Food waste

Since 2008, more than 320,000 housing units have had access to food waste collection. In 2017, the number will increase by almost 95,000. Montréal plans to extend services to all buildings with eight units or less by the end of 2019, for a total of approximately 537,000 units.

Beyond civic responsibility, composting household food waste contributes substantially towards Montréal’s standing as a greener and healthier metropolis. Composting has a direct impact on our city and on the legacy we will leave for future generations. Since approximately 25% of the contents of a garbage bag contains food waste, this new service aims to enable residents to contribute, with a simple act, in the sustainable development of their city.

Implementation completed
Eastern zone Western zone
Le Sud-Ouest
Mercier–Hochelaga-Maisonneuve
Rivière-des-Prairies–Pointe-aux-Trembles
Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie
Verdun
L’Île-Bizard–Sainte-Geneviève
Saint-Laurent
Implementation in progress
Eastern zone Western zone
Ahuntsic-Cartierville
Anjou
Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce
LaSalle
Le Plateau-Mont-Royal
Montréal-Nord
Outremont
Saint-Léonard
Ville-Marie
Villeray–Saint-Michel–Parc-Extension
Lachine
Pierrefonds-Roxboro

Equipment supplied by the city

The countertop bin

The countertop bin where you deposit waste from meal preparation and table scraps. It can be easily stored under the sink, in the refrigerator or in the freezer.

The brown bin

The brown bin is used to collect food waste from the countertop bin, in between weekly pick-ups. It is placed outside the home according to the collection schedules of your borough. Be sure to write your address on the bin.

Bac comptoir + bac brun

What to toss? Materials Accepted and Refused

Eastern zone (food waste)
Materials accepted Materials refused

Raw, cooked or tainted foods
• Fruits and vegetables
• Meat and poultry with or without bones
• Fish and bones, seafood and shells
• Grain products such as pasta, bread, cereal, cake, rice
• Eggs and eggshells
• Solid dairy products (cheese, butter and yogurt)
• Coffee grounds and paper filters, tea and tea bags
• Nuts and shells
• Cookies, sweets, desserts
• Pet food
• Spices, herbs

Soiled paper and cardboard
• Tissues, paper towels and napkins
• Paper tablecloths and paper dishes
• Pizza or chicken boxes
• Cardboard fruit baskets (without the handle)

• Liquids (soup, milk, juice, coffee, etc.)
• Diapers and hygiene products
• Fabric, wood, cork, wax, hot ashes, cigarette butts
• Chewing gum
• Animal litter and excrement

Green waste
- Dead leaves, grass clippings, wood chips
- Garden and vegetable garden waste, plants
- Deciduous tree waste and conifer

Recyclable materials
(paper, cardboard, glass, plastic, metal)

Other materials
- Construction and renovation materials
- Paint and hazardous household waste
- Polystyrene and plastic wrapping
- Earth, rocks, sand
- Crystal, porcelain, ceramics
- Non-vegetable oils and fat
- Batteries and biomedical waste

 

 Western zone (food waste and green waste)
Materials accepted Materials refused

Raw, cooked or tainted foods
• Fruits and vegetables
• Meat and poultry with or without bones
• Fish and bones, seafood and shells
• Grain products such as pasta, bread, cereal, cake, rice
• Eggs and eggshells
• Solid dairy products (cheese, butter and yogurt)
• Coffee grounds and paper filters, tea and tea bags
• Nuts and shells
• Cookies, sweets, desserts
• Pet food
• Spices, herbs

Soiled paper and cardboard
• Tissues, paper towels and napkins
• Paper tablecloths and paper dishes
• Pizza or chicken boxes
• Cardboard fruit baskets (without the handle)

Green waste
• Dead leaves, grass clippings, wood chips
• Garden and vegetable garden waste, plants
• Conifer branches under 1 metre long and 5 cm in diameter

• Deciduous tree waste
• Liquids (soup, milk, juice, coffee, etc.)
• Diapers and hygiene products
• Fabric, wood, cork, wax, hot ashes, cigarette butts
• Chewing gum
• Animal litter and excrement

Recyclable materials
(paper, cardboard, glass, plastic, metal)

Other materials
- Construction and renovation materials
- Paint and hazardous household waste
- Polystyrene and plastic wrapping
- Earth, rocks, sand
- Crystal, porcelain, ceramics
- Non-vegetable oils and fat
- Batteries, biomedical waste

 
Carte de montréal représentant les taux d'implantation des bacs brunsClick to enlarge

Paper bags or certified compostable bags?

Only paper bags and compostable bags certified by the Bureau de normalisation du Québec (BNQ) are accepted. Oxo Biodegradable bags are not permitted as they fall apart and are not compatible with composting processes. The use of the bags is not mandatory, but it is recommended for sanitary reasons. In winter, it is best to wrap any waste well so that it does not freeze at the bottom of the brown bin.

In the western zone boroughs (Lachine, L'Île-Bizard­–Sainte-Geneviève, Pierrefonds-Roxboro and Saint-Laurent), where the organic material collection service is offered (food waste and green waste), only paper bags are accepted. In the eastern zone boroughs, certified compostable bags and paper bags are accepted.

Tips & Advice

  • Place newspaper at the bottom of the countertop bin and the brown bin to absorb excess liquid.
  • Wrap foods such as meat and fish in small quantities, with newspaper, and clean the countertop bin regularly with soap.
  • Sprinkle a little baking soda or place a charcoal briquette in each bin to limit odours.
  • Freeze or refrigerate food waste and deposit in the brown bin on collection day.
  • Although they are not mandatory, certified compostable bags and paper bags are recommended for health reasons. If you prefer, wrap food in a bundle using newspaper. In all cases, avoid disposing of liquids.
  • If odours persist, rinse the brown bin with a solution of vinegar and water. At all times, avoid leaving it in the sun.
  • Make it a habit to place the brown bin in front of your home for weekly collection, even if it is not full.
  • To remove fruit flies, cut a cork stopper lengthwise and place it on the lid of the countertop bin.
  • To discourage squirrels from the brown bin, apply a cough syrup around the lid (over-the-counter in pharmacies and supermarkets).