• What belongs in my blue box

    Your blue box can collect glass, flexible or rigid plastic, metal, paper or a combination of these materials. Not all items with the recycling symbol belong in your blue box, so review your municipality instructions. Still in doubt? Put it in the garbage.

  • Maximize recyclability

    All recycling must be empty, clean and dry. Scrape our all food bits and pour out liquids. Rinse out food containers well. Flatten cardboard boxes, and make sure only the right items are collected in the blue bin.

  • Recycle Right

    Batteries, electronics, house hold hazardous waste, lighting and tires should never be put in the recycling or in the landfill. Continue to browse our website to learn how to safely dispose of these items.

The Recycling Process Explained

From blue box collections in Ontario

Curbside Pick-up

Collection and Sorting

  • Residents place recyclable materials (such as paper, cardboard, aluminum cans, steel cans, plastic containers, and glass) into their blue boxes.
  • Depending on where you live you might have one bin for all recyclable or two bins - one for "containers" made from plastic, glass or metal and one for "fibres" like paper and cardboard
  • These blue boxes are collected by waste management services and transported to Material Recovery Facilities (MRFs).
  • At the MRFs, the recyclables are sorted into various material types using conveyor belts, screens, and manual labor. The goal is to separate different materials effectively.

Once sorted, the materials are grouped together

Material Separation

  • Paper and Cardboard: These are baled and sent to paper mills for recycling.
  • Aluminum and Steel Cans: These are compacted and shipped to metal recycling facilities.
  • Plastic Containers: Sorted by resin type (e.g., PET, HDPE), they are prepared for recycling.
  • Glass: Separated by color (clear, green, brown), glass is crushed and used in new glass products.

Each material type undergoes specific processing

Processing and Reuse

  • Paper and Cardboard: Pulped, cleaned, and turned into new paper products.
  • Aluminum and Steel Cans: Melted down and used to create new cans or other metal products.
  • Plastic Containers: Shredded, melted, and formed into pellets for manufacturing new plastic items.
  • Glass: Crushed and mixed with raw materials to produce new glass containers.