The City of Calgary says its green cart pilot project has already reduced household garbage by 40 per cent compared to communities without the service.

The city says the project, currently underway in Abbeydale, Brentwood, Cougar Ridge and Southwood, has converted 440,000 kilograms of food and yard waste into 17,000 bags of compost.

Roughly 7,500 homes are participating in the project.

As part of the project, residents receive a green cart, a kitchen pail for food scraps inside the home, compostable bags to line the kitchen pails and paper yard waste bags.

The city then picks up the green bins every week and the contents turned into high-quality compost rather than going to the landfill.


The city has chosen four Calgary communities to take part in a green cart collection pilot program. (CBC)

The collected food and yard waste goes to a commercial composting facility near Strathmore that can break down the materials in a few months.

On average, food and yard waste makes up nearly 60 per cent of our household garbage. 

The green cart accepts a broader range of food and yard waste compared to what can be put in backyard composters. All food can go in the green cart, as well as many items that cannot be composted at home, such as meat, bones, breads, dairy products, fish, cooked foods and paper plates.

The city is trying to cut down on 80 per cent of household garbage ending up in landfills by 2020.

City council will hear more on the success rate of the program in March 2013.