Garbage, Organics & Recycling

Organics

Curbside Collection: Green Bin

The Boundary region is the first rural area in the B.C. Interior to provide residents with a waste diversion program targeting food scraps and kitchen scraps.

Need a Green Bin?
If you are new to the Boundary area and need a green bin or if your bin has been damaged by the collection truck, please fill out and submit this form, call the RDKB office at 250-368-0231 or email.

Green Bin User Guide
Download the Boundary/West Boundary Green Bin User Guide for a printable version of the information below, with tips on what can and can't go in your green bin, how to reduce the "yuck" factor, and much more!

Missed Pick-up?
Boundary residents (Christina Lake, Grand Forks, Greenwood, Midway and Areas C, D and E – excluding Big White): If your garbage, green bin or recycling was not picked up and you did not receive an ‘Oops!’ sticker, call GFL Environmental at 1.888.791.1190.

Did You Get an ‘Oops!’ Sticker?
There are several reasons why your green bin may get left behind. The following items are not permitted in your green bin:

  • Plastic bags, including those labeled compostable or biodegradable – use cellulose-lined paper bags or line your bins with newspaper, cardboard or boxboard
  • Yard and garden waste. Grand Forks residents – check your schedule for monthly yard and garden collection days. All other Boundary residents: take yard and garden waste directly to your closest RDKB landfill or staffed transfer station
  • Loose tissue/paper towel/powdery materials such as flour, sawdust or contents of vacuum canisters – contain in a heavy paper bag
  • Diapers – please place in the garbage
  • Pet waste (dog poo, cat litter, cage shavings) – place in the garbage
  • Plastics and meta – please recycle
  • Coffee/tea pods – empty, rinse and recycle with Containers
  • Disposable coffee cups – please recycle with Containers
  • Produce stickers/labels/tape

Your bin may also not get picked up if it’s too dirty – be sure to clean in regularly!

Yard and garden waste collection is provided to City of Grand Forks residents once a month from March to November. Your materials may get left at the curb for one of several reasons. Check the Yard and Garden Waste section below for guidelines on how to properly sort and manage your materials.

How does the curbside collection program work?
Residents are provided a kitchen bucket and a green bin. The RDKB also supplies each home with a sample pack of paper bucket liners. These may be useful to help keep the bucket clean. Additional bags can be purchased at local hardware/grocery stores. 

Fill the kitchen bucket with the proper materials and dump it into your green bin when full. Each week, the green bin will be collected. 

What Goes IN the Bin?
Kitchen waste, such as…

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Bread and baked goods
  • Uneaten cooked food
  • Meat and small bones (raw or cooked)
  • Pasta, rice, grains and cereal
  • Food-soiled paper & cardboard (pizza boxes, parchment paper, paper plates)
  • Eggs and dairy
  • Tea bags, coffee grounds and filters
  • Cut flowers
  • Nuts, seeds and shells
  • Fish and seafood
  • Tissue, paper napkins, paper towel and powdery materials (such as flour) ONLY IF contained in a paper bag. Loose materials not accepted.

What’s OUT?
These materials are NOT accepted in the green bin… 

  • Plastic bags or plastics of any kind, including those labeled compostable or biodegradable
  • Diapers and sanitary products
  • Pet waste (dog poo, kitty litter, cage shavings)
  • Yard and garden waste
  • Cigarette butts
  • Wood ash
  • Dryer lint and sheets
  • Vacuum cleaner bags and contents
  • Twist ties, rubber bands & produce stickers
  • Coffee/tea pods, K-cups and capsules
  • Disposable coffee cups (put in blue box recycling)
  • Disposable wipes and Swiffer mop pads, including those labeled compostable or biodegradable
  • Medications
  • Pet hair and human hair
  • Wine corks
  • Bones greater than 2” in diameter
  • Rocks and soil
  • Metal materials, including foil

Is There a Cost?
Did you know you can save money by using your green bin? Garbage tags are required for curbside collection of residential garbage in the Boundary region. However, there is no fee for the curbside collection of residential green bins. Composting makes sense and cents!

