Compostables (brown bin)
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Compostables (brown bin)
Compostables (brown bin)

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Collection

Compostables are collected weekly from every type of residence.

Place your brown bin* next to the curb or the sidewalk after 7 p.m. the day before or by 7 a.m. on collection day. The wheels should be facing away from the street, towards your building. Place your bin on your driveway or on your property, not on the street or sidewalk, to avoid interfering with snow clearing operations.

Collections take place between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. If your bin has not been emptied, make a request. You can make a request between 6 p.m. on the day of your collection and 6 p.m. the following day. If your collection is on a Friday, you have until noon on Saturday to make your request.

* Surplus green residues can be placed in biodegradable paper bags or in bins clearly marked with a V (for “vert”). Plastic bags will not be collected.

Brown bins

Gatineau provides a brown bin on wheels and a kitchen mini-bin to every residential unit for compostables. Those bins belong to the municipality.

If you do not have a bin on wheels, you can order one by making a request. Your brown bin will be delivered to you free of charge, along with a starter kit and instructions (including a kitchen mini-bin).

Bin storage

Bins may be stored outdoors in the side yard or backyard at least one metre from the property line. If you live in a townhouse with no side yard, you may store your bin in the front yard.

Bin repair or replacement

If your brown bin is damaged, broken or stolen, call 311 or make a request. Property owners are responsible for paying the cost of repairing or replacing bins that were broken by the owner, a tenant or an occupant of a dwelling.

Materials that are accepted and not accepted in compost bins

Accepted

Food residues, including:

  • Animal and vegetable oils and fats (in limited quantities)
  • Coffee (grounds and filters)
  • Condiments
  • Egg and nut shells
  • Fruits and vegetables (including seeds and skins)
  • Meat and fish (including bones)
  • Pet food
  • Seafood (including the shells)
  • Tea bags

Soiled paper and cardboard, including:

  • Egg and pizza cartons
  • Newspaper
  • Paper plates (unwaxed)
  • Paper tissue
  • Paper towels
  • Parchment paper

Green residues, including:

  • Branches under 12 mm in diameter
  • Cold wood ashes
  • Good or rotten vegetables
  • Straw and hay
  • Weeds
  • Wood chips and sawdust

Other:

  • Earth and sand (in limited quantities, without stones, within the maximum brown bin weight of 25 kg)
  • Hair, nails, feathers and fur

Not accepted

  • Branches and tree trunks over 12 mm in diameter
  • Clothes and textiles
  • Dead animals
  • Diapers
  • Household garbage, including polystyrene (Styrofoam) and waxed paper
  • Household hazardous waste
  • Hygienic products
  • Large amounts of liquid
  • Pet excrement and litter
  • Recyclables, including plastic packaging
  • Vacuum cleaner dust

When in doubt, consult DTRITUS to find out how to dispose of your items.

Useful tips

  • Use certified compostable plastic bags, paper bags or newspaper, or else rinse the bin after every collection with water and a mild detergent or vinegar.
    • Only plastic bags certified by the Bureau de normalisation du Québec will be accepted for compostable collections. Look for the following symbols:

  • Sprinkle lime or baking soda in the bin to control odours.
  • Freeze or refrigerate meat and poultry scraps until collection day.
  • Let leaves and grass clippings dry before placing them in the bin to avoid the strong smell of ammonia that they often release.
  • Store your bin in the shade, and put it out every week, regardless of how much is in it.
  • Keep critters away by spreading menthol cream around your brown bin's lid. Get a latch at the nearest service centre or use an elastic cord to secure the lid.
  • In the bin, alternate your table scraps with dry materials (paper towels, newspaper, shavings, wood chips, dead leaves, etc.).
  • If you notice maggots, sprinkle them with hot water, salt or a mix of water and vinegar to eliminate them.
  • In winter, keep the contents from sticking together by placing newspaper or cardboard on the bottom of the bin. You can also line your brown bin with a large paper bag.

Frequently asked questions

  • Is composting mandatory in multi-unit residential buildings? 
    Yes. Since July 15, 2018, condominium syndicates and residential property owners have been required to provide their occupants or tenants with containers that are sufficiently large to store compostables between collections, based on the number of units.

    Gatineau is currently working with multi-unit residential property owners on assessing their needs and helping them adapt to the changes. If you own a multi-unit residential unit or a condominium, please call 311 or write us at multiplex@gatineau.ca. A Service de l'environnement representative will visit you to assess your needs (help you choose among the different bin formats), and advise you on the best practices for waste management. Consult the Multi-unit page.
  • I am a tenant, and I do not have access to a brown bin. Whom should I speak to?
    Make a request or call 311. Every property owner is required to provide their occupants or tenants with bins that are sufficiently large to store compostables between collections.
  • Can I get an additional brown bin and kitchen mini-bin?
    If the brown bin is too small for your green residues, place them in paper bags or garbage cans marked with a V (for “vert”). If you need more space because you have too much food waste, you can order a second bin by making a request or calling 311. Your request will be reviewed by the Service de l'environnement.

    Gatineau only provides one kitchen mini-bin. Additional ones can be purchased in most big box stores.

    You can also bring your food and garden waste to the ecocentres for free.
  • What should I do if my bin is not emptied on collection day?
    Leave it at curbside and call 311 or make a request. You can make a request between 6 p.m. on the day of your collection and 6 p.m. the following day. If your collection is on a Friday, you have until noon on Saturday to make your request.
  • Why can't we use ordinary or biodegradable plastic bags?
    Those bags are not compostable. That type of plastic interferes with air circulation in the composting process. It hinders the decomposition of compostables and causes foul odours. Also, those bags add to operating costs because they have to be sifted out and removed, and then sent to the landfill site.
  • Why can't pet droppings and litter go in the brown bin?
    Those materials may contain medication or chemical products that could be detrimental to the quality of the future compost.
  • Why can't disposable diapers go in the brown bin?
    Because they contain plastic.
  • What happens to the materials that are to be composted?
    The actual composting is done at the Laflèche Environmental plant in Moose Creek, Ontario.

DTRITUS

     

About Gatineau

Recognized for its quality of life, Gatineau is a city of 285,000 inhabitants. It is located on the north shore of the Ottawa River, and extends east and west of the Gatineau River.

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