City Services - Yardwaste New

Residential FAQ's

Frequently referenced documents:


Everything you need to know about Curbside Collection

Everything you need to know about Garbage

Everything you need to know about Recycling

Everything you need to know about Compostable Waste


Everything you need to know about Curbside Collection

How often is my material collected?

Garbage is collected bi-weekly or every second week.  Recycling and compostable waste are collected weekly.  Garbage collection days are marked on your schedule by the black garbage can icon.  Recycling and compostable waste collection days are indicated on your schedule by the coloured square.  Find your current collection schedule by searching your address on the City’s website or by downloading the Abbotsford Curbside Collection App at the App Store or on Google Play.

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How many containers or bags can I put out?

For curbside collection of garbage:

  • Up to three items (combination of containers or bags) will be collected on each garbage collection day

For curbside collection of compostable waste:

  • Up to ten items (combination of containers, bags or bundles) will be collected each week

For curbside collection of recycling:

  • Unlimited number of blue bags or bundles will be collected each week

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Where and when do I place my containers on pick-up day?

All garbage, recyclables and compostables must be within 1 m (3.3 ft) of the curbside, unless special arrangements are made.  Please ensure snowbanks and parked cars do not impede collection and have all materials out by 7:00 am.

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What size of container or bag can I use for my curbside collection?

For curbside collection of garbage or compostable waste:

  • Maximum container size is 80 L (18 gallons)
  • Containers greater than 50 L (11 gallons) in size must have two graspable handles
  • Container height must be between 55 cm and 72 cm tall (22” x 28”)
  • Containers must have a water tight lid
  • Maximum bag size is 66 cm x 92 cm (26” x 36”)
  • Full containers and bags must weigh less than 23 kg (50 lb)
  • Containers will NOT be collected if they are oversized, overweight, or over 50 L without two graspable handles
  • View the Acceptable Containers for Curbside Collection Flyer for additional information

For curbside collection of yard waste:

  • Kraft paper bags can be placed at the curbside for collection of yard waste only
  • Kraft paper bags with yard waste must be under 12kg (25lb)
  • Don’t leave paper bags out in the rain to maintain their carrying integrity

For curbside collection of recycling:

  • Material must be in a transparent blue bag available at many retail stores
  • Maximum bag size is 66 cm x 92 cm (26” x 36”)
  • Do not place recycling in cardboard boxes

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What do I do if my collection is missed?

You can report a missed collection through any of the following methods:

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Why was my container or bag stickered and left at the curb?

Placing unacceptable materials in recycling, compostable waste or garbage can have a negative effect on the amount of material that can be recycled or composted and can cause safety issues for collection and processing staff. If your material was left at the curb, it means that unaccepted materials were present in your container or bag. The container or bag should be stickered with one of the following notices:

These stickers have also been translated into Punjabi for reference purposes:

Remove the item of concern from your container or bag and place the container or bag out on your next collection day. If your material was left at the curb and you did not receive a sticker, or are unsure why the material is not accepted, please call the City at 604-853-5485.  

To find out more information on what items are accepted curbside, use the Waste Wizard and/or download the Abbotsford Curbside Collection App at the App Store and on Google Play.

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Can I get a bear-resistant container for my garbage or compostable waste?

If you live in the Upper Straiton area, the City will provide you with two bear-resistant containers for your waste (one for your garbage and one for compostable waste). If you are unsure if you are in the bear-resistant container area, call 604-864-5514 or email eng-info@abbotsford.ca.   

Remember the containers are “bear-resistant” not “bear-proof”. Please use Bear Smart practices with all garbage, compostables and recyclables. More information on Bear Smart practices can be found at the WildSafe BC website.

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What can I do to help keep bears and other wildlife away from my area?

Refer to the Top 10 Sheet provided by WildSafe BC for tips on ways you can keep neighbourhood safe. Additional information can be found at the Wildsafe BC website.

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Everything you need to know about Garbage

What if I have more than three garbage containers for collection? 

You must purchase stickers for additional garbage containers. Stickers can be purchased for $2 at one of the following locations:

  • City Hall located at 32315 South Fraser Way
  • Abbotsford Recreation Centre located at 2499 McMillan Road
  • Matsqui Recreation Centre located at 3106 Clearbrook Road

If you are planning on putting out more than 10 bags or containers of garbage, please call 604-853-5485 so we can inform collection staff ahead of time.

