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Garbage collection

When is my collection day?

What are the garbage collection rules and limits?

Collection issues or other questions? Please call our 24-hour Customer Service desk at 519-575-4400.

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 Top 6 tips to ensure waste is collected
  1. 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.
  2. 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. You can set them to the curb anytime after 5 p.m. the night before, and all containers (or uncollected items) must be brought back in by 9 a.m. the day after collection.
  3. Use proper containers
  4. Keep within the weight limit of 23 kilograms (50 pounds) for each container/bundle
  5. Place your containers in the right spot:
    • Place items at the end of your driveway without blocking the sidewalk. Ensure items are not blocked by parked cars.
    • Please ensure items are at street level within easy reach of the street. In winter, please do not place items on snowbanks. Either put items 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 items (green bin, blue box, garbage) separate for easy identification and collection.
  6. 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*
  • cardboard*
  • 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.*
  • grass
  • hazardous waste*
  • hot ashes
  • liquid waste*
  • pallets
  • railway ties*
  • tires*

* 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. Fees may apply.

 10 tips to reduce your waste
  1. Recycle all your organics by using the green bin. This can reduce your garbage by over 50 per cent!
  2. Buy only what you need. Take a list when you shop and resist "impulse buys".
  3. 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.
  4. Buy local. Purchasing food grown and products made locally reduces packaging, supports the local economy, and reduces the impacts of transportation.

  5. Repair items when possible, including furniture, cellular phones, computers, etc.
  6. 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.

  7. 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.)

  8. Drop off unused household chemicals, batteries, expired medicines and other Household Hazardous Waste.

  9. Donate used clothing and other household items, bicycles, windows, doors, lumber and many other items at the drop-off programs operated by the Region.

  10. 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!

 Why some items are not collected 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 the collection crew leave one of these stickers? Contact our Call Centre to help figure things out: 519-575-4400.

We left it behind because it is the Wrong week

We left it behind because there are Too many

We left it behind because it is Too heavy

We left it behind because it is Not allowed

We left it behind because it is not bundled propertly

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 kilograms (200 pounds), 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 centimeters (3 feet) and bundle so that each bundle does not weigh more than 23 kilograms (50 pounds).
  • 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.
  • 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 for details.
  • Bundles set out for garbage must be no longer than 92 centimeters (3 feet), tied and not weigh more than 23 kilograms (50 pounds) 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 centimeters (20 inches) 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 to a Regional facility.
The amount of garbage set out exceeds the garbage limit, and is not tagged.

Garbage containers set out in excess of the standard garbage limits will not be collected unless they are properly prepared and have a garbage tag.

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 every second week, with garbage.

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.


Information for landlords and property owners