Green Cart Tips

General Cleanliness and Best Practices

Place the provided sticker “What can I put in my Green Cart?” on the lid of your Green Cart for an easy reminder of what items are accepted. Replacement stickers are available at City Hall.

There is no requirement to line your Green Cart, but you may want to line it to help keep it clean. Options include newspaper, paper bags/liners, or other paper products. Watch a helpful video from the City of Ottawa or click here to follow instructions on how to make your own Kitchen Catcher liner from newspaper.

Prevent Odours and Insects

  • Set your Green Cart out for collection every week - even if it is not full.
  • Keep the lid of the Kitchen Catcher and Green Cart closed.
  • Empty your Kitchen Catcher into your Green Cart frequently.
  • Wrap food waste in newspaper, paper bags, paper towel or cereal boxes.
  • Freeze meat scraps in a paper bag or newspaper until collection day.
  • Sprinkle a small amount of baking soda in your Kitchen Catcher and Green Cart.

Getting Rid of Fruit Flies and Maggots

Fruit Flies

  • Fruit flies can be captured in a bowl with apple cider vinegar: cover the bowl with plastic wrap and poke several small holes in the plastic.
  • Empty and clean your Kitchen Catcher frequently.


Maggots are the larva stage of the housefly. Flies are attracted to cooked and raw meat and will lay eggs on this material, which will hatch into maggots. Using paper bags/newspaper to wrap your scraps is an effective way to prevent maggots since it prevents flies from getting into contact with your food waste.

  • Wrap food in newspaper or paper bags and freeze meat scraps until collection day in order to prevent maggots.
  • Should you have maggots in your Green Cart, eradicate them by sprinkling salt, white vinegar, garden lime or diatomaceous earth on top of them.

Clean Carts and Kitchen Catchers

You are responsible for taking care of your cart and keeping it clean from odours, dirt and pests. Here are some suggestions:

  • Rinse your Kitchen Catcher with hot water or place inside your dishwasher.
  • Rinse your cart with a hose and pour the dirty water onto grass/gravel, not down the storm drain.

Prevent Material from Sticking to the Cart

  • During the cold winter months, some material may freeze to the cart. If you find this is a problem, place crumpled newspaper on the bottom of your cart then add your compostable items. Click here or see the attachment below for more winter Green Cart tips.
  • If grass clippings are sticking to your cart, consider putting them in a paper yard waste bag first and roll up the bag or lining your cart with newspaper. If there's room, put the paper yard waste bag inside the Green Cart. As of March 1st, 2018, In addition to your Green Cart, up to 10 paper bags of yard waste or bundles of branches may be placed at the curb per week (no Tag-a-Bag stickers required for the first 10 bags/bundles). This service will continue year round.
  • Layer wet (kitchen scraps or grass clippings) and dry materials (leaves or branches) in your cart to reduce the chances of materials becoming stuck.
  • If material is getting stuck inside the cart, use a shovel or other implement to loosen them before collection.

Note: The above illustration is a recommendation only, residents that do not have yard waste could layer material with paper products.

Storage Best Practices

  • Store your Kitchen Catcher under the sink or on the counter for easy access.
  • Store your Green Cart in your garage or another shady spot in warm weather.
  • Consider storing your recycling container and Green Cart in a more accessible location since the majority of your waste can either be recycled or composted, so these containers will be used most often.
  • The garbage container can be stored in a different location since it will only be put out for collection once every two weeks (up to two containers/bags are collected every two weeks)
Description Date File Size 
2021 Green Cart Tips 2020-05-13 1.11MB