Calgarians encouraged to bring unwanted household items to community cleanup events

With the weather finally cooperating this spring, Calgarians will likely be starting to clean out the house, yard and garage. All that spring cleaning means there will be plenty of unwanted household items and organic waste that does not fit in black, blue or green carts.

The City of Calgary, in partnership with community associations across the city, organizes annual Community Cleanups to help citizens in their efforts to keep neighbourhoods safe and clean.

The 2018 program kicks off with the first event on April 28. Events run in about 100 Calgary communities throughout April, May, June and September.

Each year, Community Cleanups result in the removal of over one million kilograms of waste and organic material. In 2017, we collected 1.28 million kg of garbage and 256,403 kg of organic waste.

“Community Cleanups are a convenient place for Calgarians to take their unwanted items. They also help reduce instances of illegal dumping,” says Sharon Howland, leader of program management at Waste & Recycling Services. “While a small minority of Calgarians view illegal dumping as a ‘free’ way to dispose of household items, it costs tax payers cleanup costs and land fill fees leaving less resources for maintenance and improvements for the services and assets in those communities.”

Accepted items at Community Cleanups include (but are not limited to) furniture (desks, chairs, sofas, old mattresses), toilets, and recalled or broken recreational products (old treadmills). Yard waste is also welcome at the organic truck, including: leaves, untreated wood, and tree branches (preferably in a paper bag). Some of the more unusual items we’ve seen include; a garden gnome collection, a broken grandfather clock and even taxidermy items.

Events are for citizens, and not open to commercial businesses. All Calgarians are welcome to bring their household items to any Community Cleanup event, regardless of whether they live in the host community. Community membership is not required to drop off items for the City waste & recycling trucks.

Calgarians should check with their community association for specific event details and visit for a schedule of events and lists of accepted and banned items.