Other recycling programs

Recycle more by taking advantage of these local progams. Most are available at our waste management sites - others are available at local businesses. 

Pick up recycled items for free:

Cooking oil recycling

Used household cooking oil can be recycled into bio-diesel if dropped off at the Waterloo or Cambridge waste management sites for no charge.  Maximum: 25 litres. 

In Waterloo, please empty your container into the labelled bulk cooking oil tank near the Household Hazardous Waste depot, 925 Erb St. W. (Gate 2), Waterloo.  Empty plastic containers can be placed in the nearby recycling cart.

In Cambridge, please tell the scalehouse operator that you have cooking oil to recycle. Tightly-sealed, labelled containers can be dropped off at the paint trailer.

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Electronic waste recycling

Electronic waste was banned from the Waterloo landfill and curbside collection, effective June 6, 2005. Why? Electronic waste contains various metals and other materials which can be reused or recycled, as well as harmful components which should not be landfilled.

What is electronic waste?

Answering machine
Audio/video equipment (e.g. stereo, camcorder, speakers, tape drive, etc.)
Camera (35 mm or digital)
CD ROM, CD writer 
Cell phone, Cell phone charger 
Circuit board
Computer (CPU, hard drive, laptop)
Computer mouse
Computer speaker
Disk drive
DVD player/writer, DVD ROM 
Electric typewriter
Fax machine


Network hardware

Portable radios (e.g. boom box)

Satellite receiver
Telephone (cell or wired)
UPS (uninterrupted power supply/battery back- up system)
Video game console (e.g. Sega, Nintendo, etc.)

Video game controllers, joysticks
Wireless device (Palm, Blackberry, etc.)

These items are BANNED from landfill and curbside collection

Electronic waste set out for curbside collection will not be collected.

Where to recycle your electronic waste: (residential only)

For information about recycling business e-waste, please go to Recycling for Business, Electronics recycling.

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Household hazardous waste (HHW) - residential only

Please separate household hazardous waste (HHW) from your regular garbage. If not disposed of properly, these dangerous chemicals can be harmful to human health and the environment.

When brought to a HHW drop-off location, specially-trained staff sort the chemicals for safe disposal. Once sorted, most of these products can be recycled. Check out our downloadable postcard for more information.

Remember! Do not place HHW in your curbside garbage and recycling containers.

Note: The following information relates to hazardous waste in the home only. Businesses can refer to the Ministry of the Environment for information on proper disposal procedures and guidelines, look in the telephone book for a list of licensed haulers capable of handling industrial and commercial hazardous wastes, and check out our workplace directory for assistance.

What is Household Hazardous Waste?

Acids and alkaline
Car anti-freeze / batteries / motor oil  
Fluorescent lamps and energy efficient, compact light bulbs (CFLs)
Fuel (non-transferable)
Household chemicals (cleaners)
Lawn and garden chemicals
Old mercury thermostats
Paints and solvents
Propane tanks

Single-use batteries
Syringes - sealed in puncture-proof container only - see details in "How to prepare" below
Waxes and polishes

How to prepare HHW for drop-off:

  • Set up a spot to collect/store HHW in your home in a dry location away from sources of heat/light and out of the reach of children.
  • Keep hazardous waste in the original container so that the chemical can be identified safely. If not in the original container, please label for content.
  • All containers must be properly sealed.
  • For syringes:  Place syringes in a puncture-proof container with a screw-top lid (such as an empty bleach or fabric softener bottle) or an approved syringe disposal container (available at pharmacies). Be careful! Some plastic bottles, such as pop/water bottles, are too thin and needles can puncture through the container. Do not dispose of syringes in your curbside garbage or recycling box containers

Where can I take HHW?

  1. Return to local stores:
  • For paint and lighting products that contain mercury (including compact fluorescent light bulbs), visit their website to find a drop-off location near you. ReGeneration is a provincial stewardship program operated by Product Care Association. 
  • Make the drop! Another provincial stewardship program called Orange Drop, manages a network of local stores that accepts other types of HHW. Check the Orange Drop Program website to find a location near your home that accepts:  single-use batteries, automotive chemicals such as antifreeze and oil, empty oil containers, oil filters, pressurized cylinders, and fertilizers and pesticides.

