The Region of Waterloo provides curbside garbage collection to eligible households every other week. Garbage bag/can limits apply. Garbage is disposed at the landfill.

If your garbage was not collected:

  1. Check for an Oops! sticker. Collection crews may have left behind a sticker indicating a problem.
  2. If there is no sticker and your garbage was set out by 7 a.m. on your collection day for the correct week, leave your garbage at the curb and use the online form to report a collection concern or call the Call Centre at 519-575-4400 (24 hours a day, seven days a week). 

What are the correct garbage containers to use?

Garbage can with dimensions

Garbage cans:

  • Maximum can volume: 121 litres (32 gallons), maximum can size: Height 84 centimetres (33 inches), and width 48 centimetres (19 inches).
  • Cans must have two handles and any lids must be removable
  • Even when using a garbage can, it is encouraged to put all garbage material in a garbage bag first. Bagging garbage ensures that material is fully emptied when the can is collected and reduces litter before and during collection.

Garbage bags:

Wheeled cart, example of cart not accepted
  • Maximum garbage bag size: 65 centimetres (26 inches) by 90 centimetres (35 inches) when empty, minimum of 1.5 mil thick

Tip! Use dark-coloured garbage bags. White garbage bags are difficult to see in the winter.

Maximum weight for each bag or can: 23 kilograms (50 pounds)

Containers that are not collected include over-sized wheeled carts, and large construction garbage bags.

What goes in?

  • COVID-19 waste including masks, gloves, sanitizing wipes, facial tissues, paper napkins. And if you are sick, all other items that have touched your face such as juice cartons and pop cans.
  • Bags that contained meat or cheese, mesh bags, stand-up pouches
  • Broken dishware, broken glass, cutlery, incandescent and LED light bulbs, strands of lights (See below for details.)
  • Bubble wrap, bows and ribbons, foil and plastic wrapping paper
  • Butcher paper, parchment paper, waxed paper, plastic stretch wrap
  • Cardboard cans, such as frozen orange juice cans, chip tubes
  • Coffee pods, coffee bags
  • Diapers, incontinence products, and hygiene products (sanitary pads, tampons) 
  • Feed bags from backyard chicken coops
  • Furnace filters
  • Hangers, laundry baskets
  • Snack wrappers, chip bags, candy wrappers
  • Squeeze tubes
  • Straws
  • Styrofoam
  • Toys
  • Wooden orange crates

No banned items or hazardous waste such as fluorescent tubes and curly light bulbs. No automotive parts, dead animals, electronic waste, hot ashes, liquids or needles/syringes.

How to prepare broken glass

This includes broken glass jars and bottles, glass and ceramic dishware, light bulbs (incandescent and LED), strings of lights, small picture frame glass, small mirrors, metal cutlery including knives, saw blades, screwdrivers, and other small, sharp objects that can fit into a standard garbage bag.

  1. Wrap it in several layers of newsprint and tape shut, or put it in a small cardboard box and tape shut.
  2. Ensure that it's completely sealed and there are no sharp edges.
  3. Put it in the middle of a garbage bag. Pack other garbage on top and around. Once full, tie the garbage bag securely closed.

For larger pieces, such as a large broken mirror,

  1. Put pieces in a cardboard box no larger than 12” x 12” x 12” and no more than 20 lbs. 
  2. Seal and tape closed (ensure that nothing is sticking out of the box, there are no sharp edges)
  3. Label the box (broken mirror)
  4. Place beside your garbage. This will count towards your bulky item limit.

Thanks for helping to keep collection crews safe!

Collection schedule and rules

  • Garbage collection is once every second week on your collection dayCollection is provided on all holidays except Christmas and New Year's Day.
  • Containers must be at the curb by 7 a.m. on your collection day. Please note that different trucks pick up different materials starting at 7 a.m. (they work into the evening). The time that your items are collected will vary week to week depending on various factors, such as routing changes, road construction, and weather conditions.
  • There is a limit on the number of garbage bags/cans collected:
    • Single family homes and each legal duplex: 3 garbage bags/cans 
    • Small apartment buildings with 3 to 6 units: 10 garbage bags/cans 
  • Each additional bag or can over the limit must have a garbage tag.
  • Set out garbage in approved containers
  • Do not overfill garbage containers. Garbage cannot exceed the rim of the garbage can. And there is a maximum weight of 23 kilograms (50 pounds) per garbage bag or can.
  • Even when using a garbage can, it is encouraged to put all garbage material in a garbage bag first. Bagging garbage ensures that material is fully emptied when the can is collected and reduces litter before and during collection.

  • All garbage in bags must be tied closed. 
  • Collection crews sticker and leave behind unacceptable items.
  • Containers must be accessible from the street not behind a snowbank or parked car and not on the street or sidewalk.

