Green Bin / Yard Waste


General Enquiries
Waste Management Enquiries
General Enquiries
100 Kitchener Street, Orillia, ON L3V 6Z9

Phone: 705-325-3522
Fax: 705-326-1339

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New Paper Yard Waste Bags Policy

See our Frequently Asked Questions.

Effective July 1, 2017 residents now need to use paper or certified compostable bags (see logos below) or a labelled yard waste container only for setting out leaf and yard waste.  Free labels are available at the Waste Diversion Site located at 100 Kitchener Street in Orillia.  Clear plastic bags are no longer accepted for leaf and yard waste.  Please also note that paper bags and compostable bags are not emptied. Residents are permitted to use their remaining clear bags for setting out tagged garbage.  They can also use them for setting out recycling containers, recycling paper or diapers (no garbage tag required).   

While it is understood the paper bags are more expensive than plastic bags, the benefits of this new policy include:

  • Lower collection costs
  • This change will speed up collection times, particularly during the busy fall leaf season
  • There will be fewer collection trucks on the road during the busy fall leaf collection season
  • There are reduced strains on collection staff given they won't be emptying bags
  • More diversion - plastic bags always had leftover leaves in them that couldn't be emptied and these leaves ended up in the landfill
  • Less spillage of leaves at the curb from dumping the plastic bags
  • No more plastic bags being blown around becoming litter on windy days after being dumped
  • More consistent program with surrounding municipalities

Bag usage can be greatly reduced by mulching the leaves before bagging them, leaving the mulched leaves on your lawn or by backyard composting the leaves. Residents can also set out labelled reusable rigid containers, and free labels are available at the Waste Diversion Site located at 100 Kitchener Street.

Grass clippings require a garbage tag.  The garbage tag is to be placed on top of the grass clippings in a paper bag. For grass clippings in compostable bags, the tag can be attached to the top of the bag to form a flag. 

CERTIFIED COMPOSTABLE BAGS MUST HAVE AT LEAST ONE OF THESE LOGOS ON THE BOX OR BAG.  Bags can be purchased at local hardware, retailer and grocery stores.



How To Reduce Maggots 

  1. Set the green bin out every week (even if it is half full) so the organic material does not sit long giving the maggots time to develop.
  2. In order to survive, maggots need a source of water. Therefore, keeping your food scraps as dry as possible really helps.  This can be accomplished by:
    • Draining any liquids from your food scrap before placing in your kitchen container or green bin.
    • Place used paper towels and tissues in with your food scraps as they help absorb the moisture.
    • If you have a large amount of food scraps, such as a turkey carcass, fold it in several sheets of newspaper and wrap it into a small package before tossing it in your green bin.
  3. If maggots develop, sprinkle baking soda on your food scraps.
  4. Keep your kitchen container and green bin clean. This is best accomplished by lining your kitchen container or your green bin with:
    • A few layers of newspaper. Newspaper also absorbs excess moisture.
    • Use a paper bag or a certified compostable bag with at least one of the logos noted below:



Cooked Meat & Dairy Now Accepted in Green Bin!

Residents of Orillia can now include cooked meat, chicken, fish, bones, and dairy products in their Green Bins.  Please do not include meat or dairy packaging like bags, absorbent pads, trays, plastic wrapping, etc.

photo of cooked fish
photos of cooked food


Curbside Collection

Picture of a green binGreen bin/yard waste is collected on a weekly basis year round. Place your green bin out at the curb on your regular collection day. View the Waste Collection Routes and Schedule. Your green bin does not require a garbage tag.

By using the green bin or a backyard composter, you can cut your household waste by up to 35%, save on garbage tags, and prevent compostable materials from taking up valuable landfill space and reducing groundwater quality.

You can also line your kitchen container with a certified compostable kitchen bag, which will have either of the logos shown below on the box and bag. To help the program succeed, please do not put your food scraps in plastic grocery bags, recycling green bags, or bags identified as oxo-biodegradable.

Label that identifies bags as compostableCertified Compostable Logo BNQ.jpg

Please see our Solid Waste Collection Calendar for a full list of items that can be included in your green bin and items accepted in the City's yard waste collection program.

Broken kitchen containers and green bin carts are replaced at no charge at the Waste Diversion Site.  If you wish to purchase a new kitchen container or a Green Bin, please visit our Solid Waste Fees page for pricing.

View our Instructional Video on Orillia's Garbage Tag Program & Green Bin Program.



The City's waste collector (Mid Ontario Disposal) uses divided co-collection trucks to collect garbage and green bin/yard waste in separate compartments of the same truck.

Green bin/yard waste is dropped off separately at our compost site located at the Waste Diversion Site where it is processed into compost. The purpose of using co-collection vehicles is to reduce collection costs by reducing the number of collection vehicles on the road. For more information, please call 705-325-3522.

Green Bin Collection at Apartments/Condos and Businesses

Green bin collection is mandatory at apartments and condos in Orillia on the City's garbage bin service.   Businesses and institutions are limited to setting out 10 green bins per week without a garbage tag.  Over this, a garbage tag needs to be affixed to each additional green bin.

Click here to view the Green Bin Collection Program for Apartments and Businesses. This pamphlet contains information for both the green bin and recycling collection program.

If you are a property manager, please click here to view the City's Apartment Recycling Handbook. It provides details on participating in the City's recycling cart and green bin collection programs at apartments and condos.

