City Of Abbotsford  
Curbside Collection - Pick Up
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Curbside Collection FAQs - Residents

Frequently referenced resources for single family homes and duplexes:


Everything you need to know about Curbside Collection

Everything you need to know about Curbside Garbage

Everything you need to know about Curbside Recycling

Everything you need to know about Curbside Compostables

Everything you need to know about Curbside Collection

How can I find out whether an item should go in recycling, compostable waste, garbage or needs to be dropped off at a depot?

The City provides a number of tools for residents to assist in the proper recycling or disposal of an item:

  • Waste Wizard
    The Waste Wizard is a search engine that can be accessed through the City’s website or through the mobile app available at the Apple App Store or on Google Play. Search an item to find out whether it goes with curbside recycling, compostable waste or garbage, or whether it needs to be dropped off at a depot or other location for proper recycling or disposal.
  • Curbside Collection Handbook
    The Curbside Collection Handbook provides a detailed overview of the curbside collection program, including a list of common materials accepted in curbside recycling, compostable waste and garbage. This document is also available in Punjabi.
  • Curbside Collection Guide
    The Curbside Collection Guide is a quick reference guide that provides a list of common materials accepted in curbside recycling, compostable waste and garbage. Some common recycling depot items are also listed. This document is also available in Punjabi.
  • Recycling Guide
    The Recycling Guide provides detailed information sorting and preparation instructions for common recyclables.This document is also available in Punjabi.
  • Recycling Hotline
    Residents can also call the Recycling Council of BC Recycling Hotline at 1-800-667-4321 for additional information on waste sorting.

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Where can I find my collection schedule?

Collection schedules are mailed annually in early December for the following year. If you did not receive a schedule in the mail or misplaced your copy, you can print off a copy of your schedule on the City’s website or download the Abbotsford Curbside Collection App at the App Store or on Google Play for instant access to your calendar on your phone. You can also set up collection day reminders and service alert notifications here.

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Where can I get a curbside container for garbage or compostable waste?

Curbside containers for garbage and compostable waste can be purchased from many local retailers both in store and online. View the Acceptable Containers for Curbside Collection flyer for additional information pertaining to container size and design requirements.

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Do I get a second curbside collection service for my basement suite?

No. The Suite Registration Fee and the annual Infrastructure Fee paid for secondary suites under the City’s Building Bylaw does not include additional curbside collection service for the suite. Curbside collection services are provided for each single family home. This means that the maximum container or bag limits will apply to the home and not to the individual suites. Up to three items of garbage (combination of containers or bags) will be collected on each garbage collection day for the home. If more than three containers or bags are placed curbside, the additional bags will need to have extra garbage stickers adhered to them. Stickers can be purchased for $2 at City Hall, ARC and MRC. Unlimited recycling would be accepted curbside, and up to ten items (combination of containers, bags or bundles) of compostable waste would also be accepted.

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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 12 kg (25 lb)
  • 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:

More information of missed curbside collection can be found on the City's website.

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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. More information of missed curbside collection can be found on the City's website.

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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?

Many wildlife encounters can be prevented by responsibly managing waste and other attractants. 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.

Additionally, installing electric fencing is a great option for securing your backyard chickens, beehives, fruit trees, and more. Visit the Wildsafe BC website for useful information on installing an electric fence on your property.

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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.

Please Note: City Hall is open for select services by appointment only. Cashiers on the first floor remain open and do not require an appointment. All other City facilities remain closed at this time. For up-to-date information on what is re-opening, visit abbotsford.ca/reopening. We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your understanding as we put public safety first.

During this closure period, if you require replacement yard waste coupons or collection schedules please submit these requests at 604-864-5514 or email: eng-info@abbotsford.ca. Compostable waste container stickers are available in the first floor lobby at City Hall.  Extra garbage stickers can also be purchased in person from the Cashiers at City Hall.  If you are not able to visit City Hall to pick up or purchase stickers, please call the Matsqui Recreation Centre for other available options at 604-855-0500 (dial 0 when the recording begins).  We will do our best to respond to requests as soon as possible. 

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Where is curbside garbage taken?

