Curbside Collection in Winter Conditions

Every year, winter rolls around and brings rain, snow, and ice along with it. This can pose challenges for curbside collection, from frozen items stuck inside Green Carts, to streets being missed due to wintry road conditions. To help ensure your materials are picked up on collection day, we’ve compiled a few tips.

1. Ensure your containers are visible and accessible for collection crews.

Collection crews know there are materials to collect only when they can see and access them. Clearing snow from carts and sidewalks allows crews to access your garbage, Green Cart, and recycling containers. Collection vehicles are not equipped to dig out materials from snowbanks.

2. Park your vehicle on your property whenever possible.

Vehicles edging into the middle of the road or along the sides of cul-de-sacs reduce the turn-around area for collection vehicles. If there is insufficient turn-around space, crews will be unable to access the area and collect items.

3. Sign up for weekly reminders and service alerts.

Residents can sign up for weekly collection reminders via e-mail, phone call, tweet, or digital calendar by entering their address at and clicking the green ‘Get a reminder!’ button. This system reminds you of what to set out for pick up the night before or morning of collection and includes information on Township programs.

Residents who sign up for weekly reminders also receive service alerts. If collection delays are experienced during weather events the Township notifies affected properties with this system. Alerts are specific to your area, meaning you won’t be notified of issues in Aldergrove if you live in Brookswood.

4. Follow Sierra Waste’s blog.

Updated throughout the day, posts information regarding affected streams (garbage, recycling, or organics) and missed areas. If your neighbourhood is missed but is not listed in the blog, call 604-530-3939 to report the area as missed.

5. Help your Green Cart empty more easily.

During periods of sub-zero temperatures, moisture-rich materials may end up frozen to the bottom or sides of your Green Cart. While crews make every effort to ensure containers empty fully, small amounts of material may be left behind if stuck to your cart. To help your Green Cart empty fully in all weather conditions consider:

  • Placing food scraps in a cereal-type box before placing them in your cart.
  • Using paper bags designed for food waste.
  • Starting with a base layer of dry yard trimmings (such as branches), and loading food scraps on top.
  • Allow food scraps to freeze before placing in your cart (note: if temperatures will result in a freeze/thaw cycle before collection day, materials may thaw and re-freeze to your cart).

A friendly reminder, all plastic-type bags, including those marketed as compostable, biodegradable, and “accepted in municipal collection,” are not accepted in your Green Cart.

During wintry weather, crews will attempt to collect garbage, Green Cart, and recycling in all areas as originally scheduled. Once conditions improve, crews will make further attempts to collect remaining materials. If winter road conditions prevent crews from accessing your materials on their first attempt:

  • Garbage – Please leave your garbage cart set out for collection until it is emptied, or until the Township provides further direction.
  • Green Cart – Please leave your Green Cart set out for collection until the end of the day after your regular collection day. If materials remain unemptied at this time, please pull your Green Cart back from the curb and set it out the following week.
  • Recycling – Please leave your blue box, grey box, and yellow bag set out for collection until the end of the week. If recyclables remain uncollected by the end of day Friday, please pull your receptacles in for the weekend and set them out the following week.

We appreciate your patience as collection crews try to collect all materials as originally scheduled.

Engineering Division