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Skip Navigation LinksSimcoe County > Departments > Solid Waste Management > Cart Collection > Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

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Why is the County moving toward automated cart collection?

Carts are used across North America because they are easier, safer and provide a better overall service to residents.

  • Easier to use: Carts offer the added convenience of wheels, lids, and a gravity locking system on organics carts that opens automatically when carts are collected
  • More capacity: Instead of several smaller bins and bags, residents will have just two carts ready to roll to the curb each week
  • Require less storage space: You can reduce your storage footprint for your waste by up to 50% by consolidating smaller bins, boxes and containers into the larger carts
  • Safer and more predictable service: As well as being great for residents, the automated system is safer and less strenuous for collection workers, and helps fight transmission of pathogens. This expands the labour force so service delays due to labour shortages don't occur
  • Good for the environment: Our automated cart collection doesn't just improve curbside aesthetics. In addition to reducing windblown litter, the new organics cart is 2 and half times larger than our current green bin to further encourage greater diversion and reduce garbage 


What size are the carts?

Cart sizes are universal and were chosen based on the average waste needs per household in the County of Simcoe, accounting for future needs. If you require additional capacity, extra recycling bins or tagged garbage bags can be placed at the curb beside the carts.

To help families plan ahead, here are the precise dimensions:

Cart TypeCapacityHeightDepth Front to BackWidth Side to Side
Recycling360 litres110.4 cm84.5 cm74.1 cm
Garbage240 litres102.8 cm71.4 cm67.8 cm
Organics120 litres95.2 cm62.2 cm46.9 cm


Recycling - One large cart with a blue lid for recyclables is equivalent to four of our current recycling bins

Garbage - One medium-sized cart with a black lid for garbage ­has enough space for two full large black bags

Organic - One cart with a green lid with a gravity locking mechanism is two and a half times larger than our current green bins to encourage greater diversion of organics and account for seasonal fluctuations such as for pumpkins, pet waste, turkey carcasses 


How are the new carts easy and safe to use?

  • Carts mean no more bending over to lift and carry different boxes, bins and bags to the curb
  • With large wheels, a wider wheel-base and ergonomic handles, all residents, including seniors and those with accessibility requirements, should find it safer, easier and more stable to roll carts to and from the curb
  • Touchless automated collection also adds a level of safety for everyone 

Why do we all have the same size carts?

The County considered the best size for all our residents. Bi-weekly garbage and recycling collection will continue, and the cart sizes selected will suit the majority of households

Considerations included:

  • At different times of the year, residents have varying levels of waste. For instance, holidays and family get-togethers often generate increased waste; carts provide flexibility for additional capacity when needed
  • Costs to all taxpayers was an important factor in Council's decision. Other jurisdictions have advised that offering cart size choices created considerably higher implementation, distribution costs as well as increased annual operating costs
  • We are planning for the future as Provincial changes coming soon to recycling programs may allow more materials to enter the recycling stream, without requiring new carts at enhanced costs in the future 


How many carts will each household receive and how do we get them?

The County will deliver approximately 450,000 carts between August and the end of October. Each eligible unit will receive a set of three complimentary carts for use after November 1st, 2021. 

When will carts be delivered to my neighbourhood?

​While we are unable to provide exact distribution days, subscribers to the Simcoe County Collects app will be notified when the general distribution window is anticipated in their area. Seasonal areas will be prioritized for early distribution to maximize time for those residents to receive their carts.   

Are the new carts easy to store?

Carts will allow residents to consolidate a variety of smaller bins, bags and containers into three carts, including as many as four large blue bins into the recycling cart, this also means less trips to the curb each week

As part of our education campaign, the County will provide tips to support residents with storing bins in smaller garages, outdoors, long driveways or on more densely confined properties.

Do materials need to be bagged before being put in the carts?

Each cart is a little different:

  • Recyclables are to be placed in the cart with the blue lid and should NOT be bagged (with the exception of shredded paper) 
  • Garbage may be bagged or loose 
  • We recommend organics be bagged using certified compostable bags or wrapped in newspaper to minimize sticking inside the cart, reduce odours, etc.

What if I don’t have a garage, or my garage has limited storage space?

For residents without a garage, the lids and gravity locking system on our organics cart means that bins can now be stored outside the home and remain protected from animals and weather.

Residents with small garages will find that consolidating many of your materials into a larger cart you are saving valuable floor space, instead of the equivalent volume of multiple smaller bins, boxes and you now have three carts with increased vertical space for your waste.


What will I do with my old containers (blue boxes, green bin and garbage cans)?

​After November 1st, unwanted green bins, recycling boxes and garbage pails can be brought to a County Waste Facility (free of charge) for a limited time to be recycled. Alternatively, there are many ways to re-purpose your old bins:

  • Blue Boxes can be used for occasional overflow recyclables or to place your leaf and yard waste at the curb. They also work great for storage  
  • Garbage Cans can be used for occasional overflow garbage but will require a County garbage tag to be affixed. Garbage cans are also handy for storing rakes, shovels, hockey sticks, etc.
  • Green Bins can be used to store items like birdseed, pet food or driveway sand or salt in the winter

How will I get the carts to the curb on collection day if I am elderly, disabled, have a long driveway, or if there is snow?

​Other communities that have implemented cart collection indicate that initially residents had similar concerns; however, after implementation the feedback on carts is very positive. 

Moving wheeled carts down the driveway is much easier and more ergonomic than carrying various blue boxes and garbage cans (handles are at a more convenient height than the current organic bins).

In other rural communities utilizing carts, many residents choose to leave their carts at the end of their driveway (off to the side) similar to a garbage box and bring material to deposit into their carts as needed (please check local municipal bylaws policies).

As for snow and winter conditions, many northern communities are successfully using carts such as Timmins Ontario, Winnipeg Manitoba and communities in Alaska.


What if I use a Common Collection Point (CCP)?

Carts will be distributed to residents that utilize a CCP, with efforts made to distribute directly to the residence. In some cases, where access for distribution is blocked (by a gate for example), carts may be left at the point beyond which access is no longer possible. 

​Residents will continue to use the CCP, either leaving carts there, similar to garbage boxes, or they may choose to keep carts at their residence and wheel them out on collection day.    

Will I be eligible for carts if I live in an apartment, condominium or on a private road?

You must be currently receiving curbside waste collection from the County of Simcoe to be eligible for cart collection. Condominium developments in Simcoe County typically provide their own waste services. Although not a requirement for municipalities, where technically feasible, the County is willing to arrange for waste collection, as per current arrangements. However, it is a decision of the condominium board as to whether that service is the most suitable for their own needs.

To determine eligibility for curbside waste collection service at your apartment, condominium development, or private road please have your property management company contact the County at service@simcoe.ca or 1-800-263-3199.​

What is the cost of this program?

The cost of waste collection service is increasing significantly across the province. Recently, some local municipalities have seen waste collection costs double for the identical service level. The cost of automated cart collection is estimated at $315 annually for the average County home, including the cost of carts, collection service, disposal or processing fees for the various materials collected and related administrative costs. This investment will result in significant improvements to the reliability to our collection system.

The County is always searching for the most cost-effective solution. County Councillors voted for new carts with all black cart bodies and lids that are coloured to indicate contents. This option has resulted in an approximate $180,000 savings versus having individually coloured bins. The all-black bodies also contain a higher percentage of recycled materials, representing a wise choice for the environment as well as the budget.