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Food and Food-Soiled Paper
FoodThe Town of Banff collects your food waste and food-soiled paper and recycles it into a high-quality compost. Bring your food waste to one of five food bins around town:
  • Recycling Depot on Beaver Street
  • Recycling Depot on Hawk Avenue
  • Cave Avenue
  • Middle Springs Drive
  • Squirrel Street & Rabbit Street
  • Food Bin Locations Map (PDF)
How to Recycle Your Food Scraps
1. Collect your food waste in a reusable container. The Town of Banff sells resuable compost bins for $7.50 at Town Hall. You can use a certified compostable plastic bag or newspaper to line your bin. Certified compostable bags have one of the following logos on the bags.
Compost logo Compost logo

  • 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.
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?
  • 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

  • Liquid or semi-liquid materials (milk, soup, etc.) may be rinsed down the drain with dish water. 

  • Plastic bags
  • Biodegradable bags 
  • Elastics, twist ties, fruit and vegetable stickers, plastic labels
  • Pet waste

Frequently Asked Questions
1. 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. 

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 as 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?
  • 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.

Information on How to Dispose of:

Operations Department