Garbage and large/bulky item collection
The Region of Waterloo offers residential curbside collection for green bin organics, blue box recycling, garbage, appliance and bulky items, and seasonal yard waste and Christmas trees. Note: Other recycling programs are also available at our facilities.
If you are unsure whether you receive curbside collection or have any questions about our services, please call us: 519-575-4400.
Note: Collection services will be changing in March, 2017. For more information about the changes, please check our website.
For any collection issue, please call our 24-hour Customer Service desk at 519-575-4400.
LARGE/BULKY ITEM COLLECTION
- Trucks begin collecting at 7 a.m. on your scheduled collection day. Separate trucks pick up different materials at different times so it is important to have all your items to the curb by 7 a.m.
- Garbage containers maximums:
- Volume: no larger than 121 litres (32 gallons)
- Height: no taller than 84 cm (33 inches)
- Width: no wider than 48 cm (19 inches)
- Weight: no heavier than 23 kg (50 pounds)
- Garbage can sizes and weight restrictions.
- Garbage cans: Containers must be in good condition with two attached handles, and any lids must come off completely (not be attached to the container).
- Garbage bags: Garbage will be collected in plastic bags, but they must be able to fully contain and support the contents when lifted.
- Garbage in cardboard boxes will not be collected.
- Hazardous material cannot be collected curbside. Please refer to the Waste Whiz to search for disposal and preparation information.
What happens to it? Garbage is taken to the Region's one-and-only landfill located at 925 Erb Street West, Waterloo. Help extend the life of our local landfill by reducing, reusing and recycling!
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Collection services in each municipality
Cambridge, Kitchener, and Waterloo
Residents in these cities receive the following services:
- Green bin collection weekly
- Blue box collection weekly
- Garbage collection weekly (Maximum: 10 bags per property)
- Appliance and bulky item collection weekly (Note: No need to call us first. Please prepare items correctly. Check Waste Whiz for details.)
- Yard waste collection bi-weekly from March to November
- Christmas tree collection, usually in the first two weeks in January
Townships of North Dumfries, Wellesley, Wilmot and Woolwich
Residents in the Townships receive the following services:
- Green bin collection weekly in towns and designated areas
- Blue box collection weekly in towns and designated areas and bi-weekly collection in rural areas
- Garbage collection weekly:
- North Dumfries (Maximum: 6 bag per property per week)
- Wellesley (Maximum: 3 bag per property per week)
- Wilmot (Maximum: 4 bag per property per week)
- Woolwich (Maximum: 3 bag per property per week)
- Appliance and bulky item collection once per month. Refer to township calendar. (Note: No need to call us first. Please prepare items correctly. Check Waste Whiz for details.)
- Yard waste collection bi-weekly in towns and designated areas from March to November. Please refer to your township calendar (links above) for details.
- Christmas tree collection for residents that receive weekly Blue Box collection. Christmas trees are usually collected during the first two weeks in January.
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- Collection is completed on all statutory holidays except Christmas Day and New Year's Day. As needed, collection will be delayed one day for the remainder of the week following these two statutory holidays.
- Cambridge, Kitchener, and Waterloo: All waste is collected weekly except for seasonal yard waste and Christmas tree collection. Click on this link to find your collection day.
- Townships: Online versions of the current calendars for Township residents are available here: North Dumfries, Wellesley, Wilmot and Woolwich. Accessible versions of the waste collection calendars are available to download for North Dumfries, Wellesley, Wilmot and Woolwich Townships.
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NEW! Want reminders about your collection schedule? Download My-Waste app for free. This app is for homeowners in Waterloo Region with curbside collection. It offers:
- easy-to-find waste information and
- a quick set up for set-out reminders for our collection programs.
Download this free app from the App Store or Google Play. Blackberry users can access my-waste functions via Pingstreet, available through Blackberry World. An online version is available, too!
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Top six tips to make sure your waste gets picked up
- Check the Waste Whiz to make sure you prepared the item(s) properly for collection. Some items require special preparation, and others can't be collected curbside at all.
- Don't snooze! Place your items out by 7 a.m. on your collection day. Different trucks collect at different times, and sometimes their routes change. All items need to be out by 7 a.m. on collection day to get picked up. You can set them to the curb anytime after 7 p.m. the night before, and all containers (or uncollected items) must be brought back in by 9 a.m. the day after collection.
- Use a proper container:
- Garbage: Containers must be no larger than 121 litres (32 gallons), no taller than 84 cm (33 inches) and no wider than 48 cm (19 inches). They must be in good condition with two attached handles, and any lids must come off completely (not be attached to the container). Garbage will be collected in plastic bags, but they must be able to fully contain and support the contents when lifted. Garbage in cardboard boxes will not be collected. Here's a handy card on Garbage can sizes and weight restrictions.
