Solid Waste Collection


Download the 2022-2023 Solid Waste Collection Schedule:  2023-24 Amherst Solid Waste Collection Schedule

Never forget your garbage day again! Download mobile app "Cumberland County Solid Waste" in the App Store or visit to sign up for weekly email reminders.

The Town of Amherst recently awarded Miller Waste Systems Inc. a new Solid Waste Contract which comes into effect April 1, 2018. The new contract includes:

  • three stream collection of solid waste (garbage, recyclables, and organics)
  • a spring and fall collection of leaf & yard waste
  • Christmas tree collection in January
  • weekly organics collection in the summer
  • biweekly collection of one bulky item (washer, dryer, couch, chair, etc.).

Removed from the contract is the yearly special collection of bulky items, special collections for construction and demolition debris, and the second collection of Christmas trees in May.

What Does This Mean for Town of Amherst Residents?

Bulky Item Collection

Town of Amherst residents can now place one bulky item out for collection on every garbage collection day. Bulky items include furniture, mattresses and box springs, coffee tables, washer, dryer, stove, fridge, etc. This does not include construction and demolition debris.

Construction and Demolition Materials (C&D)

Town of Amherst residents can include one bag of construction and demolition debris (wood, shingles, flooring, etc) with their regular garbage, provided they do not exceed the 6 bag limit. For larger amounts of C&D, residents can take their materials to the Cumberland Central Landfill in Little Forks. For information about tipping fees call 902-667-5141.

Weekly Organics Collection

Town of Amherst residents will now have weekly organics collection starting on July 3 and continuing until September 28. Materials must be placed out for collection on your regular scheduled collection day.

Christmas Tree Collection

Christmas trees will be collected once a year in January. Town of Amherst residents can also take their tree to the Town Garage located on 14 McCully Street (Monday - Friday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm.).

Dual Stream Recycling

The Town of Amherst has approved the switch to dual stream recycling. This will mean residents will sort recyclables by type. An implementation plan is being developed and will be communicated to residents in the near future.

For more information on this and other programs call 902-667-5141, visit, or download the free mobile app
Cumberland County Solid Waste.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is composting?

Composting is Nature's way of recycling.  Composting is a natural biological process, carried out under controlled conditions, which converts organic material into a stable humus-like product called compost.  CJSMA operates a composting facility at Little Forks where organics from Amherst are composted.

What are the benefits of a successful composting program?

In addition to diverting a large proportion of the waste stream away from landfill disposal, an effective composting program can produce a high quality soil amendment with a variety of end uses.  Diverting organic waste from landfill sites helps to conserve landfill space and to reduce the production of leachate and methane gas (both of which add to the cost of operating a landfill).

What can be composted?

Composting has the potential to manage all of the organic material in the waste stream which cannot otherwise be recycled.  Some examples of organic material that can be composted include food scraps, leaves and yard wastes, agricultural crop residues, soiled paper products, etc.

Who can I talk to about my Solid Waste problem?

Brenda Rioux - Solid Waste Education and Enforcement Officer:  667-5141

Why can't Tim Horton's cups go in the organicart?

The Tim's cups have a thin plastic liner which Little Forks can't accept because its facility is producing a "Class A" compost.

Where should I store my Green Cart?

Your green cart should be stored outside in a ventilated, shady and convenient area to facilitate movement to the curbside for pickup.

How can I clean my Green Cart?

When required, you can hose the cart using a mild detergent immediately after collection; make sure the air vents are kept clear.

When I put lobster shells, fish or other food waste in my compost collection cart how do I manage the odor?

Wetness contributes to odors in the cart.  By wrapping wet food waste and adding soiled / non-recyclable paper and boxboard (e.g., paper towel, cereal boxes), and / or leaf and yard waste you can reduce wetness and odor in your cart.

The best way to avoid flies in your cart is to wrap your wet food waste before placing it in the cart, especially your fruit and meat waste. Meat waste can also be stored in a paper bag in your freezer before collection day.

Can a plastic bag be used to line my kitchen mini?

Plastic bags can be used to line the kitchen mini but do not place plastic bags in the organicart.

Where should I store my kitchen mini?

Your Kitchen mini should be kept in a convenient location in the kitchen.

What is leaf and yard waste?

"leaf and yard waste" means vegetative matter resulting from gardening, horticulture or landscaping, including materials such as tree and shrub trimmings, plant remains, grass clippings, leaves and trees.

What is residual garbage?

"residual garbage" means household waste other than,: recyclable material, compostables and construction or demolition debris.

What color plastic bags can I use for recyclables and residuals?

Recyclables must be placed in clear non-colored transparent blue plastic bags.  The residual waste (after recyclables or compostables are removed) must be placed in clear non-colored plastic bags.

What is a compost bin?

