City Of Abbotsford  
Curbside Collection - Pick Up

Curbside Collection Program Changes

Cart Program Overview

NEW PROGRAM begins April 19, 2021

In 2019, City Council approved the implementation of a new Solid Waste Operations Master Plan which outlined changes to the curbside collection program to align with Council’s 2019-2022 Strategic Plan. This new collection program will see a switch to cart-based fully automated collection system for all three streams of waste: recycling, compostables and garbage.

Program Benefits

  • Easy to roll durable carts means no heavy lifting or dragging material to the curb;
  • Secure cart lids will help neighbourhood esthetics by keeping material contained;
  • Customizable cart sizes to best suit your household needs;
  • Elimination of blue bags for recycling;
  • New “greener” collection vehicles that will run on renewable diesel; and
  • Improved worker health and safety.

Program Highlights

  • Residents can expect three 240 L carts to be delivered starting in February 2021;
  • One cart will be provided for each of the three waste streams: recycling, compostables and garbage;
  • New carts will begin to be collected on Monday, April 19, 2021;
  • The 240 L carts will be used for 90 days, after which time, residents will be able to request to upsize or downsize their cart depending on their household’s waste needs;
  • Curbside recycling will change to every other week collection and will alternate with curbside garbage collection; 
  • Curbside compostables will continue to be collected weekly; and
  • All material must be contained inside carts (extra garbage bags or yard waste bags will not be accepted).

Cart Delivery

Carts will be delivered to your home between February and early April in 2021. An information package will accompany the carts and provide information on how to use your new carts and other information on the new automated program. 

Please do not place your new carts for curbside collection before Monday, April 19, 2021. Carts placed at the curb before that date will not be collected.

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Cart Sizes & Types

Residents will receive three 240 L carts; one each for recycling, compostables, and garbage. Homes currently included in the bear-resistant cart area (Upper Straiton area) will receive three new bear-resistant 240 L carts and the old carts will be collected by the City after the new program starts. Beginning July 19, 2021, 360 L and 120 L carts will be available by request for households outside of the bear-resistant area. Options for different cart sizes for residents within the bear-resistant area are currently being reviewed and information will be shared once it becomes available.    

Please note that only carts provided by the City of Abbotsford are compatible with the new automated collection vehicles. Carts from other municipalities, regional districts or retailers are not compatible with the City trucks and will not be collected. 

More information on the capacity, dimensions and weight limits for the City’s carts can be viewed on the Curbside Cart Specifications Chart. 

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Cart Exchange Requests

Residents can request a different cart size after using the 240L carts for 90 days. During the 90 Day Challenge, you can try out the standard 240L sized carts and see if they work for your household. Research shows that the 240L sized carts will be sufficient for most residents to manage waste from all three waste streams.  If you find you still need a bigger cart, or would like a smaller sized cart, you can submit a cart exchange request beginning July 19, 2021. Cart exchange requests submitted prior to this date will not be accepted. Additional information will be provided on how to submit a cart exchange request closer to the program start date. Residents will have a full three months during which they can request a different size cart.

Please note that requests received between July 19, 2021 and October 19, 2021 will NOT be charged a cart administration fee. However, cart upsize and downsize fees are currently being reviewed.

Beginning October 20, 2021, a cart administration fee will apply for all requests to upsize or downsize carts sizes. Each property will only be able to submit one cart exchange request in a 12-month period. Staff are undertaking a financial analysis to determine what the administration fee will be and that information will be shared once it becomes available. 

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Curbside Cart Placement

Putting your carts out the right way on collection day ensures your carts are collected safely and on schedule. The placement of carts is very important because the automated truck’s mechanical arm needs sufficient room to pick up and empty the cart. All material must be placed in the cart with the lid completely closed. Overflowing carts and material placed outside of the carts will not be collected. 

Follow these guidelines for placing your cart at the curb:

  • Place wheels against the curb and the arrows on the lid pointing to the street
  • Do not block the sidewalks, roadway or bike lanes
  • Leave 1 m (~3 ft) of space on all sides of your carts
  • Leave 3 m (10 ft) of clearance above your carts
  • Ensure lids are closed on all your carts
  • Keep carts away from obstructions like cars, poles and utility boxes

City staff will be addressing problematic areas ahead of the start of the new program to determine the most suitable areas for cart placement. If curbside cart placement remains an issue or you are unsure of where to place your cart, please contact the City at  

Please do not place your new carts for curbside collection before Monday, April 19, 2021.  Carts placed at the curb before that date will not be collected.