- Blue box: Only recyclables in an approved blue box will be collected. Containers must be no taller than 40 cm (16 inches), made of a rigid plastic that won't bend or give when lifted, and have a rim around the top of the container to be hooked on the truck for sorting. Recyclables in wheeled carts, laundry hampers or storage totes will not be collected. Recyclables in cardboard boxes will not be collected. Boxes must be broken down and bundled for recycling.
- Green bin: Only materials in an approved green bin container as supplied by the Region of Waterloo will be collected. Green bins are available at no cost at the Region's Cambridge (201 Savage Drive) and Waterloo (925 Erb Street West, Gate 1) Administration buildings Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Paper and certified compostable bags are acceptable as liners, but regular plastic bags are not.
- Yard waste: Yard waste must be in paper bags, or a reusable container identified with a yellow Yard Waste sticker (call 519-575-4400 to order) or large, bright ribbon. Yard waste in plastic bags or blue boxes will not be collected.
Keep within the weight limit. There is a weight limit of 23 kgs (50 lbs) for all containers and bundles.
- Place your containers in the right spot:
- Place items at the end of your driveway at street level, without blocking the sidewalk.
- Please ensure items are within easy reach of the street, and not blocked by parked cars.
- Keep items (green bin, blue box, garbage) separate for easy identification and collection.
- Consider sharing a stop with your neighbour!
- In winter, please make sure all items are at street level, either at the end of your driveway or on a shovelled out flat area close to the curb. Waste items piled on snowbanks will not be collected.
- Keep it safe! These items are prohibited - do not put them in the garbage (when in doubt, check with the Waste Whiz!)
- any material that may pose a health or safety hazard (i.e. sharp objects not prepared in a manner to prevent injury)
- bio medical waste*, syringes/medical waste*
- car/automotive parts*
- concrete, bricks, rocks or patio slabs*, construction, demolition and renovation materials*
- dead animals, feces, sewage, manure
- electronic waste*, TVs*
- flammable/combustible item (i.e. compressed gas cylinders, gasoline containers, fire extinguishers, sealed drums)*
- glass/mirror/window over 92 cm/3 ft.*
- hazardous waste*
- hot ashes
- liquid waste*
- railway ties*
* These items are banned from landfill and cannot be collected. However, most can be recycled in our other diversion programs when dropped off at the Cambridge or Waterloo Waste Management Centres. User fees may apply.
For more specific curbside program information, please refer to the following resources:
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Top 10 tips on how to reduce your waste
- Recycle all your organics by using the green bin. This can reduce your garbage by over 50 per cent!
- Buy only what you need. Take a list when you shop and resist "impulse buys".
- Adopt green buying habits. Items should be durable and have recycled content. Before buying new, check out what is available at local re-use stores. Ensure any packaging is100 per cent recyclable e.g., wrappers from single serving food such as cookies and granola bars are not recyclable.
Buy local. Purchasing food grown and products made locally reduces packaging, supports the local economy, and reduces the impacts of transportation.
- Repair items when possible, including furniture, cellular phones, computers, etc.
Use reusables such as refillable bottles for water and coffee, cloth bags or totes when shopping, and reusable containers for food. Switch to cloth napkins and towels instead of using paper. Save wrapping, gift bags, and ribbons for reuse.
Know what is recyclable in our Blue Box program. (Recent studies found that 14 per cent of garbage could have been put in the blue box.) Plus drop off other recyclables such as Styrofoam, tires and scrap metal at Regional facilities. (Fees will apply.)
Drop off unused household chemicals, batteries, expired medicines and other Household Hazardous Waste.
Donate used clothing and other household items, bicycles, windows, doors, lumber and many other items at the drop-off programs operated by the Region.
Discuss the 3R's - reduce, reuse and recycle - with your family. Make sure they understand how to sort properly and why it is so important.
rethink - react - refuse - REDUCE - reclaim - return - REUSE - refill - repair - RECYCLE - recover - REMEMBER - repeat!
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Large item collection program - What is it? How do I participate?
Includes: stoves, refrigerators, dishwashers, freezers, and other appliances; mattresses, couches, chairs and other large pieces of furniture; and other household items that do not fit into a garbage container.
Residents of Cambridge, Kitchener, Waterloo: Set out at the curb by 7 a.m. on your weekly garbage day. No need to call us first. If you live on a Cambridge lane way, place collectible large items by the public road, not in the lane way.
Residents in North Dumfries, Wellesley, Wilmot and Woolwich: Set out at the curb by 7 a.m. once per month on days scheduled in your calendar. Maximum five items per collection. No need to call us first.
How should these items be prepared? Use Waste Whiz. This search tool provides preparation and set out instructions for over 200 categories of items. However, if you can't find your particular item, please click on the "request" button and call our Customer Service staff at 519-575-4400 if you need help.
What happens to it? Many large metal items are picked up in a separate truck and recycled as scrap metal. CFCs in appliances are removed before they are recycled. Other items such as couches are taken as garbage and land-filled.