Orange Drop logo

  • Single-use batteries: Call2Recycle is "North America's first and largest battery stewardship program - is a non-profit organization that collects and recycles batteries at no cost for municipalities, businesses and consumers". To find a drop-off location near you, go to their website and type in your postal code.
  • Take back programs at pharmacies:  Return unused and expired medicines and "sharps" to local pharmacies. To find a location near you, go to the Health Products Stewardship Association website and enter your postal code. Note: Sharps such as syringes, need to be placed in approved syringe disposal containers (available from your pharmacy).

2.  Regional HHW depots:

  • Maximum 25 litres per drop-off
  • Waterloo landfill site accepts a wide range of household hazardous waste, (see list above) and is located at 925 Erb St. W. (Gate 2) Waterloo, Monday to Saturday 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Closed on statutory holidays.

  • Cambridge landfill site accepts only paint and motor oil, located at 201 Savage Dr., Cambridge, Monday to Saturday 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Closed on statutory holidays.

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Motor oil and oil filter recycle program

This is a residential program only. Businesses are not permitted to use this program and may refer to our Workplace Waste Reduction and Recycling Directory for alternatives

Motor oil: A maximum of 25 litres of used motor oil per household per month is accepted. Empty oil into bulk tanks available at Regional transfer stations. Please, no five gallon pails.

Not accepted: Anti-freeze, transmission fluid, brake fluid. These items should not be poured into the tanks - Instead, please drop off at the Region's Household Hazardous Waste depot at 925 Erb St. West (Gate 2), Waterloo.


Oil Filters: A maximum of five used oil filters per household per month can be accepted at Regional transfer stations.

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Polystyrene or "Styrofoam" recycling program

Do you have large chunks of packing Styrofoam? If so, drop off these off for recycling!

Acceptable items: Large pieces of packing Styrofoam only, e.g., used to protect electronics. No foam chips or peanuts. No food grade Styrofoam including plates and cups.

Where: Drop off at the Region's Waterloo transfer station, 925 Erb St. W. (Gate 2) from Monday to Saturday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Regional fees apply. 

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Goodwill logo.jpgTextile reuse program - Goodwill Industries

The Region of Waterloo has partnered with Goodwill Industries for reuse and recycling of textiles (clothing) and household items. Your donations are sold at Goodwill stores and 100 per cent of the proceeds are used to support our community.


Acceptable items:

Clothing, outerwear, footwear - gently used for children, women and men

Accessories - belts, purses, jewellery, scarves, gloves, hats

Recreational - toys, games, sports equipment, books, audio, video musical instruments

Household - kitchen items, home decor, tools, linens, textiles

Antiques, collectables, giftware

For a complete list of acceptable donations, visit Goodwill Industries.

Drop-off locations:

  • Waterloo waste management site - an attended Goodwill donation centre
    925 Erb St. W. (Gate 2) Monday to Saturday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Cambridge Transfer Station (textile collection box)
    201 Savage Drive, Monday to Saturday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Elmira Transfer Station (textile collection box)
    Howard Avenue. See schedule for details.
  • Goodwill Cambridge, 52 Main St., Tel: 519-620-9719
  • Goodwill Kitchener, 1348 Weber St., East, Tel: 519-894-0628

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Tire recycling programs

Tires can be recycled into many different products such as flooring, landscape tiles, roof shakes, and playground mulch.

Since tires are banned from landfill and will not be collected through curbside collection programs, here are a couple of ways to recycle your tires:

  1. Check out Rethink Tires website. Enter your postal code to find nearby locations accepting tires, and the latest information about tire recycling intiatives. Locations accept tires from most on and off-road passenger, industrial, and agricultural vehicles for free.
  2. Drop off tires at Regional waste management sites. Tires from cars and small passenger trucks only: Max. 51 cm (20 in.). Remove rims. Rims can be recycled in the scrap metal bins available at these sites. Regional fees apply. 

 Other FREE diversion programs

  • LCBO and beer containers deposit-return. Visit their website for more information. 
  • The Ontario Power Authority has a free pick-up program for fridges and freezers, and some window air conditioners and dehumidifiers. Appliances must meet certain criteria. Book your pick-up before November 30, 2015. 
  • Ask your local retailers about take-back programs they offer. Some businesses take back ink cartridges and other items for reuse and recycling.

Waste Reduction and Recycling Directory

Check out our directory for waste reduction, reuse and recycling options for everything from appliances to wood. While meant more for businesses, some contacts do allow for residential drop-off.