Blue box recycling
Use at least two blue boxes for curbside recycling, and keep paper and containers (plastic, metal, glass, laminated cups and cartons) separated.
To ensure your recyclables are collected, please follow the curbside recycling requirements:
- Place recyclables at the curbside by 7 a.m., but no earlier than 6 p.m. the night before collection day.
- Empty and rinse containers.
- Flatten boxes and tie cardboard into bundles no larger than 75 cm X 75 cm X 20 cm (30" X 30" X 8").
- Place recyclables 1.5 m (5 feet) from your garbage, if possible.
- The maximum weight of recycling containers is 18 kilograms (40 lbs).
- The maximum size of recycling containers is 95 litres.
- There is no limit to the number of blue boxes you can put out each collection.
The Recycle Coach App can help answer questions about what goes where in our local waste and recycling program.
COVID-19: How you can help collectors
Recycling collection continues as scheduled; however, we are asking residents to take extra pre-cautions.
- If someone in your household is feeling unwell, do not place items that have contact with the mouth, nose, or eyes in your blue box. Instead, place these items into a bag and then into the garbage. This includes items such as plastic bottles, pop cans and milk or juice containers.
- Respect physical distancing with sanitation and recycling operators and do not approach the vehicle.
Removing your Christmas tree and seasonal greenery
You can drop off your tree and greenery at a City of London EnviroDepot. Please remove all of your decorations and lights from your tree before visiting. You may also place your tree and greenery out for Yard Waste Collection in the spring (only trees up to three meters in height will be collected).
Additional holiday recycling tips
- Put gift wrap, ribbons, bows, and bags in the trash can. These items are not recyclable.
- Break down, flatten and bundle your cardboard boxes or stack them flattened in your recycling bin.
- Things like take-out coffee cups, milk cartons, and juice boxes belong with other recyclable containers, and not paper. Here's a tip to help you sort it right: If you can drink out of it, it's a container.
- Avoid “Wishcycling.” Just because you “wish” you could recycle something, doesn’t mean you can. When in doubt, leave it out.
- Download the Recycle Coach app to help answer what goes where in our recycling program. Recycle Coach also includes personalized collection calendars, information on London’s recycling program, and collection reminders all accessible from your phone or device.
Holiday waste and recycling tips
Less to waste, more to celebrate! This holiday, reduce the amount of waste you create:
- Reuse gift bags, boxes, tissue or even wrap
- Take your own reusable bags shopping
- Buy reusable, not disposable
- Buy only what you need - donate what you don't
- Give your time - make the time for being green
We appreciate the extra effort it takes to recycle more this time of year. Here are some other suggestions to help maximize your diversion:
- Recycle everything you can! - If Blue Boxes overflow, recyclables sorted into paper or containers category can be set-out in clear or transparent blue plastic bags.
- All that cardboard? – Flatten, remove all plastic packaging and windows, and place with paper recycling. Large cardboard boxes should flattened, bundled and set-out for collection next to your Blue Box (max. size 75cm x 75cm x 20cm). You can also bring oversized or unbundled cardboard to an EnviroDepot.
- No can left behind! – Aluminum is one of the most efficient and profitable materials to recycle. Some years, Londoners have sent as much as $500,000 worth of aluminum cans to landfill instead of recycling them - please recycle every can!
- Gift wrap, bags, cards, ribbons, bows, & tissue? - In good condition, these items can be reused otherwise they should be placed in the garbage.
- Other common errors? We all want to recycle as much as we can, but the following items aren’t accepted in your Blue Box and are detrimental to the recycling process
- StyrofoamTM cups, trays, packaging
- Paper take-out containers
- Waxed cardboard
- Plastic utensils
- Paper plates, napkins and paper towels
- Clementine/Citrus boxes - wood is not recyclable
Your efforts make a difference to the environment and the costs of running the recycling program.
Help sort it right
Putting non-recyclable items into the recycling bin causes problems at the sorting facility. Please separate your recycling into a blue box for paper products and a blue box for containers.
Paper products include:
- Boxboard (i.e. cereal, detergent, cracker and tissue boxes)
- Cardboard (i.e. clean pizza boxes, packing boxes)
- Catalogues, magazines, newspaper, and phone books
- Egg cartons
- Miscellaneous paper products such as flyers, envelopes and writing paper
- Paper cups
- Ice cream tubs
- Plastic blister packaging
- Milk and juice cartons, drink boxes, cardboard cans
- Aluminum and steel containers
- Empty aerosol cans
- Empty paint cans, aluminum foil and pie plates
- Glass bottles and jars
- Plastic bottles and tubs with the number 1 through 7 on the bottom of the container
Materials that cannot be recycled
These items do not belong in the blue box or cart. Please check the Recycle Coach App for information on what to do with them.
