You are here


 COVID-19 Response: Waste & Recycling

Some waste programs and services have been impacted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Please follow the link below for a complete list of those affected, as well as information on safe and responsible waste handling.

Learn More

Green Cart Program

Green Cart Page Banner

Register for your Green Cart today!

The subscription fee is $85 per cart per season.

Register Online!

New Subscribers: Registrations at this time cannot be guaranteed service on the first scheduled collection day. Due to the popularity of the program and the current volume of subscriptions, new subscribers will receive their cart within 4-6 weeks of receipt of payment and registration.

Health & Safety Reminder: As the City continues to make every effort to ensure the health and safety of its workforce and the community during the COVID-19 pandemic, residents are reminded to ensure proper cart placement to help reduce the need for manual cart handling by collections staff.

Green Cart is an optional fee-for-service (non-refundable) program for residential yard and food waste. This program offers bi-weekly front-street collection and is available to single-family households with Blue and Black carts

Three ways to register or renew
  1. Online - Save paper and use your credit card or Interac Online (limitations apply).
  2. In Person - Pay in person at City Hall with completed registration/renewal form. ***Suspended while City Hall remains closed to the public.***
  3. Mail - Mail completed registration/renewal form with a cheque payable to the City of Saskatoon to: Green Cart Program, City of Saskatoon, 222 - 3rd Ave North, Saskatoon SK, S7K 0J5

Subscription Fee

2020 season subscription fees: $85 per season ($65 Early Bird rate until April 30)

2021 season subscription fees: $85 per season ($65 Early Bird rate until April 30)

New Subscribers

Due to the popularity of the program and the current volume of subscriptions, new subscribers will receive their cart within 4-6 weeks of receipt of payment and registration.

Returning Subscribers

There is no automatic renewal for the 2020 season and billing does not occur as part of your utility bill. If you want to continue your Green Cart collection service, you must renew and pay the seasonal fee. If you do not wish to renew your Green Cart for 2020, please call 306-975-2486 or email to arrange for your cart to be picked up once the 2020 Green Cart season is underway.

Are you moving? Don’t leave your Green Cart behind! In order to ensure uninterrupted service, please bring your Green Cart to your new home and contact us at 306-975-2486 or email to inform us of its new location. Also, note that your collection schedule may have changed, so remember to check the online collection calendar so you don’t miss pick up day.

Community Gardens

The Green Cart collection service is available for community gardens (for a fee). Please contact us at 306-975-2486 or email to request more information.

Don't miss pick up day!

Your Collection Calendar is available online. Sign up for updates, get the Saskatoon Recycle & Waste app, or print your own. Your Green Cart schedule will appear in your collection calendar two weeks after your registration is submitted.

Customer service

For questions or concerns about the Green Cart program, including cart relocation, collections, damaged carts, or if you’d like to discontinue your participation in the program, please contact us at 306-975-2486 or email.

Waste 101: What you need to know about the Green Cart Program

Congratulations! If you've reached this point, you've likely registered for the Green Cart Program and are taking the right steps to divert waste from our landfill. To ensure the continued success of this program, it's important that we all understand the basics of Green Cart composting. Please review the following information to learn how to make the most of your Green Cart experience.

What goes in your Green Cart?

Use your Green Cart for yard and food waste. Use the Waste Wizard tool to find out what goes in your green cart or browse through the list of acceptable items.

Accepted items

Please place your yard and food waste loose into your Green Cart (no plastic or bagged items please).

ACCEPTED yard waste:

  • Leaves
  • Grass clippings
  • Garden refuse (e.g. plant tops and clippings, flowers, stalks, fallen fruit)
  • Twigs (smaller than your finger in diameter, and no longer than an arm’s length)
  • Weeds
  • Wood chips and bark mulch
  • Fallen elm leaves
  • Pine and spruce cones and needles
  • Household plants, including soil

ACCEPTED food and other waste:

  • Fruits and vegetables (cooked or raw, including peels and pits)
  • Bread, noodles, beans, rice, grains
  • Nuts, seeds
  • Eggs, eggshells
  • Coffee grounds
  • Paper teabags, paper coffee filters
  • Dry baking ingredients, herbs, spices
  • Food-soiled paper napkins, paper towel, and kleenex (must be free of contaminants, such as household cleaners and grease)
  • Food-soiled paper plates, cups, and muffin wrappers (un-waxed and un-plasticized)
  • Food-soiled pizza boxes and cardboard (Note: clean pizza boxes and cardboard go into your Blue Cart to be recycled)
  • Wooden stir sticks, chop sticks, popsicle sticks, toothpicks
  • Newsprint, cardboard, and paper bags (to wrap food and line containers)


