It's the BIG blue Box giveaway!

The Waste Management Division giving away free blue boxes to help residents get ready for garbage collection every second week next March, and make sure all recyclables are diverted from landfill.

Residents participating in the Region of Waterloo's Blue Box program can pick up a free, large "containers only" blue box on Saturday, September 17, 2016 between 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., rain or shine,  while supplies last, in the parking lots of the following locations:

  • The Cambridge Centre Mall, 355 Hespeler Road, Cambridge (front of the Mall off 24)
  • The Kitchener Auditorium, 400 East Avenue, Kitchener (back of the Auditorium, off Stirling)
  • Conestoga Mall, 550 King Street North, Waterloo (front of the Mall off King)

One blue box per household. First come, first served. Proof of residency in Waterloo Region (e.g. driver's license, utility bill) is required.

Blue boxes will be given out at no charge; residents are encouraged to bring donations of non-perishable food for the local food banks.

A supply of green bins will also be available at each location, free of charge, one per household.

If you can't make it to this event, there are options.

For more information, please check out these FAQs or call 519-575-4400.

 Image of large blue box


Frequently Asked Questions:

What is this event? Why is it important?

It is an event where residents of Waterloo Region who receive blue box collection from the Region of Waterloo can receive a new, free, large blue box. 

We heard from residents that the smaller blue box was no longer practical for recycling plastic/metal/glass containers and cartons. More of this type of recyclable packaging has been accepted in our Blue Box program over the years and is bulky/takes up a lot of space. Larger blue boxes will be more convenient and help residents store and transport their recyclables more easily.

What are the date, time, and locations?

Saturday, September 17, 2016

7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., as supplies last

  1. The Cambridge Centre Mall 355 Hespeler Rd, Cambridge ON N1R 6B3. Parking lot location:  Off of Dunbar, in behind Applebees. 
  2. Conestoga Mall 550 King St North, Waterloo ON N2L 5W6.  Parking lot location:  Near the roundabout of Conestoga Road and Krause Drive.
  3. The Kitchener Memorial Auditorium 400 East Avenue, Kitchener N2H 1Z6. Parking lot location:  Off of Stirling Avenue North, parking lot "G".

Is there any cost? Limit?

The blue boxes are free; limit of one per household.

What is the size of the blue box? Why is it special?

It has 89 litres capacity and weighs 2.5 kgs.

It is 50.8 cm (height) x 56.5 cm (width) x 43.8 cm (depth).

This box is larger than boxes that the Region has distributed in the past.

It is for "containers only" e.g. for cans, cartons, bottles and jars.

Can I order one ahead of time/put one "on hold"?

No. It is first come, first served.

I can't make it to this event. What can I do?

Provide your proof of residency to a friend or neighbour who is going to the event so that they can pick up a blue box for you.

After the event, stay tuned for details about other options. These options could include other pick-up locations or events. We will let you know once details have been confirmed.

Who is eligible to receive a blue box?

Each household that receives curbside blue box collection from the Region of Waterloo and provides a proof of residency.

What is considered proof of residency?

Any document which confirms your name with your household address. Driver's licence is preferred, but a property tax or utility bill can also be used.

Are businesses eligible?

No. This event is for residents only.

Will green bins be available?

Yes! If you need an additional or replacement green bin, pick one up, as supplies last.

How will this help me sort recyclables? What is the two-box sorting system?

The box we are giving out is larger than boxes we have given out in the past so you have more capacity to recycle the many different types of cans, cartons, bottles and jars that are accepted in our Blue Box program.

By clearly identifying what goes in each box, it will make it easier for you and your family to sort the correct items in the correct box. The box we will be giving away will be stamped "containers only" and will also have labelled line drawings.

For the smaller (53 to 60 litre) blue box you have at home, it will work for "newspaper and plastic bags". Starting September 19th, we will have stickers available for pick up at our waste management administration offices, or will mail you one. You can continue to use this size of box for containers as well.

What are the advantages of this new box and sorting system?

  • Fewer blue boxes needed.
  • Stamping on the containers only box (and the sticker for the paper products and plastic bags blue box) provide clear, convenient information and reminders about identifying and preparing correct recyclables
  • This containers only box is a little heavier so it is less likely to blow away on a windy day.
  • Collection should be quicker and more efficient.
  • Larger capacity boxes are available at local retail outlets so it provides flexibility when you have to replace a "containers" box.
  • It should reduce the amount of recyclables going to landfill. This will help residents stay within the every other week four-garbage bag/can limit (starting March, 2017).
  • It should increase the amount of recyclables received at our Nyle Ludolph Materials Recycling Centre. This should improve processing efficiencies, and increase the amount of recyclables being sold/revenues.

What kind of item(s) should I bring for the food banks?

Both the Cambridge Food Bank and the Food Bank of Waterloo Region will be accepting non-perishable food at all event locations. The following is a list of acceptable donations: 

  • Canned meat/fish,
  • Canned vegetables/fruit
  • Peanut butter
  • Rice
  • Cereal.

How many boxes are being given away? I heard 60,000.

Around 12,000 blue boxes in total will be available at this giveaway event. Our budget does include distributing up to 60,000 "containers only" blue boxes. Stay tuned for details about future intiatives.