Green Can Program




Getting Started with your Green Can

White Rock is now even greener thanks to the Green Can Program! (Yards trimmings + food scraps = Green Can)

The City provides single family homes, eligible townhomes and multi-family complexes with 6 units or less food scraps recycling and yard trimming collection in labeled Green Cans and/or kraft bags for yard waste. Food scraps recycling and yard trimmings are collected curbside weekly. The City does not provide containers for curbside green waste collection.

Residents that do not receive City of White Rock collection services, should contact their service provider directly for all collection inquiries.

Food scraps are not allowed in your garbage. Metro Vancouver banned organic materials from waste facilities in 2015. Almost 40% of what we throw in the garbage can is organic material that can be recycled. Instead of sending them to landfills, we can turn organics into compost.

Think about it: Food has always been present in the garbage. The same waste is now separated into a different can.

Are you using the new City of White Rock mini kitchen catcher? 

To assist residents with Metro Vancouver's ban on food scraps in regular garbage, the City has a limited supply of mini kitchen catchers to provide to residents. Use this mini kitchen catcher to separate food scraps from garbage in the kitchen. Empty the mini kitchen catcher into your curbside Green Can along with your yard trimmings. If you didn't receive a mini kitchen catcher contact the Operations Department at 604.541.2181.

Do not place mini kitchen catcher curbside for collection. They are provided for your convenience to use in the kitchen.

Getting started with food scraps recycling:

It's easy to have a Green Can (Yard Trimmings + Organics = Green Can)!

Any container up to 110 liters in size can be a Green Can. Purchase a regular garbage can (available for purchase at retail locations), and attach a free City supplied Green Can decal on the outside of your container to identify it from your regular garbage can. Decals are available at most City facilities.

  1. Collect all your food scraps and food-soiled paper from your kitchen in the City supplied kitchen catcher or a container of your choice.  
  2. Empty your kitchen catcher into your Green Can, along with any yard trimmings you might have.  
  3. Place your Green Can curbside for collection on your regularly scheduled day, make sure the City supplied decal is facing out.

You have the option of putting your yard waste/trimmings for curbside collection:

  • in yard waste kraft bags (available for purchase at most retailers and City facilities);
  • in a can with the Green Can decal. Yard waste must fit within the Green Can - please do not over stuff;
  • branches will also be collected curbside provided they are:
    • bundled and tied with string (no plastic or wire)
    • maximum branch size: less than 1m (39 in) long and less than 7.5cm (3 in) in diameter
    • maximum bundle size: 1m (39 in) x 0.5m (20 in)
  • there is a limit of 10 (combined cans/bags/bundles) weekly per residence.

You can now include in your Green Can:

 Materials   Description

Cooked or Uncooked Food

Any kind of cooked or uncooked food scraps, including meat, poultry, fish, seafood, bones, eggshells, dairy, vegetables, fruit, bread, pasta, and grains. Include all leftovers and plate scrapings.

Used Paper Filters

Coffee grounds in their used paper filters, tea leaves and tea bags.

Food Soiled Paper

Food-soiled paper towels, napkins, paper plates and food soiled pizza delivery boxes.

Yard Trimmings

Yard trimmings, such as plants, flowers, grass cuttings, leaves and branches.

Please note that clean paper products are to still be recycled in your yellow recycling bag.

Don't include in your Green Can:

Materials   Description
Plastic bags and bread ties No plastic bags labelled biodegradable or compostable. No plastic shipping envelopes  and no lumber or construction wrap. These products do not break down at the same rate as organics or even at all.
Rocks, dirt, stumps, and sod These products do not break down at the same rate as other food scaps and yard trimmings. Also these products can make your Green Can to heavy for collection.
Feces Biosolids are not acceptable in the Green Can; including both human and animal.
Liquids Liquids can make your kraft bag tear when collectors pick them up.
Beverage cups and cartons   Paper and plastic cups can be recycled in the blue bin or the yellow bag. Because they don't break down as quickly as food scaps or yard trimmings they are not accepted in the Green Can program.
Used tissue/kleenex   Tissues/ kleenex with bodily fluids or chemicals/ cleaning products are not accepted.


Tips on keeping your Green Can clean:

Keep pests and odour to a minimum with regular emptying and cleaning of your Green Can.

  • Line it - put an absorbent layer in the bottom (grass clippings in summer, dry leaves in fall) or, use newspaper. Keep plastics and plastic bags (even those marked biodegradable or compostable) out of the Green Can.
  • Layer it - alternate layers of food scraps with a few dry leaves or sheets of newspaper to keep the bin as dry as possible.
  • Set it out on schedule - set the Green Can out on your regularly scheduled collection day, even when it's not full.
  • Rinse it - after pick up, rinse your Green Can with mild detergent or vinegar/water solution.
  • Store it right - if your Green Can is stored outdoors, choose a shady location that is convenient, and just like your garbage cans, secure it from wildlife.
  • Wrap the scraps - wrap your food scraps (in newspaper, paper towel, kraft bag - NO PLASTIC BAGS) before putting in the Green Can. This help keeps your bin clean.

Why should we keep food out of our landfill?

A recent study by Metro Vancouver found that 40% of residential waste in our garbage is food! When food and other organic materials end up in the garbage they:

  • Create methane, a powerful greenhouse gas that adds to global warming. In the landfill, buried under layers of waste and without access to oxygen, food can't decompose properly.
  • Use up a lot of precious landfill space. Space is limited, and creating more landfills is undesirable. Almost 40% of what we send to the landfill in our region is compostable organics.
  • Make waste to energy processes less efficient because of the high moisture content. About a third of the region's waste is disposed in the waste-to-energy facility.

Fortunately, we have the ability to compost food and yard trimmings, saving our planet from the unnecessary creation of additional greenhouse gases. By choosing to compost we are also creating a valuable resource, nutrient rich topsoil useful for landscaping, and growing food in gardens.

Through the Green Can program, White Rock residents will make a positive difference for our environment.

If you are unsure if an item can be put in the Green Can try: