In the past, Pictou Island has had an immense garbage problem. In the early 20th century, they would either put garbage in the woods or into the ocean, which is similar to what the mainland did at the time. Under the Pictou Island Community Association (PICA), a committee was put together to deal with the past and current waste problems.

The committee implemented a three-tiered garbage disposal system with the municipality paying for a dumpster, two recyclables trips and two junk runs.

Pictou Island has no garbage disposals on the island, but there is a dumpster at the Caribou Wharf for the island. There is a recycling facility located on the Pictou island wharf and in addition to this the island has two junk runs per year to take off bigger items.

This system follows the Municipal Guidelines for sorting waste. It is important that everything be cleaned and sorted properly to ensure the system works fluently.



There is a dumpster located on the Caribou wharf, placed by the municipality, for Pictou Island. This is for household garbage only. All items must be placed in a clear bag and with no food waste in the garbage, as well as it not leaking or smelling. It is the responsibility of the person to take their garbage off with them, by taking it across the ferry and putting it in the dumpster. The ferry asks that it be labelled with your name and phone number.



There is a recycling depot located on the Pictou Island Wharf where recyclables are stored and await one of the two runs to remove them. All items must be placed in blue bags and everything must be rinsed, clean and packaged well for removal. Please sort these bags properly.

NO refundables (bottle or cans), electronics or batteries are to be placed at the depot.


Junk Run

There are two scheduled junk runs that take place on a Saturday morning in the summer months. It is intended for items that are not considered household garbage, so no garbage bags and nothing that can otherwise be composted, burned, recycled or refunded.  A list of acceptable and non-acceptable items is sent out prior to each run. The limit is one-truckload per household.



Due to the island’s isolation, compost is either taken off the island and disposed of properly or used as fertilizer.


Refundables, Electronics, Batteries and Biohazards

It is the individual’s responsibility to take these off the island and dispose of them properly, as stated in the municipal guidelines.