What can I recycle in Toronto?


Remember when recycling used to be a pain, and you had to check every bottle, can and container against the information card the city sent in the mail, to see what was allowed in the Blue Bin and what wasn’t? No? I’m dating myself.

Anyway, times have changed, and recycling in Toronto is beyond easy. For Toronto renters who live in apartments and condos, your building likely has a garbage and recycling area where you’ll find a Blue Bin (or several). That’s where recycling belongs. Almost everything goes, but here’s the breakdown of how to do it properly:

wash out any foods and liquids from containers and other recyclables

don’t bundle stuff in bags to put them in the Blue Bin – keep everything loose…

…except for plastic bags and shredded paper

remove wrapping and covers, like plastic wrapping for cases of water or pop, newspaper wrapping (the wrapping and covers can be recycled, too!)

What can I recycle in Toronto?

clear and coloured plastic containers, tubs and jugs (except black plastic)
disposable plastic plates and cups
plastic bottles and jugs
milk and juice cartons and boxes
aluminum cans
metal cans (put the lid inside the can and pinch the top of the can closed)
empty paint cans (take the lid off)
cardboard cans (like frozen juice)
aerosol cans
plastic bags
foam food containers and packaging
pretty much all paper, including cardboard, newspaper and books

What can I NOT recycle in Toronto?

gift wrap like ribbons and bows
black plastic
tools and auto parts
clothes, shoes, carpets, curtains and bedding
plastic squeeze tubes
medical waste
small appliances and electronics
CDs, cassettes and DVDs
plastic pails
binders and clipboards

Of course, that isn’t an exhaustive list of stuff that you’ll probably use in your Toronto rental in a lifetime.

More on renting in Toronto:

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Born on the Prairies, Erin Cardone grew up knowing there was more to life than canola fields and AAA Alberta Angus. So she escaped, living in Europe and Australia, white-knuckling it through plates of calf brains and raw horse meat, and learning languages she can't remember anymore. After a stint as a jaded, skeptical journalist, she changed tack and began writing rather awesome blogs and showing businesses that advertising is dead, so long live social media, with her businesses Legendary Social Media. She now splits her time between various Canadian cities, Costa Rica and wherever else the wind blows.

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