Curbside Collection Program Overview

 advisory; orange triangle with exclamation mark​Curbside Collection Schedule Change Advisory

Please be advised the RDN Curbside collection schedule is shifting forward by one business day starting in October. RDN Curbside will be observing the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation new provincial statutory holiday.

Options to get your revised curbside collection calendar:

Curbside Collection Service

The RDN curbside collection service is provided to residential single-family dwellings in RDN electoral areas, the District of Lantzville, Snaw-Naw-As First Nation, the City of Parksville, and the Town of Qualicum Beach. The RDN does not provide service to apartments, condos, commercial businesses, or households within the City of Nanaimo.

Curbside Collection

Collection Schedule

Recycling Carts and Garbage Carts are collected every two weeks, on an alternating cycle. Organics (Food Waste) Carts are collected every week. The collection day will bump ahead for every statutory holiday.

Revised October-December 2023 Calendars

Downloadable Calendars:

Confirm your route number by looking at your original 2023 mailed calendar, or type typing your address into the calendar tool above and clicking the black "i" icon beside the next collection event.

Sign Up for Weekly Collection Reminders and Service Alerts

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

Option 1: Email or Phone Call Reminders
  • Enter your address into the calendar search form (above) 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: “RDN Curbside” smartphone app

Remember to allow app notifications in your device's app permission settings.

Expanded Organics Program

As of March 1, 2023, you can top up your 100-litre organics cart with leaves, grass and light yard trimmings!

Find out more on the expanded curbside organics program at

Frequently Asked Questions

Cart Exchanges, Reporting Damaged & Missing Carts

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

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 just 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.

If your entire street was not collected by 6 p.m. on your scheduled collection day due to unsafe winter weather conditions, we will follow Level 1 of the RDN Curbside Adverse Weather Operations Policy (see "Adverse Weather Disruptions" below).

You can confirm a service alert is active for your area by entering your address into our Calendar tool, above. You will be directly sent a service alert if you are signed up for RDN Curbside weekly reminders by email, app notification or automated phone call.

Adverse Weather Disruptions to Collection Service

During severe winter weather, every effort is made to collect the curbside materials. Please ensure your carts are at the curb for the entire 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. collection window.

If your side of the street was not collected by 6 p.m. on your scheduled collection day due to unsafe winter weather conditions, we will follow Level 1 of the RDN Curbside Adverse Weather Operations Policy (see below). You can confirm a service alert is active in your area by entering your address into the Calendar tool, above.

Service-wide information on active Curbside Collection Service Alerts will be posted to the main RDN webpage

RDN Curbside Adverse Weather Operations Policy

  • Level 1. If collection is missed due to adverse weather, our contractor will attempt to restore collection over the next two days and the following weekend.
    • This is conditional to safe road conditions, and priority is given to the regularly scheduled routes.
  • Level 2. Service will then follow the regular curbside collection schedule.
    • Depending on the season, the number of households impacted, and the length of service disruption, both Garbage and Recycling may be collected instead of Food Waste. This will be confirmed on the RDN Curbside reminder and service alert system.
  • Level 3. If we are unable to service a route or neighbourhood for two back-to-back regular scheduled collection days, we will make an option available for waived tipping fees at the Regional Landfill or Church Road Transfer Station.
    • Further details will be provided if this option is made available.

Click here to read our full adverse weather operations and communications review (PDF).

Safety is the RDN's Top Priority

Safety for workers and our community is the top priority for the RDN and our curbside contractor. Snow and ice pose a very high safety risk, with each collection vehicle making 700 stops per day and needing up to five times the stopping distance in winter conditions compared to a passenger vehicle on dry roads.


Stopping distances for vehicles in winter road conditions

Road Maintenance Responsibilities

Please note that the Regional District is not responsible for road maintenance (such as snow clearing). To contact the Ministry of Transportation or their contractor, please Click Here. Roads and streets within municipalities are maintained by municipal crews.

Cart Set-Out in Snowy Conditions
  • Please have your carts out from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. on collection day.
  • Keep carts off the travelled portion of the roadway so as not to interfere with snowplows- do not place carts in a location where the snowplow will hit them.
  • Keep carts 1m (3 feet) apart from each other and other obstacles to make enough room for automated collection.
  • Clear your cart of snow and ice to ensure the lid opens when the cart is tipped. 
  • Place carts in an area clear of snow around them. 
  • Do not place carts behind or on top of snowbanks.
Cart Set-Out in Windy Conditions
  • Always keep lids shut. This will reduce the risk of blown litter on curbs.
  •  Place carts at the curb between 5 - 8 a.m. on collection day. Put lighter items at the bottom of the cart and heavier items on top to prevent lighter items from blowing away.
  • Keep carts 1m (3 feet) apart from each other and other obstacles to make enough room for automated collection.
  • If you can, keep your recycling cart in on extremely windy days.

To help identify blown away carts email curbside [at] to have warranty-complaint stickers mailed out to you, don't permanently mark or label your cart.

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.

RDN does not provide service to apartments and condos, industrial, commercial, or institutional properties. Bare land strata and townhouse developments may apply to receive RDN curbside collection service, provided they can be safely, legally, and efficiently serviced.

Starting or Discontinuing Curbside Collection Service

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

Bare land strata 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.

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; 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.

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 toward 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 a 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 Organics (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.

Bear-resistant carts are available for purchase for residents living in bear-frequented areas. Please visit for more information.

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
  • 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 organics (food waste) cart locked (in the vertical position) to prevent wildlife interactions. If you are setting out the organics cart when it is more than 3/4 full, or only contains a small amount of lightweight yard waste, please set the lock in the unlocked position.
  • 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.

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 for Long and/or Steep Driveways

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]