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 download our recycling guide here.

Don’t: Toss in unaccepted materials

  • There are two categories of unaccepted materials: items that can donated or brought to a depot, or products that are recyclable, but not in the blue bin. You can visit the Recycle Manitoba website to find a drop-off location for where to properly these materials.

Do: Bring your items to a Winnipeg 4R Depot

  • If you don’t have enough space in your blue bin, bring your excess recycling to a Winnipeg 4R Depot. The depots are a one-stop-shop where residents can recycle their packaging and printed paper and other household items. This includes electronics, tires, ceramics and scrap metal. Learn more about what materials you can recycle here. 

Don’t: Place your cart incorrectly

  • When it comes time for your recycling to be collected, your cart lid should be closed and have nothing placed on top of it. If there are items placed on top of your cart, service can be refused by the trucks and your recyclables won’t get picked up. Also, ensure that your cart isn’t placed too closely to other items. They should be an arm’s length away from each other.
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