Green Bin Frequently asked questions

If diapers and personal hygiene products can't go in the green bin, why is pet waste acceptable?

Diapers and personal hygiene products include plastic and absorbent material that can't be processed at the facility in Guelph, and are not accepted at the facility. Pet waste is on their approved list of materials that can be treated. The process that changes organics into compost generates high levels of heat. Temperatures in the compost facility are high enough to kill any pathogens that may be present. All finished compost is tested and has to meet Provincial standards before it can be sold.

I use my backyard composter, why do I need to use a green bin?

Thanks for composting at home! We encourage you to handle your own waste in a backyard composter, if you choose.

Backyard composting can also complement the green bin. Items, such as meat, bones and sauces that can attract critters in the yard are accepted in the green bin. Some residents using backyard composters choose to give themselves a break over the winter and use the green bin while their composters are buried in the snow. 

We encourage anyone with a backyard composter to keep it up!

I'd use my green bin if only I could put plastic in it. Why can't we?

Regular plastics, including plastic grocery bags and packaging, aren't accepted in the green bin because they do not break down, and they are not allowed in the processing facility in Guelph. 

Good news! Certified compostable plastic bags that display one of two approval logos (below) are acceptable! More information about certified compostable plastic bags is available. 

 Image of US Certified Compostable logo Image of Canadian Certified Compostable logo 



How did you estimate the amount of green bin material that could be collected?

To determine the possible amounts to be collected for the green bin program, we relied on audits of curbside garbage. We collected garbage placed at the curb in randomly selected neighbourhoods across the Region, and sorted the contents into over 60 categories. Based on the results of those audits, we believe that there are still 50,000 tonnes of potential green bin material in garbage bags going to the landfill. 

Many residents don't have the space or desire to compost at home, and the green bin provides an opportunity to recover their organic material in another way.

If everyone used fully used their green bin, the amount of residential garbage going to landfill could be cut in half! 

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