Ville de Gatineau
Compostables (brown bin)
Skip to main content
Compostables (brown bin)
Compostables (brown bin)

In this page

See also

The collection

Compostables are collected weekly for units that pay the residual materials levy.

Place your brown bin or your other containers next to the curb or the sidewalk after 7 p.m. the day before or by 7 a.m. on collection day. Bins must be removed from the curb no later than 9 p.m. on collection day, as per municipal by-law.

Robotized collection

From now on, your bins will be emptied by a truck with a robotic arm (certain exceptions apply).

To enable the robotic arm to properly empty your bins, make sure that:

  • you use only the designated bins (see below)
  • the wheels are facing your house
  • there is a 60 cm clearance on either side of each bin, and there are no obstacles in front of them
  • Make sure no vehicle is parked in front of your bins to avoid blocking access by the robotic arm
  • the lids are completely closed, with no overflow and nothing on the lid that could fall on the ground when the bin is lifted by the robotized arm
  • the anti-rodent latch is released
  • your bins are on your driveway or on your property, not on the street or on the sidewalk, to avoid blocking the movement of pedestrians and snow clearing equipment

Accepted collection methods


Ville de Gatineau brown wheeled bins

80 to 360 litre European model* wheeled bins identified by a “V” (for “vert”) for yard waste (any colour other than blue)


Refused collection methods


Trash cans

Bagged leaves

American model* wheeled bins

Branches and other excess trash next to the bins


* What is the difference between a European model and an American model bin?

Reporting a missed collection

Collections take place between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. If your container 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.

Receiving notifications of delays

If you would like to be notified of delays in your sector, sign up for DTRITUS notifications through the mobile app or the Web version. To find out how to sign up for notifications, click here.

Special yard waste collections

You can place any surplus in an appropriate 80 to 360 litre wheeled bin (any colour other than blue) identified by a “V” (for “vert”).

You can also bring your surplus yard waste to our permanent and mobile ecocentres.

In addition, five special collections of surplus yard waste will be held each year:

  • two in the spring
  • three in the fall

The first collections will take place in October 2024 (dates to be confirmed).


  • Dead leaves
  • Yard waste (plants, grass, etc.)
  • Branches measuring no more than 4 cm in diameter and 1.5 m in length

Accepted collection methods

  • Paper bags (maximum of 20 per collection)
    • No plastic bags
  • 80 to 360 litre round trash cans (with handles) or wheeled bins (any colour other than blue) identified by a “V” (for “vert”)
  • Branches tied in bundles (maximum of 5 bundles per collection)
    • Maximum of 25 kg per bundle


  • 60 cm clearance on either side of each wheeled bin for robotized collection of garbage and compostables.
  • Tie your branches in bundles.

Reducing your yard waste

Find out about grasscycling and leafcycling!

Brown bins

Gatineau provides a brown bin on wheels and a kitchen bin to every occupied unit included under the compostables collection service. Those bins belong to the municipality.

Lid locks are available for brown bins on wheels at all five service centres or in the libraries.

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.

Bin maintenance

The owner of or tenant/occupant responsible for the unit must mark the address in the space provided for that purpose on the bin provided by Gatineau. Bins must be kept clean and checked for leakage by the owner of the unit.

Ordering bins and containers

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 bin).

Brown bins on wheels belong to the municipality.

Materials that are accepted and not accepted in compost bins


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 4 cm in diameter
  • Cold wood ashes
  • Good or rotten vegetables
  • Straw and hay
  • Weeds
  • Wood chips and sawdust


  • 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 4 cm in diameter
  • Clothes and textiles
  • Dead animals
  • Diapers
  • Household garbage, including Styrofoam and waxed paper
  • Household hazardous waste
  • Hygienic products
  • Invasive plants (including buckthorn, giant hogweed, wild parsnip and poison ivy)
  • 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 library or 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. 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 or a larger brown bin?
    Any resident can request a larger brown bin if they generate more than 80 litres a week of food residues, for instance in the case of large families. Municipal staff will conduct an on-site assessment to confirm the need. Submit a request or call 311.
  • Can I get an additional kitchen bin?
    Gatineau provides one kitchen bin when the brown bin is delivered. Additional ones can be purchased in most big box stores.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • What should I do if I have more than 20 bags of leaves for every yard waste special collection?
    Remember that yard waste will be picked up every week in the brown bin and in European model wheeled bins (which you can buy in a hardware store) identified by a “V” (for “vert”). There is no limit on the number of bins identified by a “V”.

    For each of the five annual special collections of yard waste, in addition to a maximum of 20 bags of leaves, yard waste placed in a trash can with handles identified by a “V” will also be accepted. You can also spread the total number of bags over more than one collection in order to stay within the limit of 20 bags per collection.

    Yard waste surplus is also accepted free at any time at the permanent and mobile ecocentres.

    Home composting, grasscycling and leafcycling are also ecological ways to dispose of yard waste. To learn more about grasscycling and leafcycling, which will provide natural compost for your lawn, check this Web page.
  • Why is there no yard waste collection scheduled for the summer?
    In the summer, most of the yard waste is weeds and cuttings, branches (from weather events), grass clippings and hedges. Those can all be collected in ways other than yard waste: brown bins or European model wheeled bins (which you can buy in a hardware store) identified by a “V” every week along with compostables. In addition, branches can be picked up with bulky item collections by appointment. There are several organizations that will pick up cedar trimmings from you, sometimes free of charge. And of course, when it comes to grass clippings, the way to go is to reduce at the source by practicing grasscycling, which provides natural compost for lawns.



About Gatineau

Recognized for its quality of life, Gatineau is a city of 292,000 inhabitants. It is located on the north shore of the Ottawa River, and extends east and west of the Gatineau River.

Return to top of page