FAQs Organics


  1. When will I be able to put food waste out for collection?

    Food waste collection will begin in January 2023. This date has been chosen to coordinate with the opening of the Comox Strathcona Waste Management (CSWM) organics facility, which is where the collected materials will be processed into compost. Stay up to date on changes and get reminders of your collection day through Courtenay Collects (www.courtenay.ca/collects)

  2. Who gets to participate?

    Food waste collection is being offered to the residents within the Residential Curbside Collection program. This program is available to single residential dwellings, duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes and row housing that were designed to receive individual curbside collection (including stratas.)

  3. What can go in the organics bin?

    Check out the CSWM Curbside Food and Yard Waste Guide for a complete list of what is accepted and not accepted for collection.

  4. How often will it be collected?

    The organics collection (food waste and yard waste) will occur on a weekly basis.

  5. Why is it important to divert food waste?

    When food and organic material ends up in the landfill they create methane, a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming. Diverting organic material from the landfill is not only better for the environment, it extends the life of our Regional landfill, which lowers the overall long-term costs associated with the management of solid waste.

  6. Why is food waste being collected with yard waste?

    The co-mingled food and yard waste will provide a higher quality feedstock to the CSWM organics facility to turn into compost.

  7. What if I don’t want to co-mingle my food waste with my yard waste?

    Residents will be allowed to place one small separate container of food waste out weekly in addition to their yard waste.

  8. How does it work?

    Residents can use a mix of containers and yard waste bags to put out their co-mingled organic waste up to a maximum of 360 litres. Each item cannot exceed 20 kg/44lbs in weight.

    As a suggestion, four standard 80 litre garbage cans would be acceptable, or three paper yard waste bags in addition to a small food waste container, if you prefer not to mix materials. Residents are encouraged to put out materials for collection even if it’s a small amount.

  9. Can I use a liner?

    Use of a liner is not required. If a liner is used, it must be made of an item accepted in the food waste program, such as paper bags, newspapers or shredded paper.

    Compostable and biodegradable plastics will not be accepted.

  10. Why is organics collection changing from unlimited to limited?

    Excessive yard waste has been a significant contributing factor to service disruptions in the residential curbside collection program. Providing a limit means that there is a measurable maximum quantity of materials being collected and collection staff will not be overwhelmed on any given collection day.

    There is an increase in cost associated with disposing of organics to be processed into compost. Limiting each household’s weekly contribution ensures that the cost to residents is equitable.   

  11. What does 360 litres look like?

    Here are some options:

    • Four standard 80 litre garbage cans, and one small food waste container.
    • Three 115 litre yard waste bags, and one small food waste container.
    • Three standard 80 litre garbage cans and one paper yard waste bag, and one small food waste container.
    • Two paper yard waste bags, one standard 80 litre garbage can, and one small food waste container.
  12. I have a big yard, what do I do with my excess yard waste?

    There are a number of ways to manage excess yard waste volumes:

    Mulching: In the fall consider using leaves for mulch before putting them at the curb. As leaves break down they help boost nutrients in the soil, block weed growth, provide winter homes for pollinators, and retain moisture and warmth in the soil. In the spring they can be turned into the soil.

    Grasscycling: Cut grass left on the lawn provides moisture and nutrients to the soil, which results in a more lush and healthy lawn.  It conserves water, saves time and reduces the need for fertilizers.

    Composting: Using a home composting system is a great way to turn excess yard waste into a nutrient rich compost.

    Courtenay Collects: type yard waste into Courtenay Collects through the website or app for a list of locations that will receive yard waste.