What Goes in Recycling?

Yes - what can be recycled

Beverage and food containers

Rinse clean and recycle

  • 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 (black plastic items are garbage)
  • 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)

Home Products

Plastic bags and over-wrap, foam polystyrene

Rinse clean and recycle.

Please note: The City prefers you you bundle your bags inside one bag and tie closed rather than put bags in loose because on windy days the loose items can blow away and get caught in trees, fences, etc.

  • Bags (milk, bread, sandwich, produce, bulk, newspaper/flyer).
  • Frozen fruit and vegetable bags
  • Dry cleaning bags
  • Bags (garden soil, manure, compost, road salt)
  • Plastic grocery and retail shopping bags without drawstrings, metal detailing or hard plastic handles (remove receipts).
  • Over-wrap (toilet paper, paper towels, napkins, water and soft drink)
  • Foam food and protective packaging (e.g. drinking cups, egg cartons, meat trays, takeout food containers, electronics packaging). Black foam items are garbage.


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 (now you can also recycle the plastic over-wrap from pop/water cases)

Paper Products


  "Top Bin Sins"

  • Propane/helium cylinders and tanks
  • Medical waste (needles, plastic catheter bags/tubes)
  • Black plastics (trays, foam, plant pots, etc.)
  • 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)
  • Binders (e.g. three ring), clipboards


Other items that don’t go in the Blue Bin

  • Hazardous waste: propane/helium tanks & cylinders, batteries, compact fluorescent light bulbs (Must not be put in recycling or garbage; take to Drop-off Depot.)
  • Medical waste: needles are hazardous waste (Must not be put in garbage; take to Drop-off Depot.). Plastic catheter/colostomy bags and tubes are garbage.
  • 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
  • Plastic: bubble wrap, cellophane/cling wrap, caulking tubes, food storage containers, motor oil jugs, black plant trays, black flower pots, non-disposable plates and drinking glasses, packing peanuts, binders and no biodegradable/compostable plastic
  • 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
  • Other paper products: waxed cardboard, waxed paper. Note: Soiled tissues and napkins go in the Green Bin.
  • Wood: pieces, flooring, crates for fruit

No-No Products

Note: Some of these items can be recycled at a Drop-off Depot or Community Environment Days.

Household Hazardous Waste

Proper disposal of items like propane tanks, batteries, pesticides, oil, etc. means taking these items to a Drop-off Depot. These types of items must never be put in recycling or garbage. View site.

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


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