Unaccepted items

The following materials are not accepted in the Green Cart program and will not be picked up:

Yard materials that are NOT accepted:

  • Any bagged material
  • Soil & dirt
  • Elm wood
  • Treated and untreated lumber and wood products
  • Tree branches (larger than your finger in diameter and longer than an arm’s length)
  • Logs and stumps
  • Rocks
  • Sod
  • Drywall

Food and other materials that are NOT accepted:

  • Any bagged material
  • Plastic, of any type (including compostable plastic, biodegradable plastic, and plastic bags)
  • Packaging and wrappers, of all types
  • Dairy products, including milk, yogurt and cheese
  • Fats, cooking oils, and grease
  • Salad dressing, mayonnaise, gravy, and sauces
  • Meat, seafood, and bones
  • Butcher’s meat wrap
  • Chips, candy, baked goods
  • Mixed table scraps
  • Liquids
  • Beverage containers
  • Pet waste, pet food, animal bedding, animal carcasses
  • Waxed paper
  • Cigarette butts, tobacco, ashes
  • Fireplace and BBQ ashes, matches
  • Corks (from wine bottles, etc.)
  • Gum
  • Q-tips, cotton balls, cosmetics, make-up removal pads, dental floss
  • Diapers, baby wipes, feminine hygiene products
  • Medicines and pharmaceuticals
  • Wax- and plastic-coated paper products
  • Styrofoam
  • Clothing, textiles
  • Rope, rags
  • Dryer lint, floor sweepings, vacuum bags, vacuum contents
  • Glass
  • Metal



What you can expect from us (carts and collections)
  • The City provides a Green Cart as part of the annual fee.
  • The City collects Green Carts every two weeks from May 3 to November 7 on your scheduled collection day.
  • All Green Carts are collected from the front curb, even if your Blue and Black Carts are collected in the back lane.


How you can help us (cart usage, placement, and maintenance)
  • Place your yard and food waste loose into your Green Cart (no plastic or bagged items).
  • Ensure the cart is placed out for collection prior to 7 a.m. on your scheduled pickup day.
  • Ensure there is at least 1.2 meters (4 feet) of clearance around all sides of the cart.
  • Between collections, store your Green Cart in a secure, shaded location on your property.
  • Please do not write your address on your Green Cart. Your cart may be used at another location if you choose not to register for the program in the future.


Program "How-To" Tips

Here are some simple tips to properly and easily dispose of your yard and food waste.


  • Collect food waste in a small container with a lid. Store it inside a cupboard, underneath your sink, or outside your backdoor. Ensure the lid is fully closed.
  • Line your container with newspaper or a paper bag, or simply wrap food in a napkin. Please do not use waxed, plastic, plastic-lined, compostable, or biodegrable bags.
  • Drain excess liquids from your food waste before placing in the container.
  • Freeze smelly food waste until collection day.
  • Empty the contents of your container into your Green Cart as frequently as necessary.
  • Rinse your container after emptying it into your Green Cart.
  • Sprinkle baking soda in the bottom of your container to reduce odours and deter insects.
  • Catch fruit flies in a bowl of vinegar covered with plastic wrap, pricked with a few holes.


  • Set your cart out for every collection, even if it isn't full.
  • Store your Green Cart outside in a shady, flat, and ventilated location.
  • Keep the lid fully closed.
  • Line your cart with newsprint, cardboard, or yard waste before adding food waste.
  • Covering food waste with yard waste will help prevent odours and insects. Keep the contents of your cart dry by alternating a layer of food waste with a layer of dried leaves, grass clippings, or dead plants.
  • Let leaves, grass, and yard waste dry out first before placing them into your cart.
  • Rinse your bin occasionally with a garden hose. Pour contents onto grass or gravel (not down the storm drain).
  • Sprinkle a small amount of vinegar or baking soda into your Green Cart to reduce odour.
  • If animals chew on the bin, rub peppermint oil, hot sauce, cayenne, or chili powder on the chewed spot to deter other animals.


Reducing odours and insects

Odours are produced when materials are too wet and/or don’t have enough access to oxygen. Pests, such as insects, are attracted to food waste, so keeping these materials covered and enclosed is very important.

Reducing Food Waste Odour Indoors:

  • Put your food waste in a small container with a lid.
  • Drain liquids from your food waste before putting it in your kitchen container.
  • Line your kitchen container with newspaper or wrap food in a napkin to reduce moisture.
  • Consider freezing food waste until the day before your Green Cart is collected.