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What items are banned from the garbage?

Items not accepted for curbside collection are outlined in the City’s Solid Waste Collection Bylaw as amended from time to time. Materials not accepted with curbside garbage include:

  • Ashes
  • Batteries
  • Sewage
  • Animal feces
  • Dead animals
  • Liquids
  • Biomedical waste or sharps
  • Motor oil and oil filters, lubricating oil, transmission oil, hydraulic oil and other similar petroleum-based oils
  • Grease
  • Paint
  • Pesticides
  • Rocks
  • Demolition materials
  • Gyproc, gypsum wallboard or drywall
  • Wire
  • Explosive or flammable material
  • Hazardous waste
  • Compostable waste
  • Curbside recyclables

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What do I do with items that are banned from garbage collection (ie: hazardous waste, bulky items, etc.)?

Items can be searched in the Waste Wizard for current waste solutions.  Additionally, you can also call the BC Recycling Hotline at 1-800-667-4321.

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What do I do with kitty litter and pet waste?

Kitty litter must have the feces removed, be double bagged, securely tied and placed in curbside garbage. No more than 5L of kitty litter can be placed in one garbage container.  

Pet feces can be flushed down the toilet (no kitty litter or dirt), buried in your backyard or in a pet waste composter. View the Pet Owner Guide to Managing Pet Waste Brochure for additional information.

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Where is curbside garbage taken?

Curbside garbage is taken to the First Class Transfer Station, located at 34613 Vye Road. Current rates and hours of operation are available on the First Class Transfer Station website or call 604-854-0095.  

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Where can I drop off additional garbage?

Additional garbage may be dropped off for a charge at one of the transfer stations.

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What can I do if I see illegal dumping?

The City cleans up illegal dumping and litter on public property. You can report illegal dumping through any of the following methods:
  • Visit the City’s website
  • Download the Abbotsford City Services app (App Store and on Google Play)
  • Call the City Operations Yard at 604-853-5485

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Everything you need to know about Recycling

Does cardboard and newspaper need to go in a blue bag?

Large amounts of cardboard and newspaper can be bundled with twine. Bundles must not exceed 23 kg (50 lb) and may not be longer than 60 cm (2 ft) in any direction.  

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Do I need to sort or wash my recyclables?

Curbside recyclables do not need to be sorted, but they do need to be empty, clean and dry and placed in a transparent blue bag for collection. 

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Do I need to remove labels from containers?

No, you can leave the labels on containers. Please ensure that containers are empty, clean and dry before placing in your blue bag.

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Should I leave container lids on or off?

Please remove the lids and place them loose in your blue bag.

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Why should items be placed loose in my blue bag?  

Items that are inside a plastic bag or box cannot be recycled properly. The sorting machines at the recycling facility cannot sort the materials and for safety reasons, staff cannot open these bags. All material should be placed loose in your blue bag to ensure it can actually be recycled.

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Are plastic baggies, zipper lock type bags and sandwich wrap recyclable?

No, these items contain multiple layers of plastics and/or different types of plastics and are incompatible with the Recycle BC recycling process. The best option is to limit the use of these materials. Dispose of these items in your curbside garbage.

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Can I recycle my zipper lock type bag if I cut off the zipper?

No, these bags contain multiple layers of plastic and/or different types of plastics and are incompatible with the Recycle BC recycling process. Dispose of these bags in your curbside garbage.

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Why can’t I put glass in my blue bag?

Glass breaks easily during collection and sorting. When it breaks and is collected in the same container as other packaging or printed paper, the shards of glass can get embedded in and mixed with the other recyclables and cannot be separated again. This leads to glass and other blue mag materials being sent to landfill and less material being recycled.

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Why can’t I put film plastics in my blue bag?

Film plastics (shopping bags and plastic overwrap) mix with other recyclables during collection, are difficult to separate and get caught up in the processing equipment. This leads to less film plastics and other materials being recycled. When plastic film is returned to the depot, staff can ensure material is empty, clean and dry, and only the correct types of soft plastic are included. This ensures North American recycling re-manufacturer's specifications are met so that these materials can be recycled in BC or North America, and not sent overseas.

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What is overwrap?

Overwrap is the plastic packaging around items like flats of pop, diapers, paper towels, etc. and is accepted in the Recycle BC program at a Recycle BC Depot.

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Who is Recycle BC?

