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Organic waste collection

1) What does reclaiming organic waste mean?

“Reclaiming organic waste” is the expression used for the environmentally responsible treatment processes used to turn organic waste into useful products. Organic waste is processed in two ways: 

  • Composting, a process that converts organic matter into compost. Using compost reduces the need for chemical fertilizers. 
  • Biomethanation, a microbiological process that converts residual organic waste into biogas through fermentation under anaerobic (oxygen-free) conditions. The resulting biogas contains methane, which can be used as a source of energy. 

Both processes prevent emission of the greenhouse gases produced by disposing organic waste in landfills. In Saint-Lambert, the organic waste collected will undergo biomethanation.

2) Will the organic waste collected be used to make compost?

The organic waste collected in Saint-Lambert will be sent to a biomethanation plant. The biomethanation process generates two substances: gas and a digestate. The digestate does not take the form of conventional manure (organic potting soil) and is therefore not appropriate for residential use.

For more information, watch this video.

3) Why reclaim organic waste?

Far too much residual waste is still sent to landfill sites in Quebec every year, creating a major source of pollution. Yet most of these materials could be given a second life, thanks – among other things – to recycling and the reclamation of organic waste: 

  • Recycling allows some materials to be used to make new products. 
  • When organic materials are reclaimed through composting or biomethanation, they become fertilizing substances or a source of energy. 

By focussing on recycling and organic waste collection, the City of Saint-Lambert hopes to contribute to the attainment of the objectives set in the Metropolitan Waste Management Plan, which aims to reduce the burial of waste to a minimum and thus decrease greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, the Québec Residual Materials Management Policy intends to ban organic waste disposal by the year 2020. 

By putting each material into the right bin, you will be actively doing your part to achieve three important objectives of residual materials management: reclaiming food waste, reducing the volume of materials sent to landfill, and reducing the environmental problems associated with burying organic matter. 

Moreover, municipalities are entitled to financial compensation based on their performance in terms of all the materials that are not buried in landfill sites. 

4) How does organic waste collection work? 

Follow these simple steps to use the brown bin properly: 

  1. Put your small kitchen container somewhere easy to reach and line the inside with newspaper. Affix the aide-mémoire sticker to the small container and the detailed aide-mémoire to your refrigerator for easy access to the information you need.
  2. Put your food scraps (raw or cooked), as well as soiled paper and cardboard, into the small kitchen container. Empty it regularly into your outdoor brown bin. If you have leftover meat, poultry, dairy products, or fish, keep them in your freezer until collection day so as to prevent odours.
    Keep your kitchen container clean by rinsing it out with a mild detergent or a water and vinegar mixture.
  3. It is important to put your outdoor brown bin curbside every week, even if it is not full, to prevent odours and other annoyances. 

5) What materials are accepted or refused in the brown bin? 

Consult for materials accepted and materials refused for the organic waste collection. This table also appears on the magnetic aide-mémoire delivered with your kitchen container. We urge you to put it on your refrigerator so that you have all the information you need within easy reach. 

Delivery of the brown bins

6) Who will receive a brown bin? 

Organic waste collection will be phased in gradually between 2019 and 2022 throughout Saint-Lambert. Here are the main phases in the project:

  • Phase 1 (2019): houses, apartment buildings or condominiums with 8 housing units or fewer, municipal buildings and schools. 
  • Phase 2 (2020): pilot project involving 600 housing units in apartment buildings or condominiums with 9 housing units or more. 
  • Phase 3 (2021): all buildings with 9 housing units or more.
  • Phase 4 (2022): industrial, commercial and other buildings. 

Each phase will be accompanied by a targeted communication campaign and the delivery of a free starter kit. The kit includes a kitchen container, an outdoor brown bin, and information tools. 

Not your turn yet?

The City of Saint-Lambert has installed four community composters in local parks. You can also buy a home composer for a modest price. For more details, visit, call the Info-Enviro line at 450-466-3199 or write to

To allow residents who are not part of the first phase of the organic waste collection to be able to take part in the service, the City of Saint-Lambert is pleased to provide them with five voluntary organic waste repositories.

  • In the Saint-Denis Park parking lot
  • At City Hall (55 Argyle Avenue)
  • At the recreation centre (600 Oak Avenue - on the Lespérance Street side of the building
  • At Seaway Park (430 Riverside Drive)
  • In the De Navarre Park (De Navarre Avenue)

7) When will the brown bins be delivered?

The outdoor brown bins will be delivered between mid-March and the end of April, to the citizens targeted by Phase 1. Each outdoor bin will come with a kitchen container and information tools. The bin will be dropped off in front of your home. 

