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Proper Set-Out of Waste & Recycling Bins

February 19th, 2016 – Winter weather can be a challenge for collection of recyclables, green carts and garbage. Materials placed on top of snowbanks can present a safety hazard for collection contractors working in Petawawa, Pembroke and Laurentian Valley and improper set-out can result in damage to containers by snowplows.
Here are the set-out requirements for recycling and garbage containers as well as green carts.

  • Items must be placed 5 to 6 feet (1.5 to 1.8 m) from curb or roadside (in driveway, not on sidewalk or snow bank). Material placed behind or on top of snowbanks may not be collected.
  • Green cart must have 2 to 3 feet (0.6 to 0.9 m) clearance around it to allow for proper collection.
  • Green cart wheels must be facing away from the road. Lids must be closed.

“It’s not safe to have our snow plow operators maneuver around containers that are set-out too close to the road.” States Mark. Behm, Public Works Manager at the Township of Laurentian Valley. “Containers can be blown over or struck when the snow plow passes. The requirement to have material set-off the roadside 5 to 6 feet and in your driveway helps prevent containers from being hit.”
And setting material on top of snowbanks presents some safety hazards for the collection contractor explains Mr. Behm. “When material is placed on top of or in a snowbank it may not be collected. It’s a safety hazard for collection crews to retrieve items and lift them down off the snowbank. And items cannot be removed at all if they become frozen in the snow.”
Here are some more winter collection tips:

  • Clear out a place for your containers when you shovel snow.
  • If the storm is occurring in the overnight hours, wait until the morning to place your material curbside.
  • To help prevent material from freezing to your green cart:
    • Line the bottom of your green cart with crumpled up newspaper or pizza boxes.
    • Wrap food waste in newspaper or boxes (i.e. cereal box).
    • Strain excess liquid from soups and sauces and only place the solid pieces in the cart.
    • Layer wet organics (food waste, leaves) with dry organics (newspaper, pizza boxes).
  • Nets are available for purchase at your Municipal office or Ottawa Valley Waste Recovery Centre. Nets cover the bins to prevent wind-blown litter.

For more information on your local recycling programs, please refer to your Municipality’s collection calendar or visit