As market conditions change, what items are accepted in your blue bin can change over time. However, how you prepare your recyclables for collection should stay the same. Here’s a list of recycling do’s and don’ts.

Do: Ensure your containers are empty

  • As a general rule, your containers should be empty before tossing them in the blue bin. A quick rinse is always appreciated. Doing so creates a healthier, cleaner work environment for the staff at the Material Recovery Facility (MRF.) It also lessens the chance of contaminating other materials in the blue bin and developing mold and unpleasant odours.

Don’t: Liquids and food waste

  • Liquids and food waste don’t belong in your blue bin. This contaminates other clean recyclables. Dump out your liquids and dispose of leftover food before putting your containers in the recycling.

Do: Toss your items in loosely

  • When putting your materials in the recycling bin, toss them in loosely. There’s no need to put your recyclables inside other containers (i.e. nesting). Doing this makes the recycling process more challenging because the optical sorters at the MRF won’t be able to sort the items correctly if they’re inside one another.

Don’t: Bag your recyclables

  • Bagging your recyclables unfortunately does more harm than good. When staff at the MRF see bagged material on the belt, they immediately pull it off and it goes into the garbage. This is a safety hazard to the workers because they can’t see what’s inside the bag. Save yourself time and toss your items into the bin loosely.

Do: Check if it’s accepted

  • Make sure what you’re putting in blue bin is accepted in our program, which collects residential packaging and printed paper. If you’re not sure what is accepted, you can look up items in the Recyclepedia.

Don’t: Toss in unaccepted materials

  • If something isn’t accepted in your blue bin, you can donate it to a thrift store, post it for free online, or take it to a drop-off location for recycling. Items that have specific drop-off locations for recycling include electronics, tires, household hazardous waste (e.g., aerosol cans, paint cans), and more.
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