Reducing Odours and Pests in Your Green Cart:

  • Keep the contents of your cart dry by alternating a layer of food waste with a layer of dried leaves, grass clippings, or dead plants.
  • Keep food waste covered with yard waste.
  • Let leaves, grass and yard waste dry out first before placing them into your cart (consider storing yard waste in a dry area of your yard between collection days).
  • Store your green cart in a shady, flat and ventilated location. Keep the lid fully closed.
  • Rinse your green cart occasionally with a garden hose. Pour contents onto your grass or gravel (never down the storm drain). Sprinkle a small amount of vinegar or baking soda into your green cart to reduce odour.
  • Place the correct materials in your cart.
  • Set out your green cart for every collection, even if it is not full. This will prevent the build-up of material and could help prevent moisture and odours.
  • Make sure there are no holes in your Green Cart.


Cart filling up too fast?

If your Green Cart is filling up before collection day, try following these simple tips:

Tips to reduce yard waste:

  • Leave grass clippings on your lawn after mowing, also known as “grasscycling.”
  • Work leaves directly into your garden soil or use them as mulch on your garden beds.
  • Take excess yard waste to one of the City's compost depots free of charge.
  • Compost excess yard waste using a backyard composting system.

Tips to reduce food waste:

  • Get creative – look for recipes that use foods you already have on hand.
  • Shop smart – don’t buy more food than you can eat before it starts to spoil.
  • Store foods correctly so they last longer.
  • Look in your fridge, freezer and pantry before grocery shopping so you only buy what you need.
  • Create an “Almost Expired” section in your fridge and pantry to store items that have to be used quickly. Start your meal planning by looking through these items.
  • Freeze foods for later use.
  • Keep track of what you throw away to get an idea of how much food you could be saving.
  • Compost excess food waste at home, by using a backyard or indoor composting system.

Green Cart still filling up before collection day? Order a second cart for an additional subscription fee.


Contents freezing in your cart?

Here are some tips to prevent and deal with contents that may have become stuck or frozen in your Green Cart.

  • Line your cart with crumpled up newspaper, paper bags, or soiled pizza boxes.
  • Put grass clippings in paper yard waste bags.
  • Layer wet organics (food waste, grass clippings) with dry organics (leaves, newspaper, soiled pizza boxes).
  • Strain excess liquid from soups and sauces with a strainer and only place the solid pieces in the cart.
  • Wrap food with high moisture content in soiled boxes or newspapers.
  • Don't force the contents of the cart down.
  • Use the end of a broomstick to stir and loosen up material at the bottom of the cart.
  • If possible, give you cart a shake prior to rolling it out to dislodge any frozen contents.
  • If you choose to use your Green Cart during the winter, consider leaving your food waste in another container to allow it to freeze before putting it in your Green Cart.


Why composting matters?

Yard and food waste aren’t garbage – they’re a plant’s best friend!

When these materials are composted, the end product (compost) can be added to lawns, flowerbeds, vegetable gardens, and house plants to add nutrients to the soil, conserve water, and reduce weeds, pests and diseases.

What happens to the yard and food waste I put in my Green Cart?

Compost from your Green Cart has been used to keep Saskatoon parks, community gardens, and other public green spaces healthy and beautiful. As more compost is generated, more uses and opportunities to sell the material will become possible.

What are “organics”? And what percentage of my waste do they represent?

Organics are materials that break down naturally and can be turned into compost, such as yard and food waste. Options such as the Green Cart program and backyard composting allow residents to separate their organics from their garbage so these materials can be composted.

Approx. 40-50% of a household’s waste is organic. In fact, more than 15 million pounds of food is wasted in Canadian households each year, while approx. 40% of the food produced in North America is never consumed. In addition, yard waste, such as leaves, grass, and garden materials, can represent up to twice as much waste as food waste. If every household in Saskatoon composted their organics, it would divert more than 25,000 tonnes of organic material from the landfill.

Why is it important to divert yard and food waste from the landfill?

Composting is recycling too! And yet, most of our yard and food waste is being put into the garbage.

When these materials end up in the landfill, they are mixed with garbage and quickly buried in an airless environment. But because organics need air to decompose properly, they do not turn into soil or compost. Instead, they release methane gas and create garbage fluids, called leachate. Methane is a greenhouse gas much more potent than carbon dioxide and leachate needs to be managed under strict environmental regulations. Although some of the methane is captured as landfill gas and converted into energy, the system at our landfill only captures approx. 70% of the methane produced by 1/3 of the landfill, while the remainder is released into our atmosphere.

By placing items that are not garbage into the landfill, we fill it up unnecessarily. A new landfill would be very expensive to build and operate, challenging to locate, and would have a large environmental impact. To prevent the need for a new landfill, we all need to do our part to put waste in the right place.

Did you know? Some organic materials sent to the landfill can still be identified decades after disposal because they don’t break down properly.