Perfect curbside collection set out and collection items blocked by parked vehicles

  • Garbage cannot be hazardous, sharp or dangerous to collect.
  • Double Garbage Days occur after certain holidays when double the amount of garbage can be set out.

Double garbage days

Four times each year, after certain holidays (New Year's Day, Good Friday, Thanksgiving, Christmas Day), you can set out double the amount of garbage for free (no garbage tags are needed).

Check the Waste Collection Calendar or the Waste Whiz app for specific dates.

Garbage bag tags

Each garbage bag or can set out for collection that is over the limit needs to have a Region of Waterloo garbage tag on it. Bags or cans beyond the limit that do not have garbage tags will not be collected.

How to use garbage tags:

Garbage bags: Tie your garbage bag closed. Remove the tag from the backing and wrap it around the neck of the garbage bag, sticking tag ends together. Do not use the tag to seal the bag.

Garbage cans:  Remove the garbage tag from the backing and stick it on the very top bag in your garbage can. Do not place it directly on the garbage can.

Garbage bag tags cannot be used on bulky items or at the Region's transfer stations.

Note: On the back of each sheet of garbage bag tags, reference is made to the previous limit (4 bags/cans) for single family homes. Please note that as of Mon. Oct. 17, 2022, the new limit for single family homes is 3 bags/cans. These sheets will remain in use and circulation until our stock has been depleted. 

Garbage tags are $3 each and are sold in sheets of 5 for $15 online or at a vendor location. Tags do not have an expiry date. There is no refund for unused tags.

Buy online Delivery could take up to four weeks.

Buy at the following Regional and Municipal locations:  Some locations may restrict access and/or services. Please contact the location or check their website for details regarding address and hours of operation.

 City of Cambridge
Ainslie Street GRT Transit Terminal

City of Cambridge: Includes the Allen Reuter Centre, Cambridge Centre for the Arts, David Durward Centre, G.E. (Ted) Wake Lounge, John Dolson Centore, W.G. Johnson Centre and William E. Paulter Centre

Region of Waterloo Public Health Building, Customer Service Desk (150 Main St.)

Region of Waterloo Waste Management, Cambridge Transfer Station

City of Kitchener 
City of Kitchener: Includes all their community centres

King Street GRT Customer Service Centre

Region of Waterloo Administration Headquarters, Customer Service Desk (150 Frederick St.)

City of Waterloo 
City of Waterloo City Hall

City of Waterloo RIM Park

City of Waterloo Service Centre

Region of Waterloo Public Health Building, Customer Service Desk (99 Regina St.)

Region of Waterloo Waste Management, Waterloo Transfer Station

 Township of North Dumfries
North Dumfries Community Complex (NDCC)

Regional Library: Ayr, Clyde (Satellite) Branches

 Township of Wellesley
Regional Library: Linwood, St. Clements, Wellesley Branches

Township of Wellesley

 Township of Wilmot
Regional Library: Baden, New Dundee, New Hamburg Branches

Township of Wilmot

Wilmot Recreational Complex

 Township of Woolwich
Regional Library: Bloomingdale, Breslau (Satellite), Elmira, St. Jacobs Branches

Township of Woolwich: Includes the Woolwich Memorial Centre Recreation Complex, Breslau Community Centre

Options for dealing with garbage and renovation waste

Waste limits always apply even during moving and home renovations. Waste will only be collected if properly prepared and within the garbage and bulky item collection limits.

  • Use our waste reduction tips, including how to prevent garbage and reduce food waste
    Garbage bag showing percentages of it consisting of blue box recyclables, green bin organics and garbage
  • Ensure you are fully using the blue box and green bin. Recent studies have found that over 50 per cent of the average garbage bag (by weight) could be diverted to the Blue Box and Green Bin programs.
  • If you have a medical condition that generates garbage, consider applying to the Region's Medical Exemptions program.
  • Use our free Diaper Drop-off program
  • Take advantage of Double Garbage Days which happen four times each year.
  • Put a garbage tag on each garbage bag/can that is over the limit.

  • Drop off garbage, recyclables, yard waste and other materials at our Waste Management transfer stations. Fees will apply. 
  • When moving or renovating prepare items correctly: remove nails from lumber and bundle properly, keep within the weight limit, and put all garbage in garbage bags. Ask the Waste Whiz for assistance.
  • Consider donating acceptable materials (such as building materials, furniture and appliances). 
  • If you are having renovation work done (like new floors installed) ask the installer to take the waste with them. 
  • Ask to have old furniture or appliances removed when new ones are delivered.
  • Check out our Household Hazardous Waste page for details on disposal of paint, other chemicals, and fluorescent tubes and other light bulbs.

Wondering how to dispose of a particular item?

Ask the Waste Whiz!

Contact Us