Garbage & Recycling

Black garbage bin


Garbage is what remains after recycling or composting materials through the City's Blue Bin Recycling and Green Bin Organics Programs. Your efforts to reuse also extends an item's life span until it can't be used anymore and becomes garbage. 

Even with best efforts to reduce, reuse, recycle and recover waste, there will be some materials remaining, what the industry calls residual waste (garbage), that will require disposal in a landfill.

Why is reducing garbage important?

It's time to start reducing the amount of garbage you generate. One way to do this is to ensure that you are putting recyclable items in your Blue Bin and organic waste in your Green Bin.
Remember, you pay a fee based on how much garbage you produce. Placing the right item in the right bin will save valuable landfill space and may enable you to downsize your Garbage Bin and reduce your fee.
Disposal Tips
  • It's not necessary to bag garbage materials before placing them in the Garbage Bin.
  • Excess garbage should be bagged and tagged and set out beside your Garbage Bin for collection. Bag tags are available at Toronto Canadian Tire and Shoppers Drug Mart stores for $5. Use regular garbage bags and place the tag around the bag's knot (like a luggage tag).
  • Alert: syringes and medical sharps do not go in either the Garbage Bin or Blue Bin. Although some of these items are plastic, they are not recyclable. See the Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) page for safe disposal information.

What goes in my Garbage Bin?

Note: Please do not contaminate Blue Bin or the Green Bin with these items; these items belong in garbage.

Black plastic food containers, cutlery, lidsBubble wrapLaminated plastic film (stand-up pouches, snack food bags)Light bulbs (not CFLs), dishes, drinking glasses

Hot drink cups (recycle non-black lids)Chip bags, baggies, liner bags (cereal, cookies, crackers)Hair, pet hair, feathers, nail clippings, dryer lintDryer, disposable mop sheets, baby wipes, make-up pads, cotton tipped swabs, dental floss
Plastic or foil wrappers, aluminum foilDrink pouches, strawsPopsicle sticks, toothpicks, wood chips, pencil shavingsGum packages, blister packs

Frequently Asked Questions

ExpandIs it possible to use 2 medium sized bins instead of 1 large bin?

To be considered for two smaller bins in place of one larger one, you must e-mail or call 311 to make a request. City staff will visit your property to determine your challenges and conditions and make the appropriate recommendations and arrangements. Once you’ve been qualified for two bins in place of one, you would be charged the large size bin’s annual fee  per year rather than double the medium size Garbage Bin annual fee.

ExpandI am the landlord of a multiplex with curbside collection. How many bins can I order?

While landlords should order enough bins to accommodate the amount of either garbage or recycling generated by his/her tenants per collection cycle, please keep in mind the storage of the bins and the maximum that can be ordered is one bin per apartment unit. The City recommends that landlords discuss capacity needs with their tenants. Please keep in mind that you will only receive one rebate credit per year per property.

ExpandWhat if I have excess garbage that won't fit into my bin?

If your Garbage Bin is full and you have excess garbage, you need to put the extra garbage in a regular garbage bag, purchase an official City garbage bag tag at Toronto Canadian Tire or Shoppers Drug Mart stores, affix the tag around the knot at the top of a bag (like you would a luggage tag) and set it out beside your Garbage Bin for collection.

Once your full Garbage Bin is emptied by collection operators, they will put your overflow bag into the empty bin and lift and empty it again.