How does the Green Bin Program work?

Organics recycling is an important part of the City of Ottawa’s long term Waste Strategy. Diverting residential organic waste away from landfill saves the City millions of dollars and reduces the need for additional landfill sites.

Your green bin is now being collected each and every week, 52 weeks a year.

Household organic waste processing steps

  1. Organic waste is trucked to the facility and mixed with “seed” compost to start the process.
  2. The mix is spread across tunnels. Forced air heats up the biological process and the compost reaches temperatures of 55°C or higher, which kills harmful bacteria.
  3. Compost is processed through a screener to remove any contaminants and heavy solids.
  4. Compost matures for 21 days before it is sold to area farmers as fertilizer for agricultural crops. Compost is tested by a third party lab.
  5. All air used in the process passes through an odour abatement system including an ammonia scrubber, biofilter system and a bioscrubber. Clean air and water vapour evaporate from the stack.
  6. Compost is used for farmer’s crops.

Roughly 45 per cent of Ottawa’s garbage (by weight) is compostable organic material that can be put into the green bin. Just as Ottawa residents separate recyclable materials from their garbage, the Green Bin program makes it easy to also separate organics for curb-side pickup.
Use the small, specially-designed kitchen catchers to collect organic materials including kitchen scraps (vegetable, fruits, meat, fish, bones, dairy products, coffee grounds and filters) and yard waste among others. Simply empty the organics into the large green bin for curb-side pickup.

Once collected, organic material is transported to an indoor composting facility located in an industrial park on the south east corner of Rideau Road and Hawthorne Road where it will be converted into usable compost.

What will be done with the compost?

The composting facility keeps 90 per cent of the compost and the City retains 10 per cent. The facility sells their share to the local farming community. The City uses its compost for internal greening efforts and community-based tree planting and garden projects.

No smell

The processing facility minimizes the risk of odour. All vehicles depositing organic material go through a set of air-lock doors when entering and exiting the tipping area inside the building. All air leaving the building must pass through a bio-scrubber, a bio-filter and then is sent out through a 30-metre dispersion stack. The Ministry of Environment requires that odours cannot be detectable from the property boundary.

For more information about Ottawa’s Green Bin program contact us at