Food Scraps 101: Tips and tricks for hassle-free food scrap recycling

Watch this video with Chinese subtitles on YouTube


Did you know that, since the food scraps recycling program started, you've helped reduce the amount of garbage going to the landfill by 40%?

But we can still do better!

Read on for no-fuss, no-mess tips and tricks for easily recycling your food scraps – without odours or pests – and help us become the greenest city in the world by 2020!

Tips for your kitchen

  • Drain excess liquids off of your food scraps before putting them in your kitchen container.
  • Empty your kitchen container daily.
  • Wrap food scraps in newspaper or a paper bag.
  • Store wrapped food scraps in the freezer until collection day.
  • Capture fruit flies with a bowl of apple cider vinegar covered with plastic wrap, with several small holes in the plastic.

Tips for your Green Bin

  • Store your bin outside in a ventilated, shady, and convenient location with the lid closed.
  • Alternate a layer of food scraps with a layer of leaves or dead plants in your bin.
  • Allow grass clippings and leaves to dry before placing them in your bin.
  • Keep the contents of your bin dry. Line the bin with newsprint, cardboard, or yard trimmings before adding your food scraps.
  • Set out your bin for collection every week (full or not)
  • Clean your bin periodically with mild detergent, or a vinegar and water solution. If you prefer, you can hire a private company to clean your bin (see below).
  • Put salt or vinegar in your bin to eliminate maggots. 

Find out how you can prevent pest and odours in your garbage bin

Hire a company to clean your Green Bin

This list of bin-cleaning companies is for information only. The City does not support or guarantee the services of these companies.

Bioclens Environmental


Happy Bin Cleaning


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Make a kitchen container liner

Use our Green Bin origami guide to make a liner for your kitchen container.

Download the instructions

Go green with food scraps

Does your house, duplex, or multi-unit residential building get City waste collection service?

You can put all of your food scraps into your Green Bin.

Learn what goes in the Green Bin

No plastic in Green Bins

No plastic bags in food scraps

The composting facility in Richmond can’t process any kind of plastic, even bags marketed “biodegradable" or "compostable" as it degrades the quality of the finished compost.

If there is too much plastic contamination, the truckload of yard trimmings and food scraps might simply go to the landfill.

Last modified: Tue, 29 Jul 2014 10:21:05