The Town of Canmore is offering a pick-up service for food waste from restaurants and other businesses.
How it Works
We will provide participating businesses with 240 L roll carts (see photo below). We also have a 120 L roll cart option for those businesses with limited space or an animal proof option that can be stored outside. You decide the number of carts you need and how frequently you would like them picked up. If you need an extra pick-up, you can contact us to arrange with 24 hours notice. Your scheduled pick-ups can be changed to account for seasonal variability.
Getting Food Waste Collection Started at your Business
- We will answer any questions you have and then arrange a site visit to determine where the roll cart(s) will be collected from. Please note that food waste roll carts will need to be stored indoors or in an animal-proof enclosure. If this is not possible, we have an animal-proof cart option that can be stored outdoors.
- Consider how and where you will collect your food waste. Will you keep your roll cart in your kitchen or store it in another area and use smaller bins to collect and transfer your food waste?
- Confirm your initial collection schedule with us and the number of roll carts you require.
- We will deliver the roll carts and educational materials for staff and customers.
- Collection will start on your chosen date. Remember, you can contact us if you need to change your schedule or request an extra pick-up.
The collection service costs $10 per cart pick up. The roll carts are included in the price, but you are responsible for any smaller bins you need to use.
Frequently Asked Questions
What can go into the roll cart for composting?
All cooked and raw food, including meat and bones, coffee grounds and filters, paper napkins, wooden stir sticks and chopsticks, and certified compostable take-away food containers. For restaurants, this means almost all of your waste can be composted instead of landfilled. We will provide an Accepted/Not Accepted list for staff.
How do I figure out how many roll carts and pick ups I need?
This will in part be dictated by how much space you have for the carts. We can advise you based on other restaurants that have food waste collection, however, it may need a few weeks to determine an ideal schedule. You can start by paying attention to how much garbage you are currently producing. Typically, a restaurant’s food waste is 50-80% of garbage. Generally, a 240 L roll cart holds about 100-150 lbs of food waste.
What are the dimensions of the roll carts?
240 L cart: Depth – 71.6 cm, Width – 61.6 cm, Height – 108.6 cm.
120 L cart: Depth – 53.5 cm, Width – 48.6 cm, Height – 95.5 cm.
240 L animal proof cart: Depth - 72.9 cm, Width - 71.2 cm, Height - 108.2 cm.
Won't the roll cart get dirty?
We will provide compostable bin liners. These liners will help keep the carts clean and prevent food from freezing to the inside. We will replace the bin liners in your cart each time they are collected.
How do I pay?
It is preferred that you set up pre-authorized payment. You will be charged on a quarterly basis for the number of pick-ups you had during the previous period. We can also invoice you if pre-authorized payment is not an option.
Where will my food waste go?
Collected food waste will go to the Canmore Waste Management Centre and then will be transferred to a compost facility north of Calgary.
Doesn’t all this driving just create more greenhouse gas emissions than composting?
Food waste and other organic material creates methane when buried in a landfill. Methane contributes to climate change much more so than carbon dioxide so the benefits of diverting food waste to composting far outweigh the impacts of any additional transportation required.
What about the added cost for my business?
Ideally, the cost for food waste collection will be offset by the decrease in garbage. For food service businesses there should be very little residual garbage after diverting food waste to composting. We understand that not all businesses pay for garbage collection directly or may be locked into contracts with waste haulers that will not allow for a decrease in garbage pick ups or bin sizes. Food waste diversion programs exist in many Canadian cities and businesses often participate because of their environmental values, staff attraction and retention, customer appreciation or other non-financial benefits. Costs can also be decreased by working to reduce the amount of food waste generated or by participating in food recovery programs.
Food Rescue and Food Waste Reduction
There are local opportunities for food rescue and recovery that compliment the Food Waste Collection program, potentially reducing the amount of food waste you are paying to have collected for composting.
Food Recovery Barn
Surplus food that you can’t use or sell can be brought to the Canmore Food Recovery Barn. Their mission is to recover edible food destined for the landfill from supermarkets and restaurants. They sort, display, and redistribute the recovered food, offering pickup for residents every Tuesday and Thursday from 5:30-6:15 pm at the Valley Lutheran Church in Canmore for a $5 suggested donation. If you have surplus food that could go to people instead of being composted or landfilled, get in touch through Facebook @CanmoreFoodRecoveryBarn.