Prendre soin de son bac brun en hiver par la Ville de Rosemère

Taking Care of Your Brown Bin in Winter

It’s winter and the organic waste collection truck has just passed. With your coat and boots on, you go out to the curb to bring in the brown bin. You dust off the snow from the top and pull a bit harder on the handles to try and open it, because the melted snow has already started to freeze. Then you heave a sigh of frustration on noticing that some waste materials have stuck to the bottom of your bin and that the latch has fallen off.

Are you familiar with this scenario? Here are a few tips on how to avoid having such frozen waste materials left at the bottom, when the mercury drops below zero, as well as some advice on how to prevent the latch from breaking during the cold season.

An empty container after each collection

No one likes having leftover waste materials frozen stuck at the bottom of their bin. Here are a few tips to put a stop to this unpleasant situation:

  • Place a piece of cardboard or newspaper at the bottom of the bin.
  • Don’t place liquids in the brown bin (juice, milk, water, coffee, etc.).
  • Wrap moist materials (fruit and vegetable scraps, tea bags, coffee filters, etc.) in a sheet of newspaper to absorb any excess liquid that may ooze out.
  • If that doesn’t do the trick, place a paper bag in your bin and put your compostable garden waste inside it.

This way, your brown bin should stay clean all winter long and you won’t have to clean it in the spring!

Frost breakage

During last year’s extreme cold weather, the plastic latch on some brown bins broke, either when it was opened or during the organic waste collection process. What to do in this situation? To have it replaced, just call the Public Works Department at 450 621-3500, ext. 3300, or send an email to

Here are a few precautions you can take, however, to keep your bin in one piece throughout the winter:

    • First, if it is frozen, don’t force the latch. It could break, as it is made of plastic.
    • To thaw out the ice around the latch, put some hand sanitizer or rubbing alcohol on it. The alcohol will lower the freezing point of the water, causing the ice to melt, and that should unjam the latch.
    • Avoid pouring hot water on the latch, as it will freeze again after melting the ice, and that won’t solve the problem…
    • We also encourage you to watch this short video [], which explains how to open the latch easily


Thank you for contributing to our collective waste reduction efforts. Don’t hesitate to share your tips with us to make the best possible use of your brown bin!