Non-Residential Food Waste

FoodThe Town of Banff wants to help businesses reduce waste and save money. For a free assessment of your waste system, to receive tips and free resources, contact us through the Zero Waste Trail website.

We offer a discount to non-residential properties that separate their food waste for recycling, by using a food waste bin. It is approximately 40% less expensive for rental and servicing of a food recycling bin than a comparably-sized garbage bin.

Food recycling bins are available in two different sizes: 360 litres and 660 litres. Food waste bin pick-ups are available three times per week on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

What Goes in the Food Bin?

  • Fruits and vegetables of any variety, including pits, peelings, rinds, tops, cores and husks. These can be cooked or raw.
  • Bread, noodles, rice, pasta, grains, baked goods, etc.
  • Eggs and egg shells
  • Dairy products of all kinds, including cheese, yogurt, etc.
  • Meat, fish, shellfish and bones of any kind
  • Coffee grounds, filters, tea bags and tea leaves
  • Plate scrapings
  • Paper soiled with food, including napkins, wooden stir sticks, paper plates, etc.
  • Used paper towels and Kleenex
  • Jams, sauces, salad dressing and cooking oil


  • Plastic bags
  • Biodegradable bags
  • Elastics, twist ties, fruit and vegetable stickers, plastic labels
  • Straws, condiment packets, foil wrappers and disposable products
  • Pet waste

Banff Food Rescue: 
Banff Food Rescue keeps good Food from becoming Food Waste. They pick up and receive food from grocery stores/ retailers etc. Consider donating appropriate leftover food to Banff Food Rescue before composting it or sending it to landfill. Email Banff Food Rescue to learn more about this opportunity.

Frequently Asked Questions
1. What can I use to collect and transport food scraps to the collection bin?

  • Use a certified compostable bag to collect food scraps and transport the food scraps to your larger collection bin. Certified compostable bags have one of the following logos on the bags

Compost logocompostable logo - BPI.png

  • Biodegradable bags are NOT accepted, as they just break down into smaller pieces of plastic in the compost.
  • Plastic bags are NOT accepted, as they contaminate the compost.
  • Certified compostable bags are accepted by the Town of Banff to collect food scraps, even though they have a greenish hue. The 'clear bag' policy applies to waste collection only.

2. Can I put meat in the food bin? I thought you couldn't compost meat?

  • Yes, please place all kinds of meat, fish, shellfish and bones in the Food bin for composting. The Town sends food scraps to a large-scale commercial composting facility where organic materials are composted at high temperatures, which kill any pathogens associated with meat. For residents who formerly had a backyard compost in another community, it is not recommended to include meat and bones in a backyard compost, as temperatures in these small compost piles rarely reach adequate temperatures for long enough to achieve pathogen kill. In addition, meat and bones can attract animals. Due to wildlife attraction concerns, backyard composting is not allowed in Banff.

3. What should I do with pizza boxes?

  • If pizza boxes are clean, and have minimal grease or food scraps on them, they can be placed in the Mixed Paper recycling bin.
  • If pizza boxes are soiled with grease and/or food, they can be placed in the 'food' bin for composting.

4. What should I do with single-use paper coffee cups?

  • Single-use paper coffee cups go in the garbage. They cannot be recycled as they often have a thin internal plastic liner which makes them a contaminant in the paper recycling stream. can be placed in the 'mixed paper' recycling bin, after being emptied and rinsed.

5. Where do the food scraps collected in the food bins go?

  • The food scraps are transported to the Huxted Compost Facility near Strathmore, Alberta, where they are composted in turned windrows. The final product is a high quality compost which can be used as a soil amendment to improve soil fertility and plant growth.