Organic waste that can be turned into compost goes in your organics (green) cart.
Keeping organics out of the garbage and landfill is good for the environment. It also helps keep out raccoons and other pests.
Organics are collected every week so you’ll have less “smelly” stuff to store. Check WhenDoesItGo for your schedule.
This video gives an overview of organics recycling in Peel and shows how to use your kitchen container and green cart.
These items are a sample of acceptable organics cart items.
- food scraps
- fruit and vegetable peels
- bones, meat and fish
- greasy pizza boxes and microwave popcorn bags
- coffee grounds and filters
- loose shredded paper
- cotton balls
- corn stalks
- paper napkins, paper towels
- house plants (soil removed)
Check How to Sort Your Waste to see if an item goes in your organics (green) cart.
Diapers and plastic bags – including grocery bags – are NOT acceptable in the organics cart.
An organics (green) cart holds 100L of organic waste. It is available in one size only.
Animal resistant design
Your organics cart has a unique lock to keep pests, such as raccoons, from getting into your organic waste.
The lock works like the keys to your house. Turn it one way to lock it and the other way to unlock it. Always leave the green cart lock in the up/down locked (vertical) position. Leaving the lock in this positon can help prevent it from freezing in winter. You can leave your locked organics cart at the curb – it will be collected with the lid locked.
The kitchen container is a handy way to collect household material, such as food waste, that goes into the organics cart.
For convenience and to reduce mess and odours, line your kitchen container with certified compostable bags, paper bags, newspaper, shredded paper or paper towel.
Look for one of these symbols when purchasing compostable liner bags:
Putting baking soda or shredded paper in the bottom of your kitchen container will also reduce odours and moisture.
Empty your kitchen container material into our organics cart.
Take the Peel challenge and reduce your food waste by the equivalent of a watermelon this year.
40% of the food we throw out is still good to eat.
These 3 simple tips can help the average Peel household cut food waste and save up to $112 per month:
1) Plan smart
- Before shopping, check what's already in your cupboards, fridge and freezer.
- Consider which meals you'll make at home and which you'll eat at restaurants.
- Plan to serve leftovers.
- Make a shopping list or check online for a food planning app.
- Use recipes to plan your meals and decide:
- The portion size. Check portion size guide
- The exact amount of food that you'll need.
2) Buy smart
- Don't shop hungry.
- Avoid buying items on impulse or on a whim.
- Check best before dates and other date labelling.
- Only buy "family size" packages or "buy one, get one free" items if you're sure you'll eat all the food.
- Shop more often for perishables, such as bananas.
- Buy smaller amounts of fresh foods that expire quickly; for example, buy 2 or 3 cobs of corn instead of a full sealed package.
- Buy loose rather than packaged food; for example, buy one avocado instead of a full bag.
3) Store smart
- Eat older food items first. (Tip: put an "eat first" sign on these items so you'll know you've had them longer.)
- Set your fridge to 4oC (or lower); set your freezer to -18oC (or lower).
- For refrigerated items, put ready-to-eat foods on the top shelf, left-over food to be reheated on the middle shelf and raw food on the bottom shelf.
- Store these items separately:
- Ripe/unripe food
- Put some items in the freezer:
- Divide large packages into smaller portions and freeze.
- Freeze extras such as bread, meat and leftovers. Divide leftovers into smaller portions.
- Freeze food up to 24 hours before its best before date.
- Write the date on the container for a food item before putting it into the freezer.
Shelf life and expiration
If you're not sure if you should eat or throw out a food:
- Check recommended refrigeration and freezing times.
- Check the date label:
The sell-by date is the last date a store is supposed to display the product for sale. If you buy a product past this date, be sure to eat it soon after purchase.
Best before date
The best before date tells you more about quality than safety. It indicates when an unopened product might start to lose its flavour, texture and nutritional value, not that it's unsafe to eat.
Don't eat any food past its expiration date. Check to see if the food is mouldy or has an odd odour, texture or colour.
Hard cheese (such as cheddar) is an exception: just cut an inch around the mould and eat the rest.
If a soft cheese (i.e., cottage cheese or cream cheese) has mould on it, throw it away. Toxins produced by the mould can spread throughout the cheese.
ALWAYS put food waste in your backyard composter or ORGANICS, NEVER in your recycling or garbage.