- Dark coloured paper, construction paper and wrapping paper
- Ceramics, drinking glasses and dishes
- Broken glass, plate glass, window glass, light bulbs and mirrors
- Paper tissues/towels
- StyrofoamTM (i.e., cups, packaging)
- Plastic bags (return to your local grocery store)
- Plastic wrap
- Propane cylinders
- Coat hangers, pots and pans
- Empty motor oil containers and other household special waste (i.e. pesticides) containers
What to do with glass and sharp objects
Recyclable materials are handled by collection and sorting staff. Please do not place broken glass and sharp objects in the recycling bin. Instead, dispose of broken glass and sharp objects by completely sealing the pieces in a cardboard box and label as "Glass" or "Sharp" and set out with your garbage at the curbside.
If you use garbage chutes, check with your building superintendent before putting sharp object down the chutes.
My recycling was not collected
Your recycling may not have been collected for a number reasons including:
- The blue box weighed more than 18 kg (40 lbs)
- There were a large quantity of non-recyclable materials
- Paper products and containers were mixed together in the same container
- Cardboard was not flattened and bundled or contained non-recyclables (e.g., Stryofoam)
- Your Blue Box was not at the curb by 7 a.m. for collection
- Your recycling was not in a proper Blue Box. Please do not use oversized cans, cardboard boxes, plastic crates, laundry baskets, or other containers for your recyclables
Get a blue box
Blue boxes can be purchased at City Hall or an EnviroDepot for $6 each (including tax). There is a limit of two boxes per purchase. Blue boxes can also be purchased at retail stores. If you purchase a blue box at a location other than a City depot, please ensure it is not larger than 95 litres. There is no limit to the number of blue boxes you can put out each collection.
Available for purchase at these locations:
- City Hall – 300 Dufferin Ave
- Oxford Street EnviroDepot – 1450 Oxford St. W
- Clarke Road South EnviroDepot – 28 Clarke Road
- Clarke Road North EnviroDepot – 21463 Clarke Road, Arva
- W12A Landfill Site – 3502 Manning Drive
Residents of newly constructed homes are provided two blue boxes at no charge. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Damaged blue boxes
Blue boxes damaged by collection crews or snow plows will be replaced at no charge. Report damaged blue boxes by contacting email@example.com
Blue cart recycling
Blue carts are used for apartment buildings and some town home complexes. Residents must take their recyclables to the blue carts, which are emptied once per week. Just like with the curbside residential recycling program, paper products and containers must be separated. The carts will be labelled to identify what goes where. If carts are not labelled or overflowing please contact your property managers or building superintendent.
Large quantities of recyclables may be delivered to any of the City of London EnviroDepots
How building managers can help:
- Understand your responsibilities under Ontario Regulation 103/94
- Make recycling as convenient as possible for your residents.
Provide sufficient containers for collection and storage (it is recommended that you have one blue recycling cart for every seven units). For example, if a building has 70 units, then ten blue carts are recommended.
For small buildings under 15 units, a minimum of two carts is required; one cart is for paper products and the other cart is for containers.
- Place blue carts at the set-out point for collection.
- Ensure that staff and residents are well informed about the recycling requirements
Property owners are responsible for purchasing recycling carts for their buildings. Carts must be compatible with the collection vehicles. The City of London is committed to working with building managers and superintendents to help residents recycle as much as possible.
For more information on the cart subsidy program, pricing and ordering blue carts, and educational materials, please contact Jane Kittmer at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 519-661-2489 x 2334
Recycling for businesses
Curbside recycling is available for businesses located on existing residential collection routes at no charge.
- Businesses must place their recyclables at the curbside by 7 a.m.
- Collection will follow the same schedule as garbage pickup, every 6 business days.
- Businesses are limited to ten ‘lifts.’ A lift is one blue box, or one bundle of cardboard, or one see-through bag of recyclables. Please follow the requirements for blue box recycling noted above.
To find out if your business qualifies, please contact Will Roberts at email@example.com or call 519-661-2489 x 7364
Recycling electronics is convenient and free
London residents can recycle their electronics at City EnviroDepots. Effective January 2021, Ontario is transitioning to a new framework for managing electronic waste. To learn more about this process visit rpra.ca and follow this site as the transition gets underway and new information becomes available.
Many textiles that are thrown into the garbage can be given an extended life or reused. Most donation centres accept laundered clothing towels, linens, curtains, fabrics including those that may be worn, torn or stained for reuse or to be repurposed as rags. All donated textiles must be dry and free of any medical or hazardous liquids. As a reminder, please do not leave items outside of donation centres or bins.
• Canadian Diabetes Collection Program
• Goodwill Industries
• Mission Services of London
• Salvation Army
• St. Vincent de Paul
• Value Village