What is a Green Can?

A Green Can is any garbage type can up to 110 litres i size, weighing 50 lbs or less with a City supplied Green Can decal, which is used to collect food scraps and yard trimmings. The container colour does not have to be green.

Do I have to have a sticker?

All Green Can containers must have a City supplied decal to identify to collection crews what the contents are. All Green Can materials are taken to GFL Environmental Inc. in Delta for composting. This means you can put your food waste in with your yard trimmings as it goes to the same facility.

Should I line my kitchen container and bin?

You don't need to line your bin, but you can use a kraft-type paper bag or other paper liner if you wish. Newspaper, paper bags and paper towels are acceptable to use. Do not use plastic or compostable/biodegradable plastic products as a liner as the composting facility does not accept them.

What about animals getting into my bins?

You were already putting food scraps in your garbage, now you're just putting them in a different bin. If you secure the bin as you secured your garbage cans, there shouldn't be a problem.

If you've had issues with animals getting into your garbage bins, here are some tips to help prevent that: wrap fish & meat in newspaper, store scraps in the freezer until collection day, keep your Green Can in a secure enclosure and put it out only on the morning of collection.

What if I have too much for my bin?

Put all food scraps in your lidded Green Can. You can put excess yard trimmings in an additional labeled can(s) or in kraft-type paper bags. Properties can have up to 10 per week. Please note the weight limit for each bin is 50 lbs.

How does the processing facility process the waste?

The process is called windrow composting, where the waste is piled on to a negative aeration system, meaning it pulls air into the pile (this helps the composting process by pulling oxygen in and also "pulls" odours in to minimize the smell). The material is piled and turned with huge tractors/loaders. Once broken down, it gets mixed with varying amounts of sand (depending on the type of soil desired) to sell to landscapers and farmers. It should be noted that there is no pre-treatment of this material (no de-baggers or shredders) which is why it cannot handle any contaminants (like plastic bags).

Whose idea was this, how did this come about, who implemented this?

A third of the garbage in our landfills is organic material that could have been composted and used to enhance the environment. Metro Vancouver and member municipalities implemented the organics disposal ban in 2015. Like other bans, it will be applied at Metro Vancouver facilities. We encourage food scraps recycling because it's the right thing to do, it takes waste out of our landfills, it reduces our methane contributions, and it creates compost and bioenergy.

Metro Vancouver's Integrated Solid Waste and Resource Management Plan includes goals such as reducing the waste we each generate and aspiring to recycle 80% of the region's waste by 2020. Currently, about 61% of our garbage is recycled.


Can I place wood waste in my Green Can?

No. Yard trimmings are fine but lumber or other wood waste is not accepted. 

Why does the City not provide residents with bins to use as the Green Can?

Residents previously participated in the Yard Trimmings collections program so most residents had bins already so we are not asking residents to get new bins. They can simply add food scraps to their existing bins that they have been using for their yard trimmings. Most residents use a mini kitchen bin to collect food scraps in the kitchen. When full, the mini kitchen bin gets emptied into your Green can with your yard trimmings for your weekly curbside collection. The mini kitchen bin should not be placed for curbside collection.

Why should we wrap up our waste?

Residents can use kraft-type paper bags, or newspaper to confine their organics waste, however this is not mandatory. This helps keep the Green Can clean. Residents can add their food scraps loose if they wish.

GFL Environmental Inc. will not accept string, rope or twine at their facility since some brands contain plastic and they are not able to screen incoming loads. These plastic materials cause problems to the machinery therefore no rope, string or twine is accepted.

Can I put my food waste in my brown paper yard waste bags then?

It is not advisable to use a kraft-type paper bag on its own. In order ensure that food waste is inaccessible to wildlife, it should be within a rigid garabge type bin.

Who is going to clean out the bins?

Bins are the responsibility of the resident which is the current arrangement with garbage cans, recycling containers and yard trimming cans. Nothing has changed with the Green Can program. If the food scraps are wrapped up in newspaper, or if a kraft bag is used as a liner, this should not be a problem. Residents can easily rinse out the bins with a hose if there is liquid.


What about the garbage that gets stuck on the bottom of the bins? 

The cans will be dumped out as normal. Residents can help to ensure the material is easily removed by using a Kraft-type paper bag as a liner, or adding newspaper or other green material (twigs, branches, etc) to prevent the material from sticking to the bottom of the can.

How often will the City collect the Green Can?

The Green Can program is a weekly collection service provided by the City.

Should I continue to use my backyard composter?

Yes! Home composting is the most cost-effective and environmentally friendly way to dispose of food scraps (fruit and vegetable only), not to mention the 'black gold' compost you'll get as a result. If you have a home composter, please continue to use it, think of the food scraps recycling program as a compliment to what you are already doing, as it includes food items that are not acceptable for backyard composters.

Who can participate in the Green Can Program?

Single family homes and multi-family complexes with 6 units or less. 

Excess Yard Waste

There is no public garbage or green waste drop-off location available in the White Rock/South Surrey area.  Residents and businesses can bring their surplus garbage or green waste for a fee to one of the following closest depots:

  • Surrey Transfer Station - 9770-192 Street, Surrey 604.681.5600
  • Delta Transfer Station - (Vancouver Landfill) 5400-72nd Street, Delta 604.873.7000
  • Aldergrove Transfer Station - 1070-272nd Street, Aldergrove 604.681.5600

Contact the depots directly for disposal rates, hours and acceptable items Metro Vancouver Transfer Stations and Landfills

Green Can Program Supplies

Green Can decals and kraft food and yard waste bags are available at the following City facilities. Green Can decals are free of charge. For your convenience, kraft food and yard waste bags are available for purchase:

City Hall

15322 Buena Vista Ave


Kent Street Activity Centre

1475 Kent Street


Centennial Arena

14600 North Bluff Road 


White Rock Community Centre

15154 Russell Avenue 


Engineering & Municipal Operations

877 Keil Street 


Multi-Family and Commercial Services

Effective June 30, 2015 the City discontinued multi-family and commercial solid waste collection services. These complexes should contact their waste hauler directly for details on their specific program.