Collection issues - when garbage and large items are left behind and how to deal with them
There are a number of reasons why things are left behind, including by-law requirements and health and safety concerns. Was your garbage or large item not collected? Did collection staff leave one of these stickers?
| ||Stickers for|
Cambridge, Kitchener and Waterloo area residents
| ||Stickers for|
North Dumfries, Wellesley, Wilmot and Woolwich Townships residents
|Here are some common reasons why items are left behind:||
Here are some ways to deal with the items left behind:
Item is not acceptable in our program - such as a fireplace insert over 91 kgs (200 lbs), asphalt, boat, cement bird bath or planter, glass vat, hot tub, riding lawn mower, over-sized window, patio door, glass patio table, railway ties, rain barrel, etc.).
- Some items are too large or heavy for collection staff and vehicles to handle. Check out Waste Whiz to find out how to properly donate or dispose of your item.
|Item presents a health and safety concern to the driver - such as lumber with nails, window glass, sharps sticking out of garbage, syringes, hot ashes.||
- Please remove or hammer down any nails in lumber. Size 92 cm (3 ft) and bundle so that each bundle does not weigh more than 23 kg (50 lbs).
- Window glass and mirrors - see Waste Whiz for instructions.
- Please ensure there are no sharps sticking out of garbage bags such as broken glass. Please wrap broken glass in several layers of newspaper and tape it closed and/or in a thick, strong plastic bag, and place in the garbage for next week's collection.
- Take household hazardous waste such as syringes to a local business or to a Regional facility. Check out the information available on our website.
- Ashes must be cold when set out for collection. Double bag.
|Garbage is not in an acceptable container such as cardboard box, recycling box, over-sized containers, overweight containers.||
|Garbage or bulky item has not been properly prepared, such as garbage is loose/un-bagged, item is difficult to handle (e.g., sofa bed), bundles are oversized (e.g., carpet, lumber).||
- Garbage must be set out in a container that is maintained in a safe, sanitary and usable condition.
- Large, bulky items such as sofa beds and appliances need to be prepared correctly. Check out Waste Whiz to find out how to properly prepare and set out your item for collection.
- Bundles set out for garbage must be no longer than 92 cm (3 ft), tied and not weigh more than 23 kg (50 lbs) each.
|Item is banned - is not allowed due to by-law requirements. Includes cardboard, tires, wooden pallets, materials considered to be household hazardous waste (compact fluorescent light bulbs, paint, syringes, etc.).||
- Cardboard is banned from landfill and cannot be collected as a waste container. Recycle cardboard in the Blue Box program.
- Tires from car and small passenger truck tires 50 cm (20 inch) or less, with no rims can be brought to a Regional facility for recycling. Rims can be recycled at Regional facilities, too, as scrap metal. Fees will apply.
- Wooden pallets can be brought to a Regional facility Fees will apply.
- Take household hazardous waste to a local business or a Regional facility. Check out the information available on our website.
|The amount of garbage set out exceeds the bag limit. ||
- Each municipality in the Waterloo Region has bag limits. Garbage containers set out in excess of these limits will not be collected.
|Item was set out late.||
- Collection begins at 7 a.m. so all items must be set out by then to guarantee collection.
Large item was set out not according to the schedule, i.e., large items are collected once per month in the Townships
- Check the schedule to ensure you set out on the correct week.
|Garbage has not been set out in a proper location, such as on top of a snow bank.||
- Place your garbage and large items at the end of your driveway so that it can be easily seen and reached by collection staff. Do not place items on top of or behind snow banks or behind cars parked along the curb.
Landlord waste management information
Landlords or property owners whose rental/condo property receives Region-provided curbside waste collection need to know that collection and disposal of waste within the Regional Municipality of Waterloo is restricted by the conditions cited under the by-laws and bans passed by Regional Council:
- By-law 02-011, By-law to Prohibit and Regulate the Collection of Waste
- By-law 98-87, By-law to Regulate the Receiving, Dumping and Disposing of Waste
Under By-Laws 02-011 and 98-87, the landlord/property owner is responsible to ensure compliance of the waste by-laws. A conviction under these by-laws will result in set fines of $65 or $130 per offense and/or clean-up costs added to your annual tax bill. In addition, for serious or repeat offenses, a summons to attend court may be issued and upon conviction, a fine of up to $5,000 may be levied.
The most common by-law infractions are related to early/late placement and non-removal:
Properly prepared waste and recycling should be placed out to the curb:
Section 6: No more than ten (10) collectible waste containers per property
Section 10: Not before 7 p.m. the night before collection day
Section 10: Be at the curb by 7 a.m. on collection day
Section 11: All uncollected waste and containers must be removed by 9 a.m. the day after collection.
At all other times, the curb must be clear of all waste including litter, uncollected material and empty containers
To review the by-laws in detail, please refer to the by-laws and bans section on this website.
To help you educate your tenants and avoid fines, these are available for you to use at your properties: