Curbside Collection Program Overview

Curbside Collection

Curbside Collection

Missed Collection

The RDN's collection day window is from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 P.M. Please leave your carts out until 6:00 p.m. on your scheduled collection day before reporting a missed collection.

If your cart(s) were missed, but the neighbours to either side of you were emptied, you can report a missed collection by calling the RDN's contractor, Waste Connections of Canada, at 250-248-8109. You can also report missed collections on our Curbside Collection Online Portal.

There may be a collection delay in your area if all the carts on your side of the street were not emptied by 6:00 p.m. When collection is delayed, service alerts will be posted on the RDN Curbside calendar and notification system, usually between 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. on the scheduled collection day. If you are signed up for weekly collection reminders, you will be directly sent a service alert. If you are not signed up for weekly collection reminders, please enter your address into our Calendar tool, below.

Cart Exchanges, Reporting Damaged & Missing Carts

You can request a cart exchange, or report damaged or missing carts on our Curbside Collection Online Portal.

Curbside Collection Schedule

Your Recycling Cart and Garbage Carts are collected every two weeks, on an alternating cycle. Your Food Waste Cart is collected every week. Your collection day will bump ahead for every statutory holiday.

Do you live in the City of Nanaimo? You can find your collection schedule here.

Sign Up for Weekly Collection Reminders & Service Alerts

Residents receiving RDN curbside collection services are encouraged to sign up for service alert notifications by email, phone call, or the “RDN Curbside” smartphone app.

  • Option 1: Email or phone call notifications - Sign up using the instructions below: 
    • Enter your address into the calendar search form and press search
    • Select “Get a reminder!”
    • Pick the type of reminder you would like to receive
    • Follow the prompts on the screen to complete the sign-up
  • Option 2: Download the free “RDN Curbside” smartphone app on your Apple or Android device.

The Basics of the RDN Curbside Collection Program

Who receives curbside collection service from the RDN

The RDN curbside collection service is provided to all RDN residential single-family dwellings in the following communities: 

  • Area A - Cedar, South Wellington, Yellowpoint, Cassidy
  • Area B - Gabriola Island
  • Area C - Extension, Nanaimo Lakes, East Wellington, Pleasant Valley
  • Area E - Nanoose Bay
  • Area F - Coombs, Hilliers, Errington, Whiskey Creek, Meadowood
  • Area G - Englishman River, San Pareil, French Creek, Little Qualicum, Dashwood
  • Area H - Bowser, Qualicum Bay, Deep Bay
  • District of Lantzville
  • City of Parksville
  • Town of Qualicum Beach
  • Snaw-Naw-As First Nation

Single-family dwellings within the City of Nanaimo receive curbside collection service from the municipality, and not the RDN.

How to Use Your Carts

By 8 a.m. on your scheduled collection day:

  • Roll your carts to the street with the wheels against the curb if there is one, or just off the road, on the shoulder or at the end of your driveway.
  • Face your carts with the arrows on the cart lid pointing towards the street. The cart lids must be completely closed and the food waste cart lid in the locked position; overflowing carts will not be collected as the material will spill onto the street as it is being emptied.
  • Space your carts at least 1 m (3 ft) of clearance between the carts and any obstacles (parked cars, poles, fire hydrants, etc.) and 3 m (10 ft) of clearance above.
  • Remove your carts once the collection truck has emptied the carts, and return your carts to a secure location on your property within the same day. If your carts are not collected by 6 PM, report a missed collection via the Curbside Collection Online Portal.

This short video illustrates how the carts are to be used.

How to Place Your Carts

Each collection truck has a mechanical arm that grabs, lifts and empties your carts. To ensure the mechanical arms can reach and safely access your carts, please follow our cart placement guidelines:

  • Place your carts as close to the roadway as possible, without blocking traffic sidewalks, and bike lanes.
  • Leave at least 1 meter (3 feet) of clearance between the carts and any obstacles, such as parked cars, poles, fire hydrants, etc.
  • Leave 3 meters of clearance above the carts.
  • All material must be placed in the cart with the lid completely closed.
  • Make sure the arrows on the cart lid are pointing towards the street.

Carts that are blocked, improperly placed, overflowing, or backwards will not be collected.

Cart Placement Guidelines

Cart Types: Garbage, Recycling & Food Waste

Each RDN residential single-family home will have three wheeled carts:

  • Recycling cart (blue lid)
  • Food Waste cart (green lid) with gravity lock
  • Garbage Cart (black lid)

You can select the sizes of Recycling Carts and Garbage Carts that best suit your household's needs. The annual utility fee is based on the size of the Garbage Cart, as per RDN Bylaw 1802. There is one standard size available for the Food Waste cart. 

Allowable Cart Sizes

You can find out more about cart exchange options and request smaller or larger Recycling and Garbage Carts through our Curbside Collection Online Portal.

What Goes Where

For quick reference on which items go in which cart, please refer to the Curbside Collection Sorting Guide.

For detailed information, please check out the pages below:

Restricted Waste - Not Accepted in any of the curbside collection carts:

  • Oversize items exceeding two feet in any dimension
  • Highly flammable materials, hazardous waste, containers of liquids such as cooking oil or motor oil
  • Products such as batteries, paint, pesticides, and electronic equipment collected at depots
  • Grass clippings, yard and garden waste
  • Construction or renovation waste


Unsure of where an item should go? Use the What Goes Where lookup tool to search hundreds of items.

COVID-19 & Curbside Collection

Please visit for more information.

To protect collection and facility workers, please continue to bag and dispose of the following items in your garbage cart:

  • Tissues/kleenex
  • Single-use face masks
  • Disposable gloves
  • Sanitary wipes (even those labelled flushable/compostable)
Cart Tips
  • Place only acceptable materials in the carts. If you are uncertain about an item, use the "What Goes Where" feature on the RDN Curbside app or RDN website.
  • Place items loosely in the cart, forcing items in makes it hard for the collection truck to empty the cart.
  • Keep your food waste cart locked (in the vertical position) at all times, including on collection day, to prevent wildlife interactions.
  • Close the lid before moving the carts.
  • Do not sit, climb or stand on the carts
  • Children should not play in or around the carts.
  • Do not place or store carts on elevated platforms, including snowbanks and avoid placing carts on a steep slope.
  • During snow events, pulling the cart behind you over the snow will be easier than pushing the cart ahead of you.
Cart Serial Numbers

All carts are identical, having the address on the carts will make it easy for you and your neighbour(s) to distinguish the carts. A unique serial number is stamped on the front of each cart. These numbers will identify your carts if they are lost. Record these numbers in the user guide that accompanied your cart delivery for future reference. Alternatively, you can write your address on the address labels provided in the information package.

DO NOT write your address directly onto the cart as this will void the warranty with the manufacturer.

If you find a cart that does not belong to your property, please call Waste Connections at 250-248-8109.

If your cart is damaged or missing, please report it on the Curbside Collection Online Portal.

Cart Attachments

This short video profiles several cart attachments available on the market that can be affixed to vehicles (car, truck, ATV, lawn tractor, etc.) to allow residents to easily tow the carts.

If you are interested in learning more about the cart attachments, please contact curbside [at]

Starting or Discontinuing Curbside Collection Service

The RDN's curbside collection service is mandatory for all single-family dwellings, secondary suites, duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes, and manufactured homes within the service area, per RDN Bylaw 1802

Strata's and townhouse developments may apply to receive RDN curbside collection service, provided they can be safely, legally and efficiently serviced.

RDN does not provide service to apartments and condos, industrial, commercial or institutional properties.