"compost bin" means a wheeled aerated cart designed to be emptied by hydraulic lifting devices for the storage and municipal collection of compostables.  The solid waste collector will empty it every two weeks.

Do I have to have a bin?

Yes, each residential property with 3 or fewer dwelling units will be supplied with a green bin for compostables.  Your bin will have a serial number registered to your address.

Who pays for the bin?

The Town of Amherst will purchase the bins with the cost being recovered through the waste collection fee.

What can I put in my green bin?

"Compostables" means food scraps and spoiled or waste food or foodstuff including vegetable peelings, meat, fish, eggs, bones, waste food products, soiled and wet paper and soiled paper products such as table napkins, paper towels, pizza boxes, leaves and yard waste and cold wood ashes (leave in metal pale for one week to ensure cold.

What do I do with all my leaves?

You can put loose leaves in your compost bin.  If you have additional leaves they can be placed in compostable or paper bags (maximum 10 per pickup) for collection with your compost bin. There is also a special collection during a two week period each spring and fall.

What do I do with my Christmas tree, brush or branches from trees in my yard?

The Town will provide door-to-door pickup of Christmas trees during a 1 week period as noted on the collection schedule. A special collection of leaves, brush and branches will also take place during a 2 week period each spring and fall. Brush and tree branches shall be bundled in bundles not exceeding 1.5 m in length or 25 kg in weight and individual limbs shall have a diameter not exceeding 5 cm in diameter when placed for regular collection.

Won't the green carts be too heavy for seniors?

These carts are designed with 8" plastic wheels such that they can be tipped and moved with little effort.

How often will my solid waste be collected?

Recyclables are collected one week, organics / compostables and residual waste is collected the next week.  Each stream of waste will therefore be collected on a bi-weekly basis.

Is my garbage checked to ensure it has been properly separated?

The collector is responsible to check all three streams - recyclables, compostables and residuals - to ensure they are not contaminated with waste from another stream.  Bags or bins that are contaminated i.e. have the presence of materials that belong in other containers will be rejected by placing a rejection sticker on them and leaving the material uncollected.

Where do I place my solid waste for pickup?

All solid waste shall be placed for collection within three meters of the curb, placed in such a manner as to interfere as little as possible with pedestrian traffic and snow removal.

How do I pay for the solid waste collection service?

Cost of acquiring green carts together with collection fees and tipping fees for residential solid waste, which is subject to general municipal collection, will be paid by the Town of Amherst and recovered from the properties subject to municipal residential property tax as a separate user charge for waste collection and disposal on the municipal tax bill issued to the owner.

I live in a Mobile Home Park, does the Town Pickup apply to my home?

Yes, the town pickup will include all homes in the mobile home parks.

My neighbor keeps piles of garbage behind his shed.  It attracts rats and in summer causes a bad odor. Is this permitted under the bylaw?

No, the bylaw requires solid waste to be removed every 2 weeks.

My neighbor's dog tears my garbage bag open and scatters it around. What can be done to stop this?

Your neighbor can be charged if you witness the damage being done and are prepared to co-operate with our bylaw enforcement officer.

Is there a penalty for a resident who violates the solid waste bylaw?

Any person who contravenes any provision of this By-Law is punishable on summary conviction by a fine of not less than $200 and not more than $5000 and to imprisonment of not more than 60 days in default of payment thereof. Each day that a person commits an offence under this By-Law constitutes a separate offence.

Will safety features be regulated for garbage trucks?

Every vehicle used to collect solid waste shall meet standards / specifications as set by the Town Engineer.

Are empty paint cans garbage?

No, as long as they are empty and dry, empty paint cans can be placed in your recycling bag.

Is wrapping paper recyclable?

No, wrapping paper is not recyclable and should be placed in your residual garbage.

What do I do with the plastic liners in my cereal boxes?

Remember to place all plastic liners from boxboard in your residual garbage.

Where can I dispose of my old washer?

Materials such as washers, dryers, dishwashers, and fridges care considered white goods and can be disposed at the Cumberland Central Landfill, or placed for special spring collection provided freon is removed and an appropriate sticker is attached.

Is Styrofoam recyclable?

No, it is not. It should be placed in your residual garbage.

I live in an apartment building. Does the Town pickup apply to my building?

Town pickup will apply to all residential buildings with 3 or fewer dwelling units.

To what degree do I have to separate my solid waste?

It must be separated into four streams: compostables, recyclables, residual garbage, construction and demolition debris;

What can I include in the clear bags for recycling?

"recyclable material" means corrugated cardboard, newsprint, bond paper, glossy flyers and magazines, egg cartons, box board, computer paper and redeemable beverage containers, steel, tin or aluminum food containers or cans, glass food containers, jars and bottles, low density polyethylene bags and packaging, high density bags, containers and packaging, polycoat containers for milk, milk products, soya milk, concentrates or other liquids or powders, tetrapacks.