Canadian Packaging

Toronto recycling program expands scope

By Canadian Packaging staff   

Sustainability landfill diversion recycling Toronto Blue Bin Recycling Program

Blue Bin Recycling Program will increase City of Toronto's diversion rate by an expected 2%.

Beginning June 1, 2015, the list of plastic film materials accepted into the City of Toronto’s Blue Bin Recycling Program will increase, allowing an anticipated 3,500 tones more material to be recycled and thus diverted from landfill.

The expected changes will increase Blue Bin diversion by an impressive two percent, and overall residential diversion by 0.35 percent.

As usual, no sorting is required by the resident, so you can continue to mix paper, glass and metal and plastic, BUT all containers should be rinsed of residue prior to adding to the Blue Bin. So, yes… get all of that mayo out of the jar!

Data taken from the City of Toronto website:


Acceptable Recyclable Items:

  • Clamshell containers (hinged, clear plastic containers used for food items such as berries and take-out);
  • Clear fruit and vegetable containers;
  • Clear take-out food containers;
  • Clear molded bakery item trays, egg cartons;
  • Disposable plastic plates and glasses;
  • Cold beverage cups/lids;
  • Plastic bottles and jugs (lids on);
  • Milk/juice cartons and boxes (put plastic tops and straws in garbage);
  • Glass bottles and jars (lids on);
  • Aluminum cans;
  • Plastic food jars, tubs and lids (e.g. margarine, yogurt, ice cream, sour cream containers);
  • Metal cans (place metal lid inside can and pinch closed – if lid is plastic, recycle loose);
  • Cardboard cans (e.g. frozen juice, refrigerated dough, chips, nuts, powdered drink mix — put plastic pull-off strips in garbage; place metal ends inside cardboard can and pinch closed);
  • Aluminum trays, burner liners, pie plates and roasting pans.

Home and personal product containers
Rinse clean and recycle

  • Plastic bottles (lids and sprayers screwed on tight);
  • Plastic kitty litter tubs with plastic handles;
  • Plastic laundry detergent tubs and lids;
  • Clear compact disk cases (empty);
  • Aerosol cans (empty; put caps in garbage);
  • Metal paint cans & lids (empty, dry; no need to rinse. Separate lids from cans).

Foam polystyrene and plastic retail shopping bags
Rinse clean and recycle

  • Foam food and protective packaging (e.g. drinking cups, egg cartons, meat trays, takeout food containers, electronics packaging);
  • Plastic grocery and retail shopping bags without drawstrings, metal detailing or hard plastic handles (remove receipts: place all plastic bags in one retail or grocery plastic bag and and tie handles together).

Not contaminated with food or chemicals

  • Bags, rolls, junk mail, writing/computer paper, envelopes, window envelopes;
  • Shredded paper (put in clear plastic bag and tie closed);
  • Gift wrap, cards (no ribbons, bows, foil wrap);
  • Newspapers, flyers, telephone directories, magazines, catalogues, soft/ hardcover books (remove plastic covers, liners, over-wrap and put in garbage);
  • Boxboard boxes (e.g. cereal, tissue, detergent, egg cartons – flatten; remove liners, plastic windows and put in garbage);
  • Corrugated cardboard (clean, unwaxed, flattened; pizza boxes must be empty; remove plastic over-wrap from pop/water cases and put in garbage)

According to City of Toronto’s 311 information website :
Drywall is accepted as recycling ONLY at depots that accept recycling (note Bermondsey, Commissioners and Ingram are the only depots that accept drywall:  You cannot place drywall in your blue bin.

Prohibited items:

  • Foil gift wrap;
  • Wallpaper;
  • Paper that is soiled or wax-coated;
  • Meat wrapping paper (butchers paper) should be placed in the garbage bin;
  • Waxed cardboard (must be placed in garbage);
  • Paper items that are wax coated (many frozen food boxes) or soiled with food (e.g. paper towels/tissues, coffee filters, sugar/flour bags, etc.) belong in the green bin;
  • Other items that should be placed in the green bin are soiled paper fast food wrapping (no foil), paper plates & ice cream boxes;
  • Propane/helium cylinders and tanks;
  • Medical waste (needles, plastic catheter bags/tubes) – needles are hazardous waste: take to Drop-off Depot.). Plastic catheter/colostomy bags and tubes are garbage;
  • Squeeze tubes for home and personal products (hair, body, etc.);
  • Tools, scrap metal, auto parts;
  • Toys;
  • Clothes, shoes, carpets, curtains, bedding;
  • Small appliances, electronics;
  • Cassettes, CDs, DVDs;
  • Batteries, car batteries;
  • Plastic paint pails (all sizes, with or without metal handles);
  • Plastic pails (with metal handles);
  • Black plastic plant pots and trays (other colors can be recycled);
  • Plastic: caulking tubes, food storage containers, motor oil jugs, black plant trays, black flower pots, non-disposable plates and drinking glasses, packing peanuts, binders (e.g. three-ring), clipboards;
  • Plastic (bags/wrap): plastic over-wrap (on pop cartons, water bottles, toilet paper), bags holding flyers, dry cleaning, milk (outer and inner), produce, bread, sandwich and plastic food wrap;
  • Compact fluorescent light bulbs (Must not be put in recycling or garbage; take to Drop-off Depot.);
  • Dryer sheets, baby wipes, make-up pads, cotton tipped swabs, dental floss;
  • Hair, pet fur, feathers, wax, wood pieces, cigarette butts, wine corks, vacuum bags/ contents, fireplace and BBQ ashes;
  • Glass: drinking glasses, dishes, cups, crystal, window glass, light bulbs, mirrors, pottery, pots, pans;
  • Metal: scrap metal, coat hangers, pots, pans, small appliances, binders;
  • Aluminum: foil food wrap, potato chip bags, metallic gift wrap;
  • Wood: pieces, flooring, crates for fruit

Note: The Toxic Taxi provides free pick-up of 10 to 50 liters/kilograms of HHW materials from Toronto residents. To book an appointment: e-mail at or call 311.

For all other municipalities around Canada, please contact them directly after first checking their respective websites.



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