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Cart Storage

When you receive your carts, please store them in a secure location within your property boundary.  They should be stored where you currently keep your recycling, compostables and garbage – in the garage, backyard, outdoor storage unit, covered porch or balcony, side of your home or front yard. Please do not store your carts on the road or within a road allowance. It is important to note that only empty carts should be left out unsecured to avoid creating wildlife attractants. Carts containing waste should be stored inside a garage or other secure storage area. 

Some residents might choose to store the empty carts at the end of their driveway (on their property) chained to a fence or a tree, or inside a secure enclosure. On collection day, the carts would need to be unlocked and moved to the edge of the road. This approach would be similar to how residents are bringing material to the curb for the current collection program, except that when you bring material to the curb under the new program you put it into carts rather than leaving the bags or containers at the curb. In the new program, recycling material will need to be placed loose into the cart. Residents can transport the material to the cart in bags and then empty the bags into the cart for collection. Blue bags will not be accepted in the new cart program.  

The City is currently reviewing a number of cart attachments available on the market that can be installed on the back of vehicles to allow residents to easily tow their carts to the curb. The attachments can be affixed to cars, trucks, ATVs, lawn tractors, etc. More information will be shared on these attachments once our review is complete. 

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Excess Waste

Residents are encouraged to place as much material with curbside recycling and compostables so that we can minimize the amount of waste going to landfill. Some other tips to help maximize space in your carts include:

  • Break down and flatten boxes;
  • Stomp on milk jugs and other bulky plastic containers;
  • Don’t mow, let it grow.Let grass grow 2 to 3 inches tall, then leave the grass clippings on the lawn to release water and nutrients back into the soil;
  • Consider using a backyard composter or mulcher for leaves and grass clippings;
  • Use a yard waste coupon to drop off extra yard waste for free at Net Zero Waste Abbotsford; or
  • Hold on to extra material until your next scheduled collection day.

Excess recycling, compostables or garbage can also be dropped off at many locations in Abbotsford. Use the Waste Wizard ( to find a drop off location near you. Requests for upsizing carts will be accepted on July 19, 2021. Information on costs for upsizing carts will be communicated soon.

Please note that all curbside material must be contained in a cart with a closed lid. Overflowing carts or other loose or bagged material will not be collected.

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Cart Tips

  • Place carts at the curb by 7:00 am on your scheduled collection day. Do not place carts at the curb overnight.
  • Place only acceptable material in the carts. If you are unsure about an item, use the Waste Wizard feature in the Abbotsford Curbside Collection App or on the City’s website.
  • Place material loosely in the cart. Forcing items in or packing it too tight make it hard for collection vehicles to empty the cart.
  • Garbage needs to be bagged and placed in the cart. Recycling needs to be placed directly into the cart without bags.
  • Close the lid before rolling the cart to the curb.
  • Ensure your cart can be seen easily from the street and is accessible at the curb.
  • In winter, shovel a clear flat spot at the end of your driveway or at the curb and place your carts in that spot.
  • Don’t place carts behind or on top of snowbanks.
  • Regularly clean your carts with soap and water or vinegar. Ensure wash water is drained onto natural ground or flushed down the toilet.
  • Sprinkle baking soda, vanilla extract, tea tree oil or lavender to help absorb or mask any odours.

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Old Containers

All existing curbside containers should continue to be used until the automated program starts on April 19, 2021. Once the automated program begins, there are a number of creative and environmentally friendly ways to repurpose the old containers and keep them out of the landfill:

  • Repurpose as a rain barrel or backyard composter;
  • Use for extra storage of yard waste, tools, animal feed, potting soil or mulch;
  • Collect your recycling depot items for efficient drop off (ex. Film plastics, glass, electronics, refundable beverage containers, etc.);
  • Construct a planter for root vegetables (ex. Carrots, potatoes, etc.); or
  • Create a pet waste composter.

If you have a great idea for how to repurpose your used containers, please share them with us at! The City of Abbotsford is currently looking into options for the collection and recycling of used containers. Please check back in summer 2021 for more information.

View the new Curbside Cart Specifications Chart

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Contact Us

As the project moves forward, this webpage will be updated to reflect our progress, so please continue to check back. 

Engage with Us!
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us or provide your feedback on Let's Talk Abbotsford Curbside 2021.

Engineering & Regional Utilities
Tel: 604-864-5514

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