Tips to Reduce the “Yuck” Factor

  • Many “yuck” problems are caused by moisture content in food. Drain your food scraps before placing in the bin.
  • Keep the bottom of your bins dry by lining them with crumpled newspaper, boxboard, cardboard or fibre egg cartons. 
  • Use a cellulose-lined paper bin liner such as the Bag to Earth brand bag or a paper yard waste bag. DO NOT use plastic bags to line your bins, even if labeled compostable or biodegradable.
  • Wrap food waste in newspaper, old flyers or boxboard before placing in your bins.
  • Freeze smelly food scraps such as meat, fish and bones in newspaper or paper bags and place in your curbside bin on collection day.
  • Alternate layers of kitchen scraps with layers of soiled paper products.
  • Keep the lid tightly closed to keep out flies.
  • Use vinegar, salt, garden lime or diatomaceous earth to kill maggots.
  • In the summer, keep your bin in a cool, shaded spot so that it doesn’t get too hot and smelly.
  • Put your green bin out for pick-up on your scheduled collection day, even if it isn’t full.
  • Clean your bins regularly with mild soap and water.
  • Spray vinegar or sprinkle baking soda in the bin to reduce odours. 

Food Scraps Freezing to Your Bin?
Many of the same tips mentioned above will also help if you are having trouble with food scraps freezing to your green bin:

  • Use a Bag to Earth liner or line your bin with crumpled newspaper, cardboard, boxboard or fibre egg cartons.
  • Wrap food scraps in newspaper before placing into your bin.
  • Drain liquids before placing food scraps in the bin.
  • Store your bin in a garage or other warm space.

Yard & Garden Waste

Unfortunately, yard and garden waste is not permitted in your green bin. The reason?... In order to be able to maintain proper carbon-to- nitrogen ratios at the composting facility, yard and garden waste (carbon) and food scraps (nitrogen) must be kept separate.

Boundary/West Boundary Region (excluding City of Grand Forks)
There is no curbside collection of yard and garden waste for Boundary/West Boundary residents (excluding the City of Grand Forks). Yard and garden waste may be taken to the Grand Forks or West Boundary (Greenwood) landfill or any staffed transfer station. Tipping fees apply.

City of Grand Forks Yard and Garden Waste Collection
Yard and garden waste collection is provided to City of Grand Forks residents once a month from March to November. This service is provided by the RDKB and City of Grand Forks to look after materials originating on City right-of-way. To ensure that your materials are picked up, please adhere to the following guidelines. Check your collection schedule for dates.

Yard and garden waste must be sorted into two different piles for collection: leaves and grass, and sticks and branches. You are permitted a maximum of 3 bags/bundles per month.

Leaves and grass:

  • Container must weigh less than 23kg/50lbs
  • No rocks or garbage
  • Plastic bags are not allowed. Please use cardboard boxes, paper bags or reusable containers such as a bin/can.

Sticks and branches:

  • Sticks must be bundled with biodegradable twine
  • Bundles must weigh less than 23kg/50lbs
  • Bundle length must be less than 1 metre/3.3 feet

Please place your materials at the curb by 8:00 a.m. on the morning of pick-up – not the night before.

The RDKB and the City of Grand Forks encourage residents to use alternatives to the curbside collection service. Options to consider:

  • Leave grass clippings to decompose on your lawn after mowing
  • Mulching your leaves returns nutrients and helps in developing a healthy soil structure, which aids in retaining moisture
  • Build a backyard compost bin or place leaves and grass on your garden or hedge as mulch

Help eliminate illegal dumping of yard and garden waste in back alleys and green spaces. Please take leadership in your community and demonstrate full responsibility for all the organic materials you generate on your property.

Commercial Organic Waste

Boundary and West Boundary area businesses and service providers are encouraged to participate in the RDKB organic waste diversion program. Tipping fees for organic waste are significantly lower than for mixed garbage, providing a strong financial incentive for large producers of organic waste to join the program.

What Happens to Your Food Waste and Yard & Garden Waste?

In the Boundary region, all food scraps and yard and garden waste end up at the Grand Forks Regional Landfill where it is turned into compost.

