The City of Toronto continues to see a significant amount of garbage and other non-recyclable materials in the Blue Bin recycling program. When residents put a Blue Bin out for collection that contains too many non-recyclable items, the materials cannot be sorted and can ruin perfectly good recycling that must be sent to landfill.

Contaminated recycling is currently costing the City millions annually and last year more than 52,000 tonnes of non-recyclable material was incorrectly put in the Blue Bin. In order to help offset these costs and reduce the amount of recycling ending up in landfill, the City of Toronto may require a cost recovery payment from those homeowners who set out contaminated recycling bins.

Tips to Help You Recycle Right:

  • Ask the Waste Wizard online at
  • Refer to your Recycling Calendar & Guide to learn what belongs in your Blue Bin, your Green Bin or garbage, or call 311.
  • Empty and rinse food containers before tossing them in your Blue Bin and put any food scraps in your Green Bin.
  • Donate items in good condition, such as used clothes, shoes, blankets, and curtains, to not-for-profit agencies (visit
  • Avoid putting black plastic of any kind in your Blue Bin, such as food containers, packaging, coffee lids or plastic garbage bags. These belong in your garbage bin.
  • Visit to learn more.