Recycle BC is a non-profit organization that is responsible for residential recycling programs in many areas across BC. Recycle BC provides this service through partnerships with local governments, First Nations, private companies and non-profit organizations. The Recycle BC program is funded by the businesses that supply packaging and printed paper to BC residents, shifting recycling costs away from municipalities.

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Where are the Recycle BC Depots Located?

There are four Recycle BC Depots available for Abbotsford residents. Locations are provided on a quick reference list here.

Information about what materials are accepted at the depots and depot hours of operation is available on the Recycle BC website. Residents can also use the City's Waste Wizard to find out where to recycle or dispose of an item.  

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Where are the curbside recyclables taken?

Curbside recyclables are taken to the Abbotsford Mission Recycling Depot, located at 33670 Valley Road. More information is available on the Abbotsford Community Services Recycling website.

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What happens to my recycling after the City collects it at the curb?

After your blue bag is collected by the City, it is taken to the Abbotsford Mission Recycling Depot, located at 33670 Valley Road. The material is placed on a conveyor belt where it is hand sorted. After sorting, the material is either baled or loaded loose into shipping containers. The material is then transported off site for processing under Recycle BC. Visit the Recycle BC website for more information on how material is processed after it is taken offsite. 

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What materials are accepted for drop off at the Abbotsford Mission Recycling Depot?

Unsorted blue bags of mixed material are not accepted at the depot. All items must be sorted into appropriate bins at the depot. Materials accepted at the drop-off area include: 

  • All blue bag recyclables
  • Film plastics
  • Plastic overwrap
  • Glass bottles and jars
  • Foam packaging
  • Paint
  • Gasoline
  • Flammable liquids
  • Household pesticides
  • Batteries
  • Scrap metal
  • Electronics
  • Cell phones
  • Ink jet cartridges
  • Fluorescent tubes
  • Aerosol cans
  • Small appliances
  • Smoke alarms
  • Carbon monoxide alarms
  • Books
  • Clothing  

More information is available on the Abbotsford Community Services Recycling website.

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Will the use of blue bags be phased out?

The City is currently assessing different options for reusable curbside recycling containers. Stay tuned for more information!  

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Everything you need to know about Compostable Waste

What is compostable waste?

Compostable waste is any form of food waste or yard waste. It is also known as “green” waste. 

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What does food waste include?

Food waste includes the following:

  • Meat
  • Bones
  • Grain products (bread)
  • Coffee grounds
  • Coffee filters
  • Tea bags
  • Dairy products
  • Eggs
  • Egg shells
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Pasta
  • Nuts
  • Nutshells
  • Fats
  • Oils
  • Butter
  • Mayonnaise
  • Paper plates
  • Napkins
  • Paper towels
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Toothpicks 
  • Greasy pizza boxes
  • Paper egg cartons containing egg residue

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What does yard waste include?

Yard waste includes the following:

  • Grass clippings
  • Tree prunings
  • Hedge prunings
  • Leaves
  • Plants
  • Flowers
  • Weeds
  • Bark mulch
  • Trunks/branches. 

 These items can be disposed of as part of the City’s curbside collection service in the weekly compost/yard waste by crews as follows:

  • Branches can be tied in bundles or placed in compostable waste containers or paper yard bags
  • Branch bundles can be up to 1 m (3.3 ft) in length and up to 60 cm (2 ft) in diameter
  • Bundles must be tied with  natural string or twine
  • Branches and stumps can be up to 15 cm (6”) in diameter
  • Up to ten items (combination of containers, bags or bundles) will be collected each week

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Can I place my food and yard waste in the same container? 

Yes, all food and yard waste can be combined in your compostable waste container.  

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What materials are not accepted in the curbside compostable waste collection?

  • Plastic (including compostable/biodegradable plastic)
  • Glass or metal of any kind
  • Foam packaging (example:StyrofoamTM)
  • Pet waste or kitty litter
  • Disposable coffee cups
  • Wax coated cartons
  • Diapers and baby wipes
  • Wire, twist ties and rubber bands
  • Rocks, dirt and sod
  • Wax paper, aluminum foil, coating baking paper and parchment paper
  • Cigarette butts
  • Vacuum contents and bags
  • Dimensional, engineered, painted or treated wood
  • Branch bundles greater than 1 m (3.3 ft) in length
  • Branch bundles greater than 60 cm (2 ft) in diameter
  • Bundles tied with material other than natural string or twine
  • Branches and stumps greater than 15 cm (6”) in diameter

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What is the maximum size of trunks and branches that will be collected curbside?

