Garbage is collected on alternating weeks. Use the My Schedule & Waste Wizard tool to find your collection calendar and to sign up for reminders.

  • One container limit (77 L / 20 US Gal maximum size)
  • Garbage bin & contents must not weigh more than 16 kg / 35 lb 
  • No sharps such as syringes or broken glass
  • Use a lid to keep out animals and rain
  • Additional garbage container tags can be purchased at the Municipal Hall, Fuller Lake Arena and the Cowichan Aquatic Centre for $3 (max 2 tags per collection day)
  • Pet waste must be double-bagged

Common questions

How can I reduce the amount of garbage my household produces?

North Cowichan's current garbage collection service permits one 77 litre can (20 US gallons) per residence every other week, not to exceed 16 kgs (35 lbs). Here are some tips to reduce your garbage in order to meet this requirement:

  • Recycle at the curbside and use the CVRD depots. Curbside recycling is unlimited and is collected every other week alternating with garbage.
  • Use your green bin to collect kitchen organics, such as food waste and soiled/waxed paper products. Kitchen organics are collected every week.
  • Compost your kitchen scraps and yard waste in your backyard. You potentially will be able to reduce your garbage by 30%. Do not include compostables with your curbside garbage.
  • Shop smart and avoid buying over-packaged goods.
  • Learn where your garbage goes after it leaves your house through North Cowichan's garbage process.

What size garbage container can I use?

North Cowichan's current garbage collection service permits one 77 litre (20 gallon) can. Containers can be purchased at Home Depot, Canadian Tire, Home Hardware, Walmart and similar locations.

How much garbage can I put out?

You can put out one 77 litre can (20 gallons) that does not exceed 16 kgs (35 pounds) every other week. The Municipality has a manual curbside collection system; collectors must physically lift the garbage into the truck so it is important that your materials do not exceed 16 kgs. This size limit reduces the likelihood of injury to the collectors and encourages use of the organic and recycling programs. If your container does not meet these specifications, it will not be picked up. For health and safety reasons, collectors are not permitted to reach into a container to remove the contents.

Why are my garbage and organics picked up by the same truck?

Garbage and organics are collected by a split-packer truck. Although it may appear that these items are being mixed together after you spent time separating them, the materials are completely separated and do not get mixed with each other. Split packer trucks collect both refuse and organics in the same truck, but in different compartments. Garbage and organics are kept separate, compressed and emptied at different locations. These trucks are split this way to make the collection more efficient instead of having two different trucks for each material type.

What if I have more garbage than the weekly allowance?

Up to two additional containers of garbage can be put out on your scheduled garbage collection day by attaching a $3 sticker to each additional container. Additional garbage is also accepted at Bings Creek Recycling Complex for a fee. 

Garbage stickers are sold at the following locations:

  • Municipal Hall - 7030 Trans Canada Highway, Duncan
  • Cowichan Aquatic Centre - 2653 James Street, Duncan
  • Fuller Lake Arena - 2876 Fuller Lake Road, Chemainus

How do I dispose of sharp items in my garbage?

When placing sharp items (i.e. light bulbs and nails) in the garbage, please ensure that they are wrapped in a protective material, such as newsprint, before placing the items into the garbage so they do not present a safety hazard to the collectors. As a courtesy to the garbage collectors, please label all garbage units that may contain a potential safety hazard.

Please note: syringes and needles are not accepted in curbside garbage collection. Most pharmacies offer a no-cost needle exchange program for their customers. Safe needle drop-boxes are also located throughout the Cowichan region as well as at Bings Creek and Peerless Road recycling centres. 

  • Bings Creek Solid Waste Management Complex (3900 Drinkwater Road, Duncan)
  • Peerless Road Drop-off Depot (10830 Peerless Road, Ladysmith)