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Organic Waste

What to put in brown bins

Do you wonder what you should put in your brown bin? If you answer yes to any of the following questions, you should put the item in the brown bin.

  1. Is it food waste?
  2. Is it yard waste?
  3. Is it food-soiled paper or cardboard used for food wrapping?

If you are still in doubt, please go to the handy guide What to throw and where that we have designed to answer your questions.

Answers to your questions


  • It was estimated before the start of organic waste collection that this type of waste represented almost 50% of garbage bin content. By using your brown bin to collect your food waste and yard waste, you reduce the amount of waste that ends up in a landfill. In doing so, you can take part in improving the quality of the environment: you can reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the decomposition of organic waste due to the lack of oxygen and contribute to achieving Quebec’s climate change goals. Thanks to your collaboration, all compostable materials that were treated as garbage in the past are now used to produce high-quality compost. This initiative also forms part of the Québec Residual Materials Management Policy which plans to ban the disposal of organic materials in landfills in coming years.

  • Under new by-laws, all residents are required to dispose of their organic waste in their brown bins.  These materials are banned from disposal in garbage bins.

  • Yes! Brown bins are complementary to composting at home. Some organic waste does not compost at home but can be put in brown bins: meat, bones, food-soiled cartons, dairy products, facial tissues, etc.

  • You can put your organic waste loose directly in the brown bin. To avoid inconveniences such as unpleasant smells or insects, it is recommended that you wrap newspaper around organic waste or use recycled paper bags. You can also freeze leftover meat and other smelly waste until collection day.

  • In summer (April to November), collection takes place every week due to the often larger amounts of green and yard waste. This also helps to reduce the risk of unpleasant smells and other inconveniences.

    In winter (December to March), collection takes places every two weeks because the amount of organic waste is generally lower during this period when there is no green waste.

  • There are some tips and tricks to help reduce potential nuisances arising from organic waste collection to make your experience pleasant and successful.

    To keep your bins clean:

    • Line the bottom of your bin with newspaper or cardboard to absorb liquid or use a paper bag designed for this purpose.
    • Put your bin out for organic waste collection as often as possible no matter the amount of waste in your bin.
    • Avoid putting liquid in your bin.
    • Rinse your bins and then use the water to water your lawn or garden; it is rich in minerals!
    • Freeze leftover meat and other smelly waste until collection day.
    • Keep your bin in the shade if possible.

    To keep away insects and animals:

    • Wrap newspaper or paper towels around food waste or use recycled paper bags.
    • Cover your food waste with a layer of green waste.
    • Spread a bit of menthol chest rub around the lid and air holes of the brown bin to keep away animals.
    • Add a bit of salt, baking soda or vinegar to get rid of insects.

Organic waste and compost

  • No! No plastic bags or plates (even recyclable, compostable, biodegradable or oxo-biodegradable) can be placed in brown bins. They can contaminate the compost and affect the quality. Use paper bags instead, fold up flyers to make bags or wrap paper around your waste. Plastic bags must be put in the recycling bin.

  • You can dispose of your green waste and dead leaves in one of the following ways:

    • by placing them in your brown bin (or in paper bags placed next to your bin).
    • by leaving the grass on the lawn when you mow (grasscycling).
    • by shredding dry leaves using the mower (leaf mulching) that have fallen on the ground.
    • by using your green waste as mulch.
    • by composting your green waste.

    For more information, please consult the page Surplus of dead leaves and other green waste.

  • Organic waste currently collected door-to-door is sent to a treatment and recycling facility located outside the territory.

    To treat and recycle organic waste locally and make waste management more effective, MRC de Beauharnois-Salaberry and MRC de Roussillon have joined forces to create a composting platform in their territory that will service 18 municipalities and slightly over 225,000 residents.

    In addition, compost created thanks to this platform will be distributed and recycled by residents and municipalities to help upkeep green spaces. It will also be recycled for farming and horticultural production, and land development. The compost product will meet the highest environmental and agricultural quality standards.

    For more information on this initiative, please go to the website for Régie intermunicipale de valorisation des matières organiques de Beauharnois-Salaberry et de Roussillon (RIVMO).

  • In the spring, the compost is distributed free of charge at the Public Works building (220 boulevard Industriel), near the dumping station for recreational vehicles. However, the supplies available in 2021 are now exhausted.

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