• Super Doug

Waste Disposal in the City of Toronto

Note: this was taken from the City of Toronto’s waste management website. We are posting this because many of the dangerous items listed below are making it’s way down the garbage chute and into the compactor.

Proper recycling/drop-off/waste disposal tips (listed alphabetically)

1. Empty aerosol cans go in recycling. Caps/lids are garbage. If aerosol cans still have product in them, these are collected as household hazardous waste. Take them to a Drop-off Depot that accepts household hazardous waste or to a Community Environment Day.

2. Only aluminum and steel cans are accepted in Toronto's Blue Bin recycling program. Other metal items (e.g. scrap metal, tools, etc.) are collected separately. Take them to a Drop-off Depot.

3. Household batteries (including rechargeables) must not go in recycling or the garbage. Reduce your environmental impact by properly disposing of batteries. Take them to a Drop-off Depot that accepts household hazardous waste or to a Community Environment Day.

4. Binders do not go in recycling. Offer them to someone for reuse or put them in the garbage.

5. Cardboard cans (e.g. frozen juice, refrigerator dough, chips, nuts, powdered drink mix, etc.) can be recycled. Put plastic pull off strips in garbage. Place metal ends inside cardboard can and pinch closed.

6. Cassettes, CDs, DVDs do not go in recycling. Put them in the garbage. Some electronics stores accept these items for recycling.

7. Community Environment Days run from April into October and offer reuse, recycling and safe disposal options.

  • Extend the life of a product by offering it to someone for reuse.

  • Reduce the amount of waste going to landfill and ensure that it is properly recycled.

  • Ensure that hazardous waste materials are disposed of safely.

8. Compact fluorescent light bulbs and tubes contain small amounts of mercury which is dangerous. Reduce your environmental impact by properly disposing of these items. Take them to a Drop-off Depot that accepts household hazardous waste or to a Community Environment Day.

9. Coffee cups can only be recycled if they are made of foam polystyrene. Paper cups, black plastic lids and stir sticks are garbage, but the paper sleeve and non-black plastic lids may be recycled.

10. Cooking oil is now accepted as household hazardous waste at Drop-off Depots and Community Environment Days. Cooking oil should be delivered in a sealed container labelled "Cooking oil."

Cooking oil should never be poured down the sink, drain or toilet because it can negatively impact sewer pipes systems in your home and neighborhood, causing sewer backups. Small amounts can go in the Green Bin if soaked up with a paper towel or frozen/hardened.

11. Drop-off Depot hours, locations and accepted items are found at the back of your Recycling Calendar.

12. Electronic items are collected separately for recycling. Remove batteries. Put small electronic items in a clear plastic bag or an open top cardboard box. Large electronics should be brought to the building's collection area.

13. Flatten containers such as boxboard, cardboard boxes; juice, milk and soup cartons. This will make more room in the building's recycling containers.

14. Recycle foam polystyrene including meat, fruit and vegetable trays. Put the meat tray liners and over-wrap in the garbage. Rinse the foam trays before recycling.

15. Glass bottles and jars can be recycled as well as the metal lids (screw them on tight) after rinsing to remove residue.

16. Household hazardous waste includes cleaning supplies, bleach, paint, batteries, medications, motor oil, etc. must be disposed of properly. Take them to a Drop-off Depot that accepts household hazardous waste or to a Community Environment Day.

17. Expired medication and vitamins should not be flushed down the toilet or put in the garbage. Take them to a Drop-off Depot or your pharmacy for proper disposal.

18. Empty metal paint cans with lids separated go in recycling.

19. Clean pizza boxes can be recycled. Make sure all food is removed. Greasy or soiled pizza boxes go in the garbage or Green Bin (if available).

20. Plastic retail and grocery shopping bags without drawstrings, metal detailing or hard plastic handles can go in recycling. If possible, place all plastic shopping bags in one bag and tie handles together.

21. Propane/helium tanks and cylinders, even when empty, are a dangerous hazardous waste, regardless of supplier claims. These must never be put in recycling or garbage and must be taken to a Drop-off Depot for proper disposal.

22. Recycling – Do it Right! Rinse all containers (foam, glass, plastic). Put items in recycling loose and not bagged (except for shredded paper and plastic bags).

23. Your Recycling Calendar, provided by the City of Toronto, has lots of important information and includes the Toronto Recycling Guide as an insert. Put it up for easy reference.

24. Put shredded paper in clear bags before putting it in the recycling bin.

25. WASTE WIZARD, an online search tool, lists over 1,500 items and how to properly dispose of them. Search it at or call 311.

Additional tips for recycling plastic items:

1. Toronto does not use the three-arrow triangle number system (stamped on the bottom of containers) to identify plastic recyclables because a universal system does not exist. See the insert in your Recycling Calendar to identify what can be recycled by container type or go to

2. Plastic items that go in garbage. Currently Toronto cannot recycle these items and therefore they go in the garbage.

  • Black, clear or opaque takeout and frozen food entrée containers

  • Drink pouches and straws

  • Black coloured plastic cutlery, stir sticks

3. Plastic bottles and jugs can be recycled. Make sure they are empty and that the plastic lid is screwed on tightly.

4. Plastic pails, plastic paint pails (with or without metal handles) do not go in recycling. Put these items in the garbage.

5. Plastic blister packaging goes in the garbage.

If you have any (work-related) questions or concerns, you are welcome to email us at and you can also follow us on twitter: @Ec1Super

  • Douglas Carney, EC1 Superintendent

#Recycling #Garbage

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