Garbage cart collection
We collect your recycling and garbage using automated and semi-automated collection services. Find out how the collection works, and its benefits.
1. How does automated collection work?
From inside the vehicle, the driver activates a mechanical arm on the garbage or recycling truck to pick up, empty and return the cart to its location.
2. How does semi-automated collection work?
The collectors will get out of the truck, wheel the cart to the back of the truck and hook it onto a lift. They will then activate the lift to empty the cart. The collector will return the cart to its original location.
3. What are the benefits of automated and semi-automated garbage cart collection?
- Cost savings in the long term because automated collection and semi-automated collection are more efficient than manual collection.
- Fewer litter, odour and pest problems because the carts have lids.
- Provides a safer work environment for collectors. They will not suffer from the typical injuries that go with repeatedly lifting heavy objects into a truck (e.g., leg, back and shoulder injuries). Nor will they risk injury from sharp objects in garbage bags (e.g., hypodermic needles, broken glass, nails).
4. Why do you use automated collection in some areas and semi-automated in other areas?
Semi-automated vehicles are generally used in areas with back lanes. The trucks are smaller and both sides of the lane can be collected at the same time. However, the collectors may use any vehicle in any area, so be sure to leave enough space around your carts for the automated arm.
5. Can I place materials beside the cart if I don't have enough room inside?
If you have additional garbage, we offer extra garbage bag pickup of up to three standard size garbage bags, for a fee.
Otherwise, you must save any garbage that doesn't fit in your cart until the next collection day.Contact 311 to arrange for special collection of large items that don't fit in the cart (e.g., mattresses, furniture). A charge will apply.
6. What size is the garbage cart?
Single-family properties receive one 240-litre garbage cart per dwelling unit. Properties with 4-7 dwelling units may receive fewer, but larger carts to save space. You can upgrade to a larger or an additional garbage cart for an annual fee.
When is your collection day? Find out and print your collection calendar.
We charge a daily waste diversion fee to fund new programs that provide residents with more ways to reduce, reuse and recycle. Learn more about the fee here.
1. What is the waste diversion fee?
The current waste diversion fee can be found here.
The waste diversion fee is:
- billed as a daily charge for each dwelling unit serviced,
- added to quarterly utility bills if you have a water account with us,
- billed quarterly if you do not have City water and sewer service.
2. What does the daily waste diversion fee pay for?
The daily waste diversion fee was introduced to fund new programs that provide residents with more ways to reduce, reuse and recycle (e.g., curbside yard waste collection, a curbside kitchen organic collection trial, 4R Winnipeg Depots).
3. Can residential property owners opt out of the daily waste diversion fee?
4. What is the daily waste diversion fee based on?
The daily waste diversion fee is per residential dwelling unit, according to The City's Assessment and Taxation records.
5. I am a renter in a single-family dwelling/house. Does this charge affect me?
If the utility bill is in your name, you will be responsible for the daily waste diversion fee.
6. I am a property owner with renters. What does this mean for me?
You are responsible for:
- ensuring the carts are available for your tenants, and
- the daily waste diversion fee if the utility bill is in your name.
7. Can a property owner assessed with 2 - 7 dwelling units reduce their waste diversion fees and their level of service?
Yes. The property owner can reduce the number of carts and the service to empty the carts.
8. Who should I contact if I have questions?
On collection day, you must place your carts a certain way to ensure they are collected by the automated collection trucks.
1. When should I place my carts out for collection?
Put your carts out by 7:00 am on your collection day, but no sooner than the night before.
2. How should I place my carts on collection day?
- Place them - Place the carts on or next to the street or lane with the wheels against the curb or edge of the road.
- Point them - Point the arrow on the cart lid to the centre of the road or lane.
- Space them - Allow one arm's length clearance (one metre or 39 inches) on all sides of each cart to allow enough room for the collection arm on the automated truck to grab your cart. Make sure they are not under any low-hanging objects (e.g., trees, eavestroughs, basketball net).
