London will begin a Green Bin program the week of January 15, 2024.
A Green Bin is like a blue (recycling) bin, but for food waste such as fruit and vegetable skins, meat and chicken, spoiled leftovers, and other inedible food waste like bones. The Green Bin would be collected from your home at the curbside much like your Blue Box is.
Organic materials such as food scraps, spoiled food, and soiled paper can make up nearly half our residential garbage by weight. Using your Green Bin and properly recycling and sorting your waste helps our community:
- Reduce harmful greenhouse gasses like the methane gas created when organic material breaks down in the landfill
- Turn old waste into a new resource that feeds local farms and soils
- Extend the life of our landfill by keeping organic materials from going in the landfill
The Green Bin is an important program that supports London’s Climate Emergency Action Plan and the City of London’s Strategic Plan. Together, we can reduce our waste, prevent greenhouse gas emissions, and transform our food scraps into nutrient-rich compost.
Green Bin delivery to homes
Residents will receive a Green Bin and Kitchen Container this fall.
They will be delivered to approximately 120,000 households in London beginning in mid-October and will take about two months to complete deliveries.
Londoners will need to hold onto their Green Bin after it is delivered, and only begin placing it to the curb once the program begins the week of January 15, 2024.
Inside the Green Bin will be a copy of the new 2024 Waste Reduction and Conservation Guide. The new Guide will contain information on collection dates beginning January 15, 2024, how to use the kitchen container and Green Bin, what materials go inside the Green Bin, what materials must not be placed in the Green Bin, and how and when it should be placed at the curb.
The Kitchen Container is designed to collect organic waste from your kitchen before it goes in the Green Bin. It provides a quick and convenient way for you to collect your food scraps, catch them from accidently going into the garbage, and keep them from causing odours indoors. It could be stored on or under your kitchen counter. When the container is full, contents can then be moved to your Green Bin.
Some households who already compost may be familiar with the idea of Kitchen Container, and some families have been using containers or tins already to collect food scraps for their home compost.
As part of London’s new Green Bin program, the frequency of collection days is changing beginning the week of January 15, 2024.
Green Bins and recycling will be picked up at the curb every week. Organic materials such as food waste that can cause odours will be collected weekly in the Green Bin.
Garbage will be picked up at the curb every other week. This means that Londoners will be required to hold onto remaining garbage 4 to 6 additional days compared to the current system.
The collection day will remain on the same day each week between statutory holidays. Every statutory holiday, the schedule will move forward one day, meaning collection day will change about 10 times a year instead of every week.
Yard waste collection will still occur every five weeks during the spring and summer and every two to three weeks during the fall.
What types of items will be accepted in the Green Bin program when it begins?
Accepted materials will include kitchen scraps such as fruit and vegetable peelings, meats, chicken, fish, bread, paper towels, and other food waste such as fats, oils and grease.
What can I do with my food waste right now?
There are two immediate actions you can take if you are not already doing these.
First, avoid the creation of food waste. On average, each London household wastes between $600 and $700 worth of food, per year, that could have been eaten. Tips to reduce food waste include:
- Plan your meals and make a grocery list
- Stick to your list and buy only what you need
- Eat leftovers or freeze them for later
- Use the most perishable food first
- Store your food properly so it does not spoil
Second, composting is nature's way of recycling. Compost is a natural process and returns nutrients and organic matter to the soil, and feeds beneficial micro-organisms, insects and worms. It improves the texture, oxygen-retaining capabilities, and moisture-holding capacity of the soil. Digesting is similar but it can take a longer list of materials such as meats and dairy but it does not create a compost product. Composters and digesters can be purchased at an EnviroDepot for $20 each (taxes included). You can learn more about composting at home at london.ca/compost.
Will Londoners in apartment buildings receive Green Bins?
The Green Bin program beginning January 15, 2024 is for curbside households only.
A Green Bin pilot project is being designed to begin in approximately 10 apartment buildings in London. The start date and participating buildings are still to be determined.