Calgary, AB,

It’s time for multi-family complexes to keep food and yard waste out of the garbage

By the end of this year, residents of apartments, condos, townhouses and other multi-family complexes will be able to keep their food and yard waste out of the landfill.

Starting Nov. 1, 2017, the Waste & Recycling Bylaw will require all multi-family complexes to separate food and yard waste from the garbage, for composting or another means of diversion.

Building owners and managers are responsible for setting up a food and yard waste program in their complex. They have the flexibility to choose who provides collection service.

“Food and yard waste makes up nearly 40 per cent of the garbage from multi-family complexes,” says Leanne Michie, waste diversion specialist with Waste & Recycling Services. “Multi-family residents can make a big difference by keeping this material out of the landfill and helping to create useful new resources, such as compost.”

The food and yard waste bylaw requirement follows the introduction of recycling in apartments, condos and townhouses. Since Feb. 1, 2016, multi-family complexes have been required to offer on-site recycling. In a survey conducted in fall 2016, 82 per cent of multi-family residents reported having a recycling program in their building.

“The City is here to support multi-family building owners and managers as they implement food and yard waste programs,” says Michie. “Our survey results showed that 81 per cent of multi-family residents support a city-wide multi-family food and yard waste diversion initiative. We expect residents will be keen to get started.”

Detailed information is available at Building owners and managers can find information to help them get started, including how-to guides, signage and information about choosing a collection company. A directory of food and yard waste collection companies is available at

Multi-family residents won’t be the only ones reducing their garbage this year. The Green Cart program for single-family homes will start rolling out in mid-2017, and businesses and organizations will also be required to separate food and yard waste by November 1, 2017.

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