Curbside garbage is taken to the GFL Environmental Transfer Station (formerly called First Class Transfer Station) located at 34613 Vye Road. Current rates and hours of operation are available on the GFL Environmental 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
  • Click on “Report an Issue” icon in the Abbotsford City Services mobile app (available on the App Store and Google Play)
  • Call the City Operations Yard at 604-853-5485

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Everything you need to know about Recycling

How can I find out whether an item should go in curbside recycling or be dropped off at a recycling depot?

The City provides a number of tools for residents to assist in the proper recycling or disposal of an item:

  • Waste Wizard
    The Waste Wizard is a search engine that can be accessed through the City’s website or through the mobile app available at the Apple App Store or on Google Play. Search an item to find out whether it goes with curbside recycling, compostable waste or garbage, or whether it needs to be dropped off at a depot or other location for proper recycling or disposal. If downloading the app to your mobile phone, an address that currently receives curbside collection services from the City is required. As the majority of multi-family properties do not receive collection services form the City, we recommend using City Hall as the address in the app (32315 South Fraser Way) and that you turn off notifications for collection day. This will allow you to still have access to the Waste Wizard directly on your phone (disregard the collection schedule that is displayed).
  • Recycling Guide
    The Recycling Guide provides detailed information sorting and preparation instructions for common recyclables.  This document is also available in Punjabi.

Residents can also call the Recycling Council of BC Recycling Hotline at 1-800-667-4321 for additional information on waste sorting.

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Where are the recycling depots located in Abbotsford?

There are currently seven main recycling depots available for residents to drop off recyclables under various product stewardship or take back programs. Locations are provided on the City's website here.

Information about what materials are accepted at the depots and depot hours of operation is available in the City's Residential Recycling Drop-Off Handbook and Quick Reference Guide. Residents can also use the City's Waste Wizard to find out where to recycle or dispose of an item. 

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

Refer to the Abbotsford Mission Recycling Depot flyer for information on what materials are accepted at the depot. Additional information can also be found at acsrecycling.ca or by viewing a short vlog on the City’s website. 

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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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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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Where are the curbside recyclables taken?

Curbside recyclables are taken to the Abbotsford Mission Recycling Depot (AMRD), located at 33670 Valley Road. The AMRD is operated by Archway Community Services on behalf of the City of Abbotsford and the District of Mission. After your blue bag is collected by the City, it is taken to the AMRD where the material is placed on a conveyor belt and 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 the provincial Recycle BC program. Visit the Recycle BC website for more information on how material is processed after it is taken offsite. 

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Will the use of blue bags be phased out?

Yes.  The City will be adopting a cart-based automatic collection system where residents will be provided with a recycling cart to use in place of blue bags. Carts will also be provided for curbside compostables and garbage. Please visit abbotsford.ca/curbside2021 for all available information on the changes coming to the curbside collection program.  Residents will be informed well in advance of any changes.

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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 and is sometimes referred to as “green” waste. Items considered as compostable waste include meat, bones, grain products (bread), coffee grounds and filters, tea bags, dairy products, eggs and egg shells, fruits, vegetables, pasta, nuts and nutshells, fats, oils, butter, paper plates, paper napkins, paper towels, popsicle sticks, toothpicks, grass clippings, tree prunings, leaves, plants, flowers, etc.  Visit abbotsford.ca/collection for additional information on what is accepted as compostable waste in the curbside collection program.

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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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How can I manage odours from my food waste?

The simplest and most effective way to prevent odours is to reduce the amount of food waste generated. Refer to our flyer for a number of other options available for managing food waste both in your kitchen container and at the curb.

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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

Please Note: City Hall is open for Tax Payments. All other City facilities remain closed at this time. For up-to-date information on what is re-opening, visit abbotsford.ca/reopening. We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your understanding as we put public safety first.

During this closure period, if you require replacement yard waste coupons or collection schedules please submit these requests at 604-864-5514 or email: eng-info@abbotsford.ca. On a temporary basis, extra garbage stickers can be purchased by calling the Matsqui Recreation Centre at 604-855-0500 (dial 0 when recording begins). Credit card information can be provided over the phone and stickers will be mailed. We will do our best to respond to requests as soon as possible. 

 

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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 hardware stores both in store and online. Please note that “compostable” or “biodegradable” plastic bags are not accepted in the curbside collection program.

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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 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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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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