Alberni Valley’s 3-stream roadside cart collection: Top questions answered


With the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District (ACRD) and City of Port Alberni rolling out the new 3-stream roadside cart collection service in September, we’re receiving lots of questions about specific items – and where they should go… Here are a few of the top items that people are mentioning.

If you’re unsure about an item, you can use the Sort’nGo app to search an item and see where it goes. If the item isn’t yet identified, it will be flagged, and the app will be appropriately updated.

Compostable Cutlery and Compostable Bags

Not all forms of compostable products are designed or made the same. Unfortunately, with the recent innovation of “compostable” products, not all are regulated, therefore they might not break down completely in many compost processing systems.

Compostable cutlery and bags are also difficult to distinguish from regular plastic which can be confusing, increasing the risk of potential contamination, and reduces the quality of the finished compost. As a result, compostable plastics will not be accepted in the organics cart.

Invasive Weeds

Legislated noxious weeds (weeds required by law to control) are listed on the BC Weed Control Act & Regulation. A reference for residents can be found at Noxious weeds should be bagged and put into the garbage stream, NOT the organics cart. Noxious weeds of concern in the Port Alberni area include Japanese knotweed, giant knotweed, Bohemian knotweed, Himalayan knotweed, purple loosestrife, and yellow flag iris.

Of equal concern in the valley are weeds that aren’t legislated under the Weed Control Act, but are extremely invasive and spreading across the city, primarily due to people dumping yard refuse into greenspaces. These plants take over natural ecosystems and though we aren’t required by law to control them, they still need to be removed wherever found outside of a desired and controlled location and never, ever dumped into compost or greenspaces. These plants include English ivy, Scotch broom, common tansy, spurge laurel, English holly, periwinkle, morning glory, Himalayan balsam, Himalayan blackberry, and St. John’s wort.

What yard waste can go in my Organics cart?

Include yard waste like grass clippings, leaves garden waste and branches but please note the maximum length for branches in the cart is 24 inches, or two feet, with a two-inch diameter. This is to ensure that material can get through the truck’s “hopper” system.

Pet Waste

Feces of any sort are not permitted in the organics cart. These should go into your garbage cart.

Shredded Paper

Shredded paper is accepted in your curbside recycling and at the recycling depots. Shredded paper can be placed in a clear plastic bag inside your blue recycling cart (do not use coloured or opaque garbage bags). This will make it easy to pull and sort off the line at the post collection facility. All other items in the blue cart should be left loose.

Plastic Produce Stickers

The little stickers found on your apples, bananas, avocados, and other produce must be removed prior to putting in your organics cart. These stickers are small and sturdy, water

resistant and do not breakdown in the compost systems and typically get through the screening process, ending up in the finished compost.

When is the 3-stream service starting and what will my schedule be?

Starting the launch week of Sept. 13, organics will be collected weekly, with recycling and waste collected bi-weekly, on alternating weeks. This means that if Sept. 13 is your normal recycling week, you’ll be rolling out your blue recycling cart with your green organics cart — if it is not your normal recycling week, you’ll be rolling out your garbage cart with your organics cart.

Stay in the Know with Sort’nGo!

If you are attending the Alberni Valley Fall Fair look for the ACRD outdoor booth with a waste reduction display. Come on by and say hi. Bring your questions to the waste reduction educators.

Visit for more information about the Organics Collection Service and to ask questions.

Questions about sorting? Download the free Sort’nGo app from your mobile app store for Android and Apple phones. You can also check out the Facebook Page “Alberni Valley Waste Reduction Education” at which has weekly tips and updates for the Valley. Community groups and local businesses, can also contact the ACRD to arrange for an educational presentation about the coming service.

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