- Return them - Take your carts back onto your property as soon as possible after collection.
3. Do I place my carts at my back lane or at my front street?
If there is a back lane behind or beside your property, put your carts in the back lane.
If there is no back lane behind or beside your property, put your carts at the front street.
4. Do I have to place my carts out every collection day?
No. You can place your carts out on any of your collection days.
5. How do I place my carts in winter?
- Make sure the area around and under your carts is clear of snow.
- Do not place the carts behind or on top of a snowbank.
- Clear the snow and ice off the cart lids so that they open easily when the carts are emptied.
- Keep the lids closed at all times to keep the snow out of your carts.
For more info on snow removal, please read this winter FAQ.
6. What if I am not able to get my carts to the curb or lane?
If you are unable to move the carts and have no one living in the home that is able to do so, you can apply for our walk-up service.
7. What do I do if I have difficulty placing my carts on collection day (e.g., due to trees, vehicles, telephone poles)?
- Allow one arm's length clearance (one metre or 39 inches) on all sides of each cart to allow enough room for the collection arm on the automated truck to grab your cart.
- Place the carts so they are not under any low-hanging objects (e.g., trees, eavestroughs, basketball net).
- If you still have difficulties placing your carts, contact 311.
If you're moving into a newly constructed home, into an existing home, or out of your current home, you should know this about your recycling and garbage carts.
1. How do I get recycling and garbage carts if I move to a newly constructed home?
If you are buying a new home, you must:
- contact the Utility Billing Centre to set up an account with us, and
- contact 311 to arrange delivery of one 240-litre recycling cart and one 240-litre garbage cart.
2. What do I do with the recycling and garbage carts if I move?
- Store the carts in a safe place for the next resident to use.
- If you have upgraded your service (i.e., larger size carts, additional carts) and you would like to bring your carts with you to a new Winnipeg address, please call 311 at least two weeks prior to your move
3. How do I get a set of carts if I move to an existing home?
A set of carts would have been assigned to that address, so we recommend that you account for the condition of the carts at the time of the sale. If the carts are missing or need to be repaired, you will be responsible for the replacement of the carts. Please contact 311.
You can take these precautions to keep your cart safe and secure. You can also find out what to do if your cart is damaged or missing.
1. What can I do to prevent my carts from going missing or being damaged?
To reduce the chances of your carts being damaged or going missing:
- move your carts back onto your property as soon as possible after collection
- do not leave them at the back lane or front street
- write your address on your carts
2. What happens if my garbage cart is damaged?
- You are responsible for the cost of replacing or repairing your damaged cart unless:
- we damage it during collection, or
- it is damaged by a third party, as long as:
- the cart was stored in a safe place on your property and not left at the back lane/front street between collection days,
- the cart can no longer hold material when stored or when collected, and
- you return the damaged cart to the City.
- You must contact 311 to buy replacement carts and parts (e.g., lids, wheels).
- We will deliver the carts and parts for a fee or you can pick up the carts and parts at no additional cost.
- If you choose to pick up the carts and parts, we will contact you when they are ready
3. What happens if my garbage cart is lost or stolen?
- You are responsible for the cost of replacing lost or stolen carts.
- You must contact 311 to buy replacement carts.
- We will deliver the carts for a fee or you can pick up the carts at no additional cost.
- If you choose to pick up the carts, we will contact you when they are ready
4. How do you know which cart belongs to each address?
Every cart has a serial number and is electronically tagged, so carts can be traced to each address. There is also a spot on the cart to write your address.
5. Can I purchase and use a cart from a home improvement store?
No. The collection trucks will not empty carts sold by home improvement stores.
6. Can I chain my carts to my fence in between collection days so they don't go missing?
Yes, but they must be unlocked and moved to your collection point before 7:00 am on collection day.
You can get a larger or an additional garbage cart for an annual fee.