These items can be disposed of as part of the City’s curbside collection service in the weekly compost/yard waste by crews as follows: 

  • Branches can be tied in bundles or placed in compostable waste containers or paper yard bags
  • Branch bundles can be up to 1 m (3.3 ft) in length and up to 60 cm (2 ft) in diameter
  • Bundles must be tied with natural string or twine
  • Branches and stumps can be up to 15 cm (6”) in diameter
  • Up to ten items (combination of containers, bags or bundles) will be collected each week

Alternatively, tree branches and yard waste can be dropped off at the Net Zero Waste Abbotsford composting facility at 5050 Gladwin Road. Please visit the  Net Zero Waste Abbotsford website for more information.

  • Residents that receive the City’s curbside collection service can use one of the yard waste coupons that are mailed out with the annual collection calendar
  • Additional charges may apply for larger diameter stumps and branches
  • A gate charge will apply for those without a coupon

Larger stumps and branches are best handled by a tree service contractor or residents can bring these items to Net Zero Waste for a charge.   

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Where can I get a compostable waste sticker for my curbside container?

Stickers can be obtained for no cost from one of the following locations:

  • City Hall located at 32315 South Fraser Way
  • Abbotsford Recreation Centre located at 2499 McMillan Road
  • Matsqui Recreation Centre located at 3106 Clearbrook Road
  • Public Works Yard located at 31739 King Road

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Where can I get a kitchen collection container or liners?

Liners and personal containers, such as kitchen catchers, can be purchased from many local retailers both in store and online. The City has compiled the below list of retailers as a reference for residents looking to purchase containers and liners. Mention of any retailer in this list does not constitute endorsement or recommendation of the retailer by the City. Additional retailers of personal containers may be found through searching the yellow pages or online. 

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What can I line my kitchen container and large curbside container with? 

Use paper bag liners or newspapers.View the folding instructions to make a newspaper liner for your kitchen compost container. Large curbside containers can be lined with paper bags, newspapers, grass, cedar needles or leaves. Adding organic yard waste to the large curbside bins help to absorb fluid from food waste and make the bins easier to empty. 

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Can I use Kraft paper bags for my food waste?

Kraft paper bags containing any food waste cannot be used as a curbside container, but can be placed inside an appropriately designed hard plastic or metal curbside container with a City compostable waste sticker affixed to it.   

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Can I use compostable or biodegradable plastic bags for my compostable waste containers?

No, although some bags may be compostable and contain no plastic, there are many other products on the market that do. Our curbside collection crews pick-up compost from thousands of homes each week, and are not able to distinguish between different types of compostable plastic-type liners, even though some may break down better than others.

All of the compostable waste collected in the City’s curbside program is taken to Net Zero Waste Abbotsford composting facility, which is then turned into an organic, composted soil product for the retail market. All types of plastic, even the “compostable” or “biodegradable” type, do not break down small enough and result in small plastic pellets in the soil, which makes it unsuitable for use. For this reason, compostable plastics are not accepted in curbside compostable collection.

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Can grease or cooking oil be placed in the compostable waste container?

Yes, small amounts of cooking oil and grease from cooking foods can go into your compostable waste container. Ensure the oil and grease is absorbed into paper towel or newspaper before placing in your container. Please drop off larger volumes of cooking oil at a depot. Use the City’s Waste Wizard to find depot locations accepting this material.

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Where can I drop off additional compostable waste?

Additional compostable waste may be dropped off at the Net Zero Waste Abbotsford composting facility located at 5050 Gladwin Road:

  • Residents that receive the City’s curbside collection service can use one of the yard waste coupons that are mailed out with the annual collection calendar
  • Additional charges may apply for larger diameter stumps and branches
  • A gate charge will apply for those without a coupon or for those dropping off food waste

Larger stumps and branches are best handled by a tree service contractor or residents can bring these items to Net Zero Waste Abbotsford for a charge. Information on hours and rates are available on the Net Zero Waste Abbotsford website or call 604-557-7065.

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Can I use a backyard composter? 

Yes! Backyard composters are great for the environment and are available at most local hardware stores. For more information on backyard composting see our handy Guide to Backyard Composting.

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