Carts FAQ

Blue and Black Carts are picked up every other week, on alternating weeks and Green Carts are picked up weekly.
green cart blue cart black cart



Can I opt out of the cart program?

No, households are unable to opt out of the program. The automated collection trucks are only able to pick up garbage and recycling that is contained in a cart. If garbage and/or recycling are set out for collection without being in a cart, it will not be picked up.

Will cart collection change in the winter?

Blue and Black Carts are collected every other week on alternating weeks year round. Green Carts are collected weekly from early-April to mid-November and every other week, on the same week as Blue Carts, from mid-November to early-April. If the snow or snow clearing makes it difficult for the collection trucks to get through or empty the carts, The City will work with the collection contractor to find solutions. Here are some tips to help you roll with your carts through the snow:

  • If snow plowing and cart collection are scheduled for the same day, set your carts out as usual and we will take care of the details
  • Set your carts out for collection by 7 a.m. and bring them back onto your property after collection
  • You may need to shovel a flat area to set out your carts
  • Your cart should be one meter away from any obstacle, windrow, parked car or other carts
  • Don’t set your carts behind or on top of a snow bank, drift or windrow
  • If you have back alley collection, maintain a clear gate and cart set out area
  • If you have front street collection, place your carts at the end of your driveway
What if one of my carts is damaged or stolen?

The City will replace, at no charge, carts that are broken, vandalized or go missing. To report a missing or damaged cart email us at or call the Blue Line at 403-340-BLUE (2583).

How will I keep track of which carts are picked up when?

A cart collection calendar can also be found on our Cart Collection Schedule page. Residents can also sign up for weekly text, phone or email notifications through Notify Red Deer.

How can I identify my carts if they get mixed up with my neighbours’ carts?

Write your address in the white space on the side of your carts with a black, permanent marker. As well, each cart has a unique serial number specific to your address. You may want to take note of your carts’ serial numbers. If you think your carts are mixed up with your neighbour's carts and your address is not on your carts and you do not know the serial numbers of your carts, phone the Blue Line at 403-340-BLUE (2583) or email and we will give you your serial numbers.

If my Blue Cart fills up, what can I do with my extra recycling?

Recycling set beside, or on top of the Blue Cart will not be picked up. You can drop off extra recycling at a Recycling Drop-off Depot at no cost or you can hold on to extra recyclables until the next scheduled pickup day. 

What about shredded paper?

Shredded paper must be contained in a clear plastic bag and then placed in the Blue Cart. This is to ensure that it will not spill out onto the street or alley during the pickup process.

What about cardboard?

Place flattened cardboard in the Blue Cart. Extra cardboard may be taken free of charge to a Recycling Drop-off Depot. Any cardboard left beside, under or on top of the Blue Cart will not be picked up.

If my Black Cart fills up, where can I put my extra garbage?

Garbage set beside, or on top of the Black Cart will not be picked up. You can always drop off extra waste at the Waste Management Facility for a small fee, or if possible, you can hold onto excess waste until the next scheduled pickup day.

If my Green Cart fills up, what can I do with my extra yard waste?

Food scraps and pet waste should fill up your Green Cart first. Then yard waste can go inside, including grass clippings, leaves, small tree trimmings and garden waste. Place any extra yard waste only in garbage cans, or in paper yard waste bags or small branched tied in bundles with string. Be sure to place any extra yard waste one metre away from your carts on collection day. 

Should paper and cardboard be put in my Green Cart or Blue Cart?

Clean paper and cardboard should go into the Blue Cart so it can be recycled into new paper products. Food-soiled paper and cardboard, such as paper towels and greasy pizza boxes should be placed in the Green Cart.

What if I already use a backyard composter?

Backyard composting is the ideal method for diverting your household organic materials from the landfill. However, not all materials are suitable for backyard composting. Meat, fish, bones, cooked foods, pet waste, and dairy products are not suitable for a backyard composter but these materials can be placed in the Green Cart. We encourage you to continue your back yard composting.