• Managing Your Waste

Managing Your Waste

Way to go Okotoks!  Thanks for keeping the lids shut tight!

Need Help Shutting that Lid?

The Town offers programs and facilities to help your household manage garbage & recyclable materials. There are also options available if you exceed your weekly garbage/recycling capacity.

Universal Cart Program Instructional Video

Black Garbage Cart Sizes & Options
Black Cart Description
120 L CartBlack Cart Small

Standard garbage cart provided to households.

180 L Cart

If you find you are regularly exceeding your garbage limit, a 180L garbage cart option is available.  

Households can make 1 change per year free of charge (e.g. switching from 120L to 180L). For more info on cart costs and to sign up for a different size cart please contact waste@okotoks.ca


The 'Occasional' Solution for Excess Garbage
Excess Yellow Garbage Bag

For the odd time you exceed your weekly 120L garbage cart limit, purchase an official Town excess garbage bag. The bags are available at the Municipal Centre, Recreation Centre, Sobeys and Safeway.

Cost: $4.50/bag

Recycling Options
Option Description
Blue Cart Curbside Pick-Up

Bundle all plastic bags, plastic wrap and bubble wrap into one plastic bag and tie closed. No other sorting required. Please have carts out by 7:00 AM on your garbage day.

Okotoks Eco CentreSelf-haul your recycling to the Okotoks Eco Centre.
Yard Waste Options

The program formerly known as Cut ‘n Call has been phased out. Resident use of this program had vastly decreased in 2017 since households now have the added convenience of curbside organics collection. For dealing with extra yard waste, the Town is making changes that are more efficient and at the same time more convenient for residents, especially during spring and fall clean up:

  • The Town now offers larger organics (green) carts! If you are regularly filling your green cart, consider increasing the size of your green bin to 240L – to double your capacity it only costs $1.80 monthly (billing period every 2 months)
    • To upgrade to a 240L cart, fill out the Garbage, Organics and Recycling online form. 
  • Just drop your yard waste at the curb beside your cart on collection day! During the months of May and October you can now place additional yard waste at the curb beside your green cart for pick up on your regular collection day.
    • Extra yard waste (grass and leaves) must be place in a proper compostable bag
    • Branches can either be placed in your green cart or can be bundled and placed beside your cart. Individual branches cannot be more than 1m (3') long, and must not exceed 7cm (2.8") in diameter. Branch bundles cannot be more than 14kg (30lbs).
    • Most hardware stores and super markets carry large yard bags (most are paper as these are most cost effective)
  • For occasional overages, save your yard waste organics (grass, leaves and branches) for next collection day or consider dropping off grass clippings and leaves (no branches) at the Eco Centre’s drop off bins.
Organic Food Waste Options
Self-haul your Organics to the Okotoks Eco Centre.

Single family homes have green cart organics collections for food, pet and yard waste.

The Town now offers larger organics (green) carts! If you are regularly filling your green cart, consider increasing the size of your green bin to 240L – to double your capacity it only costs $1.80 monthly (billing period every 2 months)

To upgrade to a 240L cart, fill out the Garbage, Organics and Recycling online form.  



What days do we put out our carts for collection?
  • The blue cart for recycling is picked up weekly on the same day as your black cart collection.
  • The green cart for organics is picked up on the same day as your black cart collection. Carts are collected weekly from May to October and bi-weekly November to April.
Where do I store my carts?
  • For several years, you have had a mix of front and back lane collection, and have managed with up to three carts and found storage solutions that worked best for you. 
  • Store your carts on your property between collection days. 
  • Carts must be out by 7:00 AM and returned to your property no later than 10:00 PM on collection day.
  • If you need help with cart storage solutions or collection day cart placement, contact waste@okotoks.ca.
Who do I call if I am missing a cart, have a damaged cart or my carts did not get picked up?
  • To report a missed collection, call 403-938-8054.
Why are landfills not a sustainable long-term solution?
  • Landfills have a finite lifespan based on the rate at which they accumulate waste. Designing and building new landfills is not a sustainable long-term solution to our growing waste production.
  • You may think when food and yard waste goes in the landfill that it breaks down quickly and becomes a part of the soil, but that is not what happens. Landfills create pollution in the form of methane emissions, leachate (heavy metals etc.), as well as other greenhouse gasses that can leak into the atmosphere. Turning food and yard waste into nutrient-rich compost for gardens, parks and farms is a better solution than burying it in a landfill.
  • A sustainable waste management system utilizes waste as a resource. The Alberta Government adopted this thinking in 2007 with its Too Good to Waste strategy; targeting waste reduction and management. As a community, we need to break the linear consumer system and adopt the cyclic system that recycling, composting, and reusing achieve. 
How was it decided that the Town was going to implement the Universal Cart Program?
The first Resource Recovery Plan was developed through extensive public consultation in 2008 and adopted by Council in March 2009.  Strategies included expanded recycling and organic waste diversion programs as key contributors to waste diversion.  Since that time, new implementation plans were created in various years. In December 2014, Council endorsed the updated 2020 Waste Management Plan which identified critical areas that should be addressed to achieve an 80% waste diversion target for the community. The strategies and programs from the plan specific to the 2016 implementation included:
  • Implementing a universal recycling collection (blue cart) and a universal organic waste collection (green cart) program for all single-family households
  • Evolving the Okotoks Recycling Centre at its new location into an Eco Centre, providing for safe disposal of excess and niche materials

In 2014, extensive public consultation resulted in creating the Okotoks Community Vision which was approved by Council in early 2015.  A specific Value to be a ‘green’ community is further emphasized in the ‘Environment’ theme as a result of many comments regarding citizens desire to be a leader in environmentally responsible services such as recycling, composting and waste management.

In the spring of 2015 through January 2016, the Town developed Community Sustainability Plan (CSP) with extensive community consultation. The final CSP approved by Council in April 2016 included a key action of “Expand Environmental Initiatives”, and specifically to “Implement universal recycling and organic waste cart collection program” as a result of community feedback.

Other considerations include that the Summer Conservation Educator program which has focused on waste reduction since 2010.  In 2015 and 2016 alone, they have visited over 3,000 households to educate residents on waste management, including a strong emphasis on the organic waste program in 2016.

Other general publications and notices to residents to advise them of the intent to move to a universal waste management program included for example, the 2016 budget process and final approval of same, and the 2015 Community Report.

Why don’t we have a ‘pay as you throw’ system for garbage collection?

The Town of Okotoks is investigating this as an option

Sun - Mon: Closed
Tue - Sat: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Closed stat holidays. Access to the Eco Centre and the drop off areas are only available during normal operating hours.
  • Garbage, Organics and Recycling Inquiries: 403-938-8054 Contact Online
    Okotoks Eco Centre: 403-938-2652