.

  31. How much do I pay on my utility bill for the Kitchen Scraps and Garbage program?

    Your utility bill that arrives three times per year will be as follows, per residential unit (2020 rates):

    80L bin                       $66.63/ 4 months            $199.89 / year

    120L bin                     $76.30                             $228.90

    180L bin                     $90.81                             $272.43

    No Grey Garbage Bin = $66.63 every 4 months

  32. I already compost in my back yard. How does this program affect me?

    If you already have a backyard composter, continue to use it. This program goes beyond what can be composted at home by accepting cooked food, meat, bones and food-soiled paper and paper packing such as waxed fast food cups.

    If your garbage is currently picked up by the City of Victoria you will be included in the kitchen scraps and garbage program. This program will also reward people with less garbage by offering an option to have a smaller grey bin for garbage, at a reduced cost.  For composting tips visit the Greater Victoria Compost Education Centre.

  33. How does this impact the blue box recycling program?

    The CRD will continue to collect these items in the blue box program.

    CRD Blue Bag

    • Clean newspapers and inserts
    • Clean mixed paper products
    • Shredded personal documents

    CRD Blue Box

    • Clean rigid plastic packaging
    • Clean rigid plastic containers
    • Clean plastic and metal lids
    • Clean aluminum and tin cans
    • Clean glass bottles and jars
    • Clean foil and foil plates
    • Tetra Paks and milk and juice cartons


    • Clean corrugated cardboard
    • Clean pizza boxes

    Not Accepted in Blue Bin Program

    • Household hazardous waste, motor oil or antifreeze
    • Ceramics, sheet glass, pane glass or glassware
    • No hangers(wood, plastic or wire)
    • No plastic bags or Styrofoam

    To find out where to go to recycle items that are not accepted by the curbside blue box program, visit the CRD's Online Recycling Directory or contact the CRD Hotline at 250.360.3030 or email hotline@crd.bc.ca.

    For any other recycling information, contact the Recycling Council of BC Hotline at 1 (800) 667-4321.

  34. If I live in a condo, can I receive kitchen scraps and garbage collection from the City of Victoria?

    Some condos and apartments are currently included in this service, but most are served by private companies. If you are served by a private company ask them about their options for kitchen scraps collection. If you have any questions about this please call 250.361.0448.

  35. Are kitchen scraps and garbage collection services paid through property taxes?

    No, the current garbage collection services and the future kitchen scraps and garbage services are both a user pay utility. The costs of the service are charged directly to the users.

  36. If I sell or move, do I take my bins with me?

    The bins should be left at the home, as the city will be collecting them for the new owner or tenant.

  37. Where can I get a new kitchen catcher?

    If you would like to replace your kitchen catcher, this is your responsibility. They can be purchased at most hardware or home supply stores. They are also available for sale at the Greater Victoria Compost Education Centre.

  38. Where are City of Victoria kitchen scraps currently being processed?

    Kitchen scraps collected within the City of Victoria are hauled to Fisher Road Recycling in Cobble Hill where it is processed into soil.

    Kitchen scraps from multifamily residences and commercial businesses in the City of Victoria are collected by private haulers and are being processed at specialized in-vessel composting facilities on Vancouver Island and the lower Mainland.

  39. How can I make sure I get my bins back at the end of collection day?

    Each set of bins has an identification code and belongs to a specific address. Please collect your own bins after each collection day. To make this easier, you can write your address and unit number (not name) in permanent marker on the lid of your bins.

  40. Is the kitchen scraps and garbage program optional?

    If you currently have garbage collection services with the City of Victoria, you are included in the kitchen scraps and garbage program. According to City of Victoria bylaws, you can not opt out of the Kitchen Scraps and Garbage program unless you are a residential complex that has four or more units.

  41. How long will the Green and Grey bins last?

    They have been designed to last approximately 10 years. As the bins age, there will be an active maintenance program to keep them in good shape. The bins have also been designed to be fully recyclable at the end of their lifecycle. For example, the steel in the wheels will be separated and the plastic will also be recycled.

  42. How much waste is kept out of the landfill with the Kitchen Scraps program?

    • The City of Victoria collects garbage from over 14,000 households each week.
    • Currently, each day 1.5 tractor trailers of residential garbage from Victoria is taken to the Hartland Landfill. This adds up to 4,800 tonnes of garbage each year.
    • Kitchen scraps represents 30 per cent of waste, so taking kitchen scraps out of the garbage will divert 1,500 tonnes of waste each year.