Green bin waste is mixed in proper proportion with yard and garden waste and wood waste, and is piled into large mounds on a lined concrete pad.  The pad has a system of built-in aeration tubes that allows air to be blown into and circulated throughout the mounds. Each mound is covered with a breathable GORE® fabric tarp that allows for the management of temperature, moisture level and odour. Liquid that drains from the mounds is collected and added back to the piles to adjust moisture content.

When the air is pumped in, the GORE® cover expands like a balloon, creating the perfect snug environment for the organic waste to break down. Temperatures in the mounds reach levels that kill pathogens and weed seeds. The first stage of the process takes about 8 weeks, after which the composted material is left to cure. It’s then screened to remove large, uncomposted materials. The result is a nutrient-rich compost that is a valuable resource for improving soil.

Backyard Composting

Backyard composting is a great way to create compost at home with your own kitchen scraps, leaves, grass clippings and other yard and garden waste. The following information provides a brief overview to help you get started.

There are many great online resources with instructions on how to build your own backyard compost bin, including YouTube, Pinterest and how-to websites. An online search for “free compost bin plans” will turn up lots of great resources, such as these from WoodworkersWorkshop.com.

  • Start by adding a little soil and then dropping in your food and yard waste
  • Keep it moist and covered
  • Chop up large, tough materials
  • Stir it up regularly to ensure air flow
  • Throw in some worms to speed up the process
  • Alternate by layers of the key ingredients (see chart to right)

My compost pile has a bad odour.
Your pile is either too wet or isn’t getting enough air. Turn it and try to add coarse, dry material like straw or corn stalks.

My compost pile is dry throughout.
You’ve either added too much woody material or not enough water. Turn it, moisten, add fresh waste and cover.

My compost pile is damp and warm in the middle but nowhere else.
Your pile is likely too small. Collect more material and mix the old ingredients into the new pile.

My compost pile is damp and sweet-smelling but still won’t heat up.
Your pile is lacking nitrogen. Use the composting chart above to add more nitrogen-rich waste like fresh manure, grass clippings or ammonium sulphate.

My compost pile is being infested by pests.
You may have added meat, fat, bones or other animal waste that is attracting rats, dogs and other animals. Use the composting chart to make sure you’re adding the right items and make sure your pile is properly covered. Place any fruit or vegetable waste in the centre of the pile and cover with soil.

You can compost year round. Materials that you add to your bin during the winter will decompose more slowly as the temperature drops and the pile may freeze solid, but as soon as the weather turns warmer, the process will become active again. 

Cold temperatures are actually beneficial, as the freezing action breaks down the fibres in organic material which aids in decomposition once it thaws out.

Be sure there is plenty of room in your compost bin in the fall so you can keep adding materials throughout the winter. To avoid filling your bin with leaves in fall, you can compost some in a separate bin or pile, save some to add gradually to your bin throughout the winter, use some as a mulch or dig some directly into the garden.You should also harvest finished compost in the fall to make room for fresh materials over the winter.

An alternative to backyard composting in the winter is composting indoors with worms. Because worms cannot survive cold temperatures, worm composting has traditionally been done indoors year round, or outdoors in the warm months and indoors in the winter. 

Every year, dozens of bears are destroyed in the RDKB. Living harmoniously with bears may require a complete change in attitude. The key to composting in bear country is understanding that bears find food with their noses. If your compost pile does not smell, it will probably not attract bears.

Tips for keeping your compost bear-proof: 

  • Don’t add cooked or leftover food scraps to your pile
  • Maintain at least a 3:1 carbon (leaves, for example) to nitrogen (vegetable scraps) ratio
  • Keep your bin must ventilated and turned regularly
  • Mix in a handful of leaves or sawdust when adding kitchen waste
  • Place your bin in an area that is more difficult for bears to find and keep it away from ‘known bear pathways’
  • Try ‘trenching’ smelly foods deep in your garden
  • Consider a worm bin

Worm composting is simply composting with worms! It’s ideal for apartment dwellers or those with limited mobility, and for year-round and indoor composting. The type of worm used is the “Red wiggler,” whose natural environment consists of slightly moist decomposing materials. This environment can be simulated by a properly built and maintained worm bin.