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Organics

This summer BBQ season, don’t forget to invite your organics cart to the party! Toss all food-soiled paper plates, napkins and cups, corn cobs/husks, watermelon rinds and meat bones for an easy clean up!

When organic material breaks down in a landfill, it creates methane which is a greenhouse gas that is 25 times more harmful than carbon dioxide (CO2). This is why it is so important to keep organics out of the garbage. Materials placed in the organics cart are sent to an organics processing facility where this material is turned into a valuable soil amendment. Using your organics cart not only reduces greenhouse gas emissions but also saves valuable landfill space.


How do I use my organics cart?


  • Line your kitchen bin using paper or certified compostable bags. Plastic bags are not accepted in the organics cart.         
  • Remove all packaging from food first and place food in your kitchen bin. Packaging that is recyclable should be rinsed and put into the recycling
  • Empty kitchen bin often (into organics cart) and rinse regularly to prevent odours & pests
  • Place your organics cart out on your regular collection day by 7 a.m. 
  • Your organics cart has a built-in lock. If you experience issues with animals, place in the locked position (the latch will open automatically during the collection process)
  • When buying the bags, look for these symbols: 




Click here to check your collection day and view your customized collection schedule.

What goes in my organics cart?


  • Food waste
  • Tea bags, coffee grounds & filters
  • Eggs & egg shells
  • Grease & fat
  • Meat, fish & bones
  • Greasy pizza boxes
  • Parchment / waxed paper
  • Paper plates / towels & tissues
  • Microwave popcorn bags
  • Paper cups (loose – not stacked)
  • Pet waste, kitty litter, animal bedding & newspaper from bird cages (must be placed in a compostable bag)
  • Cold, wood ashes (wet and in a compostable bag)
  • Dryer lint
  • Feathers & hair
  • Cut flowers & houseplants
  • Plastics & diapers
  • Yard waste
  • Vacuum bags
  • Cigarette butts
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Garbage
  • Recyclables

What is the difference between using a backyard composter and an organics cart?


A backyard composter is a great way to manage material at home while getting direct access to nutrient-rich compost to apply to your garden or lawn. However, a backyard composter is very limited to the types of material you can put in it which includes fruit & vegetables peelings, egg shells, coffee grinds, small amounts of grass and dried leaves for the most part. An industrial compost (organics) process can break down more types of materials including those listed above plus leftover food, grease/fats, meats/bones, paper towels/tissues, paper coffee cups/take out containers, pet waste, dairy products, parchment and microwave popcorn bags. This is why it is still important to use your organics cart, even if you have a backyard composter, to ensure organics don’t end up in the landfill where they create methane and leachate.

Still don’t know where things go?


Cart set out instructions


To ensure collection, please place carts:

  • On a level surface within eight (8) feet from the travelled portion of the road
  • Two (2) feet from each other or other objects (such as parked cars, mailboxes, etc.)
  • With the arrows on the carts pointing towards the street 
  • Do not over-stuff carts, fill loosely, ensure lid is fully closed
  • Do not use bungee cords or other items to keep the cart lids closed​​
  • Do not block bike lanes, sidewalks or impede on traffic/snow-clearing equipment
  • In the winter, clear an area at the end of your driveway for your carts
  • Don’t place carts behind or on top of snowbanks​​​​

Inclement weather or poor road conditions may result in the cancellation or rescheduling of collection services, download the Simcoe County Collects mobile app​ to receive alerts specific to your collection area.

What sizes of carts are available?


The standard cart sizes are:

  • 360L recycling cart
  • 240L garbage cart
  • 120L organics cart

There are smaller size options for recycling and garbage (see sizing chart). Please see below for more information.

Tips & Information


Please contact our Service Simcoe Contact Centre at 1-800-263-3199 or email service@simcoe.ca. They will be able to assist getting carts delivered to eligible households/businesses. If you are renting, please have your landlord or property manager contact Service Simcoe on your behalf.

New homeowners can exchange the existing carts to select a set-out that reflects the needs of their household within six months of homeownership without charge. New homeowners should contact Service Simcoe to inform them of the ownership change and request cart exchanges. 

Please note, when you move, carts should be left behind and stay with the address they have been assigned to.

Submit a request for carts to service@simcoe.ca or 1-800-263-3199. Waste collections services may not yet be initiated in your community. Please contact Service Simcoe to determine whether collection is occurring, and if so request your carts. Upon approval, carts will be delivered at no charge.  If collection has not be initiated by the County of Simcoe please contact your builder/developer. 

Write your address in the white space on side of the carts. Carts remain the property of the County of Simcoe. Each cart has a set of serial numbers which are assigned to the specific address they’re dropped-off to, do NOT exchange carts with others.  Report a missing, found or damaged cart to service@simcoe.ca or call 1-800-263-3199. Fees may apply.

The organics cart is only available in one size. If you would like to exchange sizes of your garbage and/or recycling cart, it is important to consider your waste capacity needs first. Your carts should allow extra capacity for peak periods such as over the holiday season and in case of weather impacts that may result in collection delays. 

There is an administration fee of $50 per cart, unless you are a new homeowner. The administration fee must be paid in full before the exchange r​equest will be processed. The administration fee can be paid via phone, or in person at our Administration Centre. 

  • Exchange is limited to once in a 12-month period for any property.
  • Exchange requests must be submitted by the property owner. Renters or tenants should contact the property owner to make this request on their behalf. 
  • When your delivery date is scheduled, you will be notified via email or text in advance of the exchange to ensure you promptly place the old cart(s) EMPTY ​at curbside.  Failure to have carts out during the timeline will result in a $50 per cart administration fee for any ​subsequent attempts.

Carts are required to be accessible and at the curb by 7 a.m. on your regular collection schedule. If you believe your carts were missed, please contact Service Simcoe at service@simcoe.ca or 1-800-263-3199.

Want to know when service delays impact you? Download the Simcoe County Collects app and sign up for alerts.

If your household/business regularly exceeds your carts’ capacity for recycling and/or organics, one additional recycling and/or organic cart may be provided per property, upon verification of need and under the premise that the largest cart size for the same material is first utilized. The $50 administration fee per cart will apply. To request an additional recycling or organic cart, please contact our Service Simcoe Contact Centre at 1-800-263-3199.

The County will not be offering the option for a second garbage cart due to our commitment to diversion. Any additional garbage must have a purchased garbage tag attached to be eligible for collection.

Place overflow organics into your old green bin, or compostable bag, two (2) feet from your cart. If you have overflow organics material on a regular basis please contact Customer Service to obtain one extra organics cart ($50 fee applies) per serviced unit. Contact Service Simcoe at 1-800-263-3199 or service@simcoe.ca. There is only one size (120 litres) available for the organics cart.

Those with long driveways can leave carts at the end of the driveway (off to the side) and bring materials to deposit into carts as needed, then wheel the carts out by 7a.m. on collection day.