City of St. John's garbage cart with hand writing the address in the provided space.

Automated Garbage Collection

What Is Automated Garbage Collection?

Automated garbage collection is done by using wheeled carts that garbage bags are placed in, and collection vehicles equipped with an automated arm controlled by the vehicle driver that picks up the cart and dumps the contents in the truck.

Automated garbage collection began in St. John’s in 2018.

Residents should read all the instructions, rules and FAQs detailed in the Automated Garbage Guide.

Note: Recycling blue bags and paper yard waste bags must be placed at least 1 metre (3 feet) away from the garbage cart.

Write the Address on Your Cart(s)

Take a moment to write your address on both sides of the cart using permanent marker.  All the carts look the same and having your address on the cart will make it easy for you, your neighbor and City staff to find the cart if it goes missing.  Lost carts must be replaced and property owners can purchase from the City  at full-cost recovery.

Note: You may need to periodically re-write your address on both sides of the cart using a permanent marker, particularly if the cart is stored outside between collections

Missing, Damaged, or Found Carts

For information on what to do if your cart is missing, damaged or if you have found a cart click here.

Are you in an Automated Garbage Collection Area?

To check if your address is in an automated garbage collection area Click Here.

Get our app St. John’s Waste and Recycling. Sign up for reminders of your recycling and garbage days and to be notified if collection has been postponed or cancelled.

Exemptions From Automated Garbage

Residents who have concerns about their ability to maneuver their cart to the collection point can apply for an exemption from Automated Garbage.  Print or download the Exemption Form, complete and submit to the address listed.

About The Carts

  • Holds approximately 4 regular garbage bags
  • Has a radio frequency identification (RFID) tag and individual serial numbers to identify the household the cart is assigned to
  • Residents who move must leave the cart behind as it is assigned to the property – not a person

Property Owners Responsibility

  • Must write their address on the cart in the space provided
  • Must use the City-issued cart for garbage collection and properly place it at the curb for collection
  • Must keep the cart clean and secure between collections

Placing Your Cart

3 images showing how to place your garbage cart for collection. Left image, on street parking, cart goes to the street with wheels to the curb. Center image, no on street parking, cart goes to the end of your driveway. Right image, gravel shoulder, cart goes on the gravel shoulder at the end of your driveway.

Additional Information

  • Place the cart at the curb on collection day only between 6 and 8 a.m. Carts must be removed from the curb by 8 p.m.
  • Improperly placed carts will not be collected. Garbage placed outside the cart will not be collected
  • All regular household garbage must be in bags and placed in the cart with the lid completely closed
  • In the winter, do not place carts behind or on top of snow banks
  • Leave at least one metre (3 feet) of clearance between the cart and any obstacles including other carts, recycling or yard waste bags and parked vehicles.
  • Put broken glass and other sharp objects in a puncture-proof container so that no sharp edges are sticking out.  The container must be clearly labelled ‘broken glass’ and put in with your garbage – put it in a clear garbage bag, and if you have a City-issued cart put the bag in the cart.  Packaging broken glass and other sharps in this way avoids injuries to yourself, pedestrians and collection staff.

Top text bold: Lid must be completely closed. Arrows on lid of cart must face the roadway by 8 a.m.: Image of paper yard waste bag and blue recycling bag 1 meter away from garbage cart and cart 1 meter away from car.


If you already have a bin you can use it for storing your recycling. Recycling stickers are available for your old bin if you’ll be putting it at the curb – this will help our recycling collector know it is recycling. Request a sticker for your bin by emailing or call Access St. John’s by dialing 311 or 754-CITY (2489).

Click Here for other FAQ’s about Automated Garbage Collection.