Grass Clippings Collection

Grass clippings are only accepted at the curb for yard waste collection if the bag or can is tagged with a City of Orillia garbage tag. Please note:

  1. Ideally, grass clippings should be left on your lawn. Simply keep your mower blade sharp, cut when the grass is dry, set your mower at the proper height (2.5" - 3"), and mow regularly. Use a mower with a mulching blade for the best results.
  2. Grass clippings can be composted in your backyard composter.
  3. Orillia residents can drop off grass clippings for free at the Waste Diversion Site. Lawn maintenance companies can also drop off this material for free if the grass clippings are from City of Orillia addresses. 
  4. Grass clippings can be set out at the curb and need to be tagged as follows:
  • For a Compostable Bag - attach the tag over the twist tie to form a flag.
  • For a Paper Bag - leave the bag open and place the tag on top of the grass clippings.
  • For a Can - place the tag on top of the grass clippings (not on the lid)

Leaving grass clippings on your lawn does not cause thatch or spread lawn diseases, and won't damage your lawn when you mow regularly and at the proper height. The grass plant's nutrients can then naturally be recycled to the soil, which helps lawns become healthier.  So don't spend your time raking and bagging!   

No garbage tag is required for setting out leaves or other yard waste. For more information, please call the Waste Diversion Site at 705-325-3522.

Tips for Reducing Odours & Fruit Flies in Your Green Bin

Odours and fruit flies in your green bin or kitchen container meant for collecting food scraps can be a problem in the warmer summer months. Here are some tips to reduce these issues:

  1. Drain excess liquid from food before emptying into your container and/or sprinkle baking soda on your food scraps.
  2. Keep your kitchen container and green bin clean. To clean, mix baking soda with water to form a cleaning paste to scrub and deodorize the container.
  3. To capture fruit flies, fill a bowl of vinegar and cover with plastic wrap with several small holes punched in it. Empty as required.
  4. Line Your kitchen container or green bin with:
  • A few layers of newspaper or place several sheets of newspaper on the counter, scrape your food scraps onto this and wrap it into a small package before tossing it in your green bin. Newspaper absorbs excess moisture, and reduces odours and fruit flies.
  • Use a paper bag or a certified compostable bag with at least one of the logos noted below:


Questions? Call the Waste Diversion Site at 705-325-3522.

Reducing Green Bin Freezing Problems During the Winter

During winter months, it can be a challenge to empty the green bins into the collection truck because the contents can freeze to the side of your bin.  The collection drivers try their best to empty the contents but this can be a challenge and can lead to damaging the bins. To help reduce this problem, here are some tips:

  1. Empty as much liquid as possible from your food scraps before placing in your green bin. The freezing liquid is what causes the sticking problem.
  2. Place your food scraps on some newspaper or in a paper bag and wrap this up into a ball and place in your green bin. This will help keep it dry.
  3. Line your green bin with a few layers of newspaper or paper bags.
  4. Remember that paper towels and tissues are accepted in the green bin and help absorb food liquids.
  5. If you already line your green bin with a certified compostable bag (with the noted logos pictured above), please follow one of the other additional tips listed above. On its own, the compostable bag may still freeze to the side of the bin. No twist ties or plastic bags please.

 For more information, please call the Waste Diversion Site at 705-325-3522.

Leaf Collection

Leaves are an excellent source of organic matter for your lawn and garden. They can be composted, mulched directly on your lawn with a mower with a mulching blade, shredded and used as mulch around shrubs and on garden beds, or dug directly into your garden. Set aside enough brown leaves to jump-start your backyard composter in the spring.

Leaves are picked up year-round. No garbage tags are needed for leaves. Place your leaves or yard waste in an acceptable container and leave it at the curb by 7:00 a.m. on your regular collection day.

Acceptable Containers:

  • Paper yard waste bags
  • Certified compostable bags
  • Clearly marked rigid containers
  • Bundles (Maximum size: 1m X 50 cm X 50 cm where branch diameter must be under 2.5 cm)

Leaves raked to the curb or ditch will not be collected. Leaves will not be collected if they are in orange, green, or black bags or if they weigh more than 20 kgs/44lbs

Paper yard waste bags will be collected and will not be emptied. Effective July 1, 2017, clear plastic bags will no longer be accepted for yard waste collection.

Orillia residents can also take leaves to the Waste Diversion Site for composting. There is no charge and no weight limit. Leaves brought in plastic bags must be emptied at the site.

Christmas Tree Collection

Christmas trees are collected during the first three full weeks following Christmas. Natural trees only. During the collection period, please set out your Christmas tree by 7:00 a.m. on your regular collection day. Placing them out too soon can result in the trees getting covered in snow and making them difficult for our collection crew to find. It can also lead to the trees freezing into the snow bank making them difficult to remove.

Please remove all lights, wire, tinsel, ornaments, nails, metal/wood tree stands and other materials that are not part of the original tree.  No plastic bags please.  Trees will be taken to the Waste Diversion Site to be mulched and composted.

Backyard Composting

Backyard composters are available at the Waste Diversion Site for $25.00 each. You can reduce your household waste by up to 35%. Call 705-325-3522 for assistance. For more information call the Waste Management Advisory Committee at 705-329-2452.

View our flyer.

Instructional Video on Orillia's Garbage Tag Program & Green Bin Program (NOTE: Cooked meat, bones and dairy products are now accepted in Orillia's Green Bin program).

We attempt to make our website documents accessible, however, some of these documents may not completely meet the AODA accessibility requirements. If you require assistance or communication support, please contact 705-326-1502.