Starting on March 5, roughly 7,500 homes in the four communities of Abbeydale, Brentwood, Cougar Ridge and Southwood will be able to use green carts for organic household and yard waste.

Over the next two weeks, residents participating in the city's pilot project will 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 will pick up green bins every week and the contents will be turned into high-quality compost rather than going to the landfill. The collected food and yard waste will go to a commercial composting facility near Strathmore that can break down the materials in a few months.

"Food and yard materials make up the two largest sources of our household waste — nearly 60 per cent," said program development leader Paula Magdich.

"Like recycling, composting is the right thing to do. We can cut our garbage by more than half by simply using the green cart."

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, like meat, bones, breads, dairy products, fish, cooked foods and paper plates.

The city has had a good response from its recycling program, and hopes people will be just as receptive to the new green carts.