1. Can I get a larger size garbage cart or an additional garbage cart?
Yes. You can upgrade your garbage collection service for an annual fee. You may select only one option:
- Option 1: switch the 240-litre cart for a 360-litre cart
- Option 2: keep the original 240-litre cart and get a second cart, 240-litre size
- Option 3: keep the original 240-litre cart and get a second cart, 360-litre size
You must contact 311 to upgrade your service.
- We will deliver the cart for a fee or you can pick up the cart at no additional cost.
- If you choose to pick up the cart, we will contact you when it is ready.
- Details on upgrading your recycling service.
2. Can I choose more than one upgrade option?
No. The maximum garbage cart upgrade volume allowed is 600 litres of garbage per week per dwelling unit.
3. Can I temporarily get a larger or additional garbage cart?
No, you must pay for the upgraded service for the entire year.
4. What do I do if I want to cancel my upgraded service?
5. If I move, can you transfer my upgraded service to my new address?
Yes, as long as you move to another single-family property in Winnipeg. Please call 311 at least two weeks prior to the move. If we don't hear from you, the next resident may report the cart as missing.
We'll remove items and garbage bags that don't fit in your cart for a fee. Find out how to get them collected.
For an additional fee, we will pick up items that don't fit in your garbage cart – extra garbage bags, large items and appliances. Contact 311 and request a special pickup two full business days before your collection day.
Extra garbage bags
We will collect up to three standard-size garbage bags pickup for a fee.
We will collect up to ten large items per pickup for a fee. Examples of large items are:
- furniture, mattresses
- appliances without ozone-depleting substances (e.g., stoves, dishwashers, washing machines)
We will collect up to ten appliances with ozone depleting substances (combined with large items) per pickup for a fee. The service includes professional removal of hazardous materials such as chlorofluorocarbons. Examples of appliances with ozone-depleting substances are:
- refrigerators, freezers
- air conditioners
What you must do if garbage has been illegally dumped on your property.
Will you collect illegally dumped garbage?
- Contact the 311 Centre by phone or email to report someone dumping garbage in your neighbourhood or to request a pickup of illegally dumped garbage.
- According to the Neighbourhood Liveability By-law 1/2008, property owners and occupants must keep the adjacent public sidewalk, boulevard, and back lane free of garbage.
Here are some reasons why your collection may have been missed, and how to report a missed collection.
If we cannot collect your cart, we will leave a tag with the reason why it wasn't serviced.
- Not enough space around the carts
The collection arm on the truck needs space (at least one arm's length clearance on all sides of the cart) so it will not tip over other carts or damage property.
- Cart facing the wrong way
The arrows on the cart lid must point to the centre of the street. Dumping the cart backwards can break or damage the lid.
- Overfilled cart
The cart lid must be completely closed. Otherwise the lid can be damaged when the cart is emptied.
- Items on top or beside the cart
If you have extra garbage bags or large items that don't fit in your cart, phone 311 for a special pickup.
- Cart blocked
- on the ground (e.g., snowbank, parked vehicle)
- overhead (e.g., low hanging wires, trees, eavestroughs)
If none of these reasons explain why your cart wasn't emptied, please leave it out and contact our 311 Centre.
Tips to help you keep your garbage cart clean and prevent odours.
You can help keep your garbage cart clean by:
- bagging your garbage
- sealing diapers and pet waste in tightly tied bags
- rinsing your cart occasionally with water from your garden hose to wash off debris (leave the lid open after rinsing to allow the cart to dry)
- using an environmentally friendly cleaning solution (e.g., spray with a solution of one part white vinegar, three parts warm water) to deodorize and disinfect the cart (leave the lid open after rinsing to allow the cart to dry)
- hiring a professional cart cleaning company
Here are some tips to help protect your carts from arson.
- Put your carts out by 7:00 am on your collection day, but no sooner than the night before.
- Move your carts back onto your property soon as possible after they are emptied.
- Between collections, store your carts in a safe place on your property. Do not leave them at or close to the back lane or front street.
- Contact 311 and request a special pickup for large items, or to report large items abandoned in your neighbourhood.