The most frequently asked questions the ACRD hears about its coming organics collection program involve bin liners, bears and other wildlife, and roadside placement of the new organics cart.

Questions about how to use your new Organics cart? We’ve got answers!

With the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District introducing organics collection late this summer within the City of Port Alberni – part of the new Sort’nGo roadside three-stream automated cart collection service for organics, recycling and garbage – it’s important that residents understand how to use their new organics cart properly.

The most frequently asked questions the ACRD hears involve bin liners, bears and other wildlife, and placement of the new organics cart at roadside.

Here’s what you need to know:

Q. Can I use a plastic liner for the organics cart or the ‘kitchen buddy’ bin?

No plastics (compostable, biodegradable or conventional) will be accepted in the curbside organics program. This means that NO plastic liners will be permitted in your organics cart.

Options include:

  1. No liner at all. A liner isn’t actually required at all! However, this does have a potentially higher ‘ick’ factor. If you have an outside hose, rinsing out your cart after material has been collected is an option. In some communities, if freezer space allows, people have utilized a container or newspaper to freeze their food scraps and then put directly into the cart on collection day (minus the container).
  2. Use newspaper or cardboard to line the bottom of your cart. Soiled paper and cardboard will be collected in the organics stream – so this can provide your cart with an effective barrier between the cart and the organic material. Grass clippings or leaves would be another option to try.
  3. Purchase paper liners for your cart. Before the three-stream collection rolls out, local retailers will stock their shelves with liners that accommodate the dimensions of the cart. Even better is if the paper liners are created from recycled content!

When carts are distributed late August/early September, several sample liners will be provided with each cart as well as a list of retailers that will have appropriate liners in stock. You’ll also receive instructions for creating a folded newspaper liner for your ‘kitchen buddy’ bin.

Paper liners – NOT plastic – can be used inside your compost bins.

Q. What about bears and other wildlife being attracted to the food waste in the carts?

Food waste is currently going into our garbage carts, so animal interactions should stay the same, but to protect the animals and prevent mess in our communities, the bear-proof lid-locking mechanism on Port Alberni garbage carts will also be on the organics cart. These are certified by WildSafe BC and are the most successful option for our community.

We want to keep Alberni Valley bears wild so we need everyone to do their part and secure their cart. Another tip to make sure your cart stays in optimal shape is to unclip the locking mechanism when you put your cart out onto the curb and then clip the two hooks together.

Q. How should carts be places at the roadside?

Every week you’ll now have two carts to roll to the curb. The organics cart will be collected every week and the garbage and recycling carts will alternate weeks. Please remember carts are not to be placed curbside before 7 a.m. on collection day, and should be placed one metre apart.

A welcome package delivered with the carts will offer further guidance on placement, depending on what your property frontage looks like.

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. You can also follow the Facebook Page “Alberni Valley Waste Reduction Education” for weekly tips and updates for the Valley.