Mark your address on your outdoor bin when you receive it and affix the aide-mémoire sticker to your kitchen container. You will also have received a detailed magnetic aide-mémoire, which you should put on your refrigerator door. 

Practical information

8) What is the organic waste collection schedule?

Organic waste is collected every Wednesday during summer, from May 1 to October 30, 2019. During winter, from November 6, 2019 to the end of March 2020, it is collected every two weeks.

In 2019, only single-family homes, buildings with 8 dwelling units or fewer, school, and municipal buildings will have access to the organic waste collection service.

Consult the 2019 waste collection calendar to find out the exact collection dates.

9) I already have a home composter or participate in community composting. Do I still have to participate in organic waste collection? 

If you already do home composting, you can continue to do so! However, as certain materials are not accepted in your home composter, the brown bin can be used instead of your composter for these materials, or in the winter, when your composter is inaccessible or frozen. 

10) I have a garburator at home. Can I continue to use it?

Using the brown bin is a preferable option. Garburators consume electricity and a lot of water. Also, it is not advisable to throw cooking fats into your garburator as they are difficult to process and risk clogging the pipes. 

Organic waste collection via your brown bin allows you to dispose of these fats. It also saves tonnes of materials from being sent to landfill sites, and allows a green energy, in the form of biogas, to be produced. 

11) Will the other special waste collections continue?

Yes, the special waste collections for Christmas trees, large household furniture items or garden residue will continue. For more information on collection dates, visit 

12) What should I do if I don’t receive a brown bin, or if it is stolen or damaged? 

The bins will be delivered between mid-March and the end of April. If you fall into Phase 1 of the implementation of organic waste collections and you do not receive your bin by the end of April, or if your bin is stolen or damaged, please contact Public Works at 450-466-3690 or at

13) What should I do if my bin is not emptied?

It may happen that your bin is not emptied because you did not following some of the rules pertaining to organic waste collection. If so, a door hanger will be put on your bin telling you which by-law you have broken. For example, materials may have been overflowing from your bin or your bin may not have been positioned properly. 

If this is not the case, the truck may not have passed yet. Remember that collection takes place between 7 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. 

Lastly, if you followed all the rules and your bin was still forgotten, please contact Environment Management division at 450-466-3199 or at and they will follow up on the situation.

14) What should I do with my brown bin if I move? 

Brown bins belong to the municipality and are attached to your civic address. If you are moving, leave your bins for the new occupants. 

Odours, maggots and flies, and bin maintenance

15) How can I prevent odours, maggots and flies in my brown bin?

Please consult the section Tips and tricks section on the page for several ideas on how to prevent odours, maggots and flies in your brown bin, and on ways to keep your bin clean. 

16) What should I do if I don’t have enough room in my brown bin for all my organic waste? Can I have a second bin? 

If you have more organic waste than your bin can hold on a recurring basis, you can purchase a second brown bin from the municipality. Please contact Public Works at 450-466-3690 or at for more details and to obtain a second bin. 

17) Why was this size of bin chosen? 

When choosing the type of bin needed for its organic waste collection, the City of Saint-Lambert referred to best practices, similar municipalities that have already introduced organic waste collection, and demographic data on its population. The City also wanted to offer a third bin that would not be too cumbersome for citizens. 

18) I don’t have enough room for a third bin because my recycling bin and household garbage can already take up all the room. What should I do? 

Approximately 45% of your household waste can be composted. You will thus have much less garbage to put in your garbage can once organic waste collection is implemented. We therefore invite you to obtain a smaller garbage can in order to make room for your brown bin. You might also consider sharing a bin with a neighbour. 


19) Can I insert a bag into my kitchen container and my brown bin? 

No type of bag made of plastic or similar material may be used for organic waste collection. First, it is important to know that oxo-biodegradable bags cannot be composted. They break down into plastic micro-fragments and contaminate the organic matter extracted. 

Compostable “plastic” bags designed for organic waste collection, including those with the “municipal programs” identifier, must not be used either, as they are not accepted at the treatment site used by the City of Saint-Lambert. These bags stretch in the machinery and cause breakage that is very expensive to repair. 

To make it easier to clean your bin, we encourage you to wrap your materials in sheets of newspaper. If you prefer, you can use paper bags in your bins. 


20) Why are dead leaves not allowed in the brown bin?

Dead leaves are not accepted in the brown bin because they no longer contain chlorophyll, which fuels biomethanation. You must therefore dispose of your dead leaves during green waste collections. For more information on the green waste collection dates, visit