Composting Food and Food-Soiled Paper
The Town of Banff collects your food waste and food-soiled paper and turns it into a high-quality compost. Bring your food waste to one of the white food bins around town. They're located at the Beaver Street recycling depot, Hawk Avenue, Cave Avenue, Middle Springs Drive, the intersection of Squirrel and Rabbit Street, and Jasper Way.
How to Recycle Your Food Scraps
1. Collect your food waste in a reusable container. Containers are available for purchase at Banff Town Hall. You can also use a certified compostable plastic bag or newspaper to line your bin. Certified compostable bags have one of the following logos on the bags.
- Biodegradable bags are NOT accepted. They just break down into smaller pieces of plastic in the compost.
- Plastic bags are NOT accepted. They contaminate the compost.
2. Empty the food scraps into one of the collection bins marked 'Food' at the locations listed above.
3. Never backyard compost. It's not allowed in Banff because it's a wildlife attractant.
What Goes in the Food Bin?
- Fruit and vegetables scraps, 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
- Certified compostable foodware, including take away containers, to-go cups, etc.
What Does Not Go in the Food Bin?
- Liquid or semi-liquid materials (milk, soup, etc.). You can rinse those down the drain with dish water.
- Plastic bags
- Biodegradable bags
- Elastics, twist ties, fruit and vegetable stickers, plastic labels
- Pet waste
Why is it Important to Reduce Food Waste?
It is estimated food waste in Canada equates to 35.5 million metric tonnes, of which 32% is avoidable. The value of avoidable food loss and waste equates to $49.5 billion, representing 51.8 percent of what Canadians spent on food in 2016. This equates to 3% of Canada's 2016 GDP and would feed every person living in Canada for almost 5 months.
Why Compost our Food Scraps?
Organic material does not turn into soil or compost when it's buried in the landfill. It takes decades to decompose, and in the meantime, releases greenhouse gases approximately 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Approximately 20% of Canada's methane emissions come from landfills.
Over the next few years, the Town of Banff will be installing additional food bins to reach our waste diversion targets and ultimately move towards zero waste.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can I put meat in the food bin?
- Yes. All kinds of meat, fish, shellfish and bones can go in the Food bin for composting.
2. 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.
3. What should I do with single-use paper coffee cups?
- Single-use paper coffee cups go in the garbage. They cannot be recycled because they often have a thin internal plastic liner which makes them a contaminant in the paper recycling stream.
4. Where do the food scraps collected in the food bins go?
- They're transported to the Huxted Compost Facility near Strathmore, Alberta, where they are composted.