Garbage and Recycling

The City of Medicine Hat offers both residential and commercial collection services to customers within Medicine Hat and the hamlet of Veinerville.

Yard waste collection runs April 8, 2024 to November 13, 2024. Visit the yard waste page for more information.





Residential collection

In Medicine Hat, your garbage (grey cart), organic waste (green cart) and recycling (blue cart) are emptied weekly (on the same day) based on a zone collection schedule. Scheduled collection days advance with each statutory holiday or staff training day.


Residential Customers  
Waste removal service charge $0.5655 per unit/day
Centralized collection (more than four dwelling units) $0.4745 per unit/day
Additional waste cart $0.5655 per unit/day
Residential recycling program $0.2775 per unit/day
Waste diversion charge $0.0826 per unit/day

Rates effective as of January 1, 2024

Recycle Coach App

For residential waste collection schedules and information, download the Recycle Coach App to your smartphone at no charge. The App can be set up to send you news notifications and reminders about collection day and schedule changes. Reporting issues with collection or submitting requests is made easy with the “Report a Problem” feature.

How to set out your cart

Set carts apart

Proper cart placement is important for a successful collection. Set carts apart and away from obstacles to ensure the collection trucks can empty each cart.

If you can walk around each cart comfortably, then the trucks have enough room to access each cart for collection.

Set out on time

Collection routes begin promptly at 7 a.m. on your designated collection day. If you are unable to set your cart out before 7 a.m. on the morning of collection, consider setting out the night before.

Collection times vary throughout the day and we do not guarantee collection at the exact same time each week. Please leave your cart out until it is emptied.

Return your carts to private property promptly following collection.


Windy days

  • Consider waiting for the next collection day to set out your carts. This will ensure that the carts stay put and do not blow away.
  • If you choose to set out your carts, try to set out first thing in the morning before 7 a.m. rather than the night before. This will help to reduce the chance of your cart blowing over in the night.
  • Try to return your carts to property as soon as possible after collection. Leaving your empty carts out following collection increases the chance that they will blow over.
  • Try arranging the contents of your carts with the lighter items on the bottom. If your cart lid blows open, there is less risk of items blowing out.



  • Shovel a smooth space on the street or alley to set your carts on. The collection trucks need even ground to lift the cart properly.
  • Do not set your carts behind or too close to snow piles. Always ensure three feet clearance or a comfortable walking distance around each one of your carts.
  • We do our best to collect, but collection may be suspended should there be unsafe road conditions due to the weather.
  • If we are experiencing bad weather, such as a blizzard, watch for updates on our Facebook and Twitter accounts or consult your Recycle Coach app to find out about possible delays.


Missing carts

  • Keep a written record of the cart numbers assigned to your address. If you are unsure of your cart numbers, contact us.
  • Write your address in the space provided on the lid. This will help you locate your cart if it blows away.
  • When searching for carts, refer to the serial number stamped on the front of the cart. In our experience, friendly neighbours have been known to move extra carts found to be blocking streets and alleys. Consider working with your neighbours to track down lost carts.

Remember: it is your responsibility to keep the carts assigned to your property safe and to find them if they blow away.

  • If you are unable to find your missing cart, a replacement cart is available upon request. Please note that a replacement fee may be posted to your utility account.


Frequently asked questions

What can I put in my garbage cart?

Minimize garbage disposal as much as possible by reducing the amount of recyclable waste going into the grey household waste carts. After recycling your cardboard, plastic, tin, glass, grass clippings, organic waste materials, reusable/donate-able items etc. the leftover waste intended for landfill disposal can go into your grey household waste cart.

The residential carts are intended for household waste only. The following items are not accepted in the grey carts:

  • Construction and demolition materials
  • Household Hazardous Wastes (HHW)
  • Ewaste
  • Animal carcasses
  • Any other harmful or hazardous items

Is there a weight limit for the carts?

Yes, there is a weight restriction listed on the lid of the carts, however we recommend that that carts remain no heavier than 100 kilograms. Keeping carts under this weight limit will help to ensure that your carts can be emptied without a problem.

When is my collection day?

Medicine Hat is divided into five collection zones. Your residence is located in one of the five zones. Download the Recycle Coach App to your Apple or Android smartphone or refer to the collection schedule. Grey (household waste) and green (organic waste) carts are collected by the City of Medicine Hat. Blue (recycling) carts are collected by the City's contracted recycling collection provider – GFL Environmental Inc. All carts are collected on the same day but at different times throughout the collection day.

Where do I set my cart out for collection?

Waste collection routes are designed to minimize overlap, and reduce fuel and mileage used by the trucks. To ensure consistency between collectors, route maps are prepared for each route within the five collection zones indicating where each household is designated to set their carts out. To find out whether your home has been assigned with front street, back lane or side street collection, contact us.

What if I am having difficulties setting my cart(s) out?

Contact us at 403-529-8176 to discuss options for assisted residential waste collection.

What if a cart isn't full, should it be set out for collection?

It is not mandatory for carts to be placed out on every collection day if the cart is not full. The time that is taken to lift and tip an empty cart could be used to move to the next location. Please keep the empty cart(s) on property till the next collection day.

How do I get an organic waste cart?

Organic waste carts to participate in the seasonal yard waste collection program are delivered upon request to households that have a City of Medicine Hat issued household waste and recycling cart. Since the yard waste collection program is optional, there is a one-time level of service change fee of $50 applied to the utility account and can only be authorized by the current utility account holder.

Apply for a yard waste cart

Why don't I have a household waste or recycling cart?

Household waste carts are delivered to single family dwellings in Medicine Hat as per Waste Bylaw #1805. If you have moved into a newly built home, a cart may not have been assigned to your residence yet. To request the carts be delivered or to confirm whether a cart has already been assigned, contact us.

Why was my recycling/household/organic waste not emptied?

If you set your cart out prior to 7 a.m. on your designated collection according to the setout standards and your cart was not emptied, contact us on the following business day to let us know.

What do I do if my cart has gone missing?

All City of Medicine Hat issued carts have serial numbers that are assigned to the residence that they are delivered to. Contact us to ask for the cart serial number assigned to your address. When you find your cart, ensure your address is written on the lid with a permanent marker and return it to private property to keep it from going missing again.


What do I do if my cart is damaged?

Report damaged carts by email or by calling 403-529-8176. Field staff will assess the damage and repair or replace as necessary. Carts damaged due to negligence could incur a fee for the replacement.

I have back lane collection, can I leave my cart out all the time?

According to Waste Bylaw #1805, carts must be removed off public roadways and lanes after collection has been completed. This helps keep lanes clear for public and emergency vehicles. Also consider trimming overhanging trees so that automated trucks can do their job.

Current Utility Rates

Commercial collection

Please visit the commercial collection page if you operate a business, or multi-unit dwelling residential or apartment facilities within the community.


The Waste Bylaw #1805 sets parameters for:

  • proper waste disposal, collection and handling
  • set-out guidelines and instruction
  • utility fees and disposal rates

The Solid Waste Utility is also regulated by Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) and Alberta Environment and Protected Areas.

Waste Management Strategy

In 2011, the City adopted a 10 year Waste Management Strategy built upon three principles:

  • Industry R’s: reduce, reuse, recycle, recover, dispose
  • Triple bottom line: environment, social, cost
  • Diversion vs cost: reasonable diversion at reasonable cost over diversion at all costs

Following the expiration of the original Waste Management Strategy, the City adopted a new 10-year Waste Management Strategy in 2023 focusing on:

  • Program development (e.g. Food Waste Collection Pilot Program - coming in 2024)
  • Operational impact and/or improvements
  • Education and partnerships

Find out more: