Town of Canmore

Commercial Food Waste Collection

Mandatory Commercial Food Waste Bylaw

Food isn’t garbage. A mandatory commercial food waste bylaw will be implemented in spring of 2023 (not enforced until fall 2023). Food waste, which includes all cooked and raw food scraps (bones, egg shells, coffee grounds, etc.) and food-soiled paper products, makes up over half of the waste sent to landfill by commercial and institutional sectors. A voluntary food waste collection program for commercial businesses has been in place since 2020, but only 1/3 of relevant businesses participate. In order to further reduce food waste going to the landfill, the Town will be updating the Recyclables and Waste Bylaw to make it mandatory to collect food waste separately from commercial garbage. Banff, Calgary and many other municipalities have similar bylaw requirements for businesses.

The key updates being proposed in the bylaw update include:
- Every owner of a commercial premise shall provide for the separate removal of food waste from that premise.
- Food waste will be banned from being placed into any garbage container at a commercial premise.

These food waste requirements only apply if a business or organization that serves or manufactures food operates within the premise (e.g. restaurants, coffee shops, healthcare facilities, cafeterias, grocery stores, food manufacturing, breweries, etc.).

We are looking for your feedback on ways to improve transition to mandatory food waste diversion from February 10 - 27. To provide your feedback click here.

Town of Canmore Food Waste Collection Service

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

  1. Contact us to get started at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  2. 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.
  3. 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? 
  4. Confirm your initial collection schedule with us and the number of roll carts you require. 
  5. We will deliver the roll carts and educational materials for staff and customers.
  6. 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 $11 per cart pick up. The roll carts are included in the price, but you are responsible for any smaller bins you need to use. To view the full fee schedule click here.

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. 

The Town of Canmore is located within Treaty 7 region of Southern Alberta. In the spirit of respect, reciprocity and truth, we honour and acknowledge the Canmore area, known as “Chuwapchipchiyan Kudi Bi” (translated in Stoney Nakoda as “shooting at the willows”) and the traditional Treaty 7 territory and oral practices of the Îyârhe Nakoda (Stoney Nakoda) – comprised of the Bearspaw First Nation, Chiniki First Nation, and Goodstoney First Nation – as well as the Tsuut’ina First Nation and the Blackfoot Confederacy comprised of the Siksika, Piikani, Kainai. We acknowledge that this territory is home to the Métis Nation of Alberta, Region 3, within the historical Northwest Métis homeland. We acknowledge all Nations who live, work, and play and help us steward this land and honour and celebrate this territory. We commit to working to live in right relations and to advance Truth and Reconciliation.

Website Security Test