Landlords and Property Managers

This page contains information for landlords, superintendents and property managers who own or look after residential properties in Waterloo Region. Below are details and links related to the waste management programs we offer, your roles and responsibilities, and how to set up buildings for "reduce, reuse, and recycling" success.

If you can't find the information you need, please contact our Call Centre at 519-575-4400 available 24 hours a day, every day. 

Who is eligible for our waste collection programs?

Ask the Waste Whiz!
We provide curbside waste collection to single-family homes, legal duplexes, and small apartment buildings (six units or less). And we offer the following collection services for multi-residential sites if our program requirements are met and owners sign a collection agreement form:
  • Eligible townhouse complexes (where collection trucks can pass freely without backing up) receive the full suite of curbside services (same as single family households). See our Collection Matters page for details.
  • For eligible sites with dumpsters, the Blue and Grey Cart Recycling program using large roll-out carts is available.

Waste Collection Guidelines for Region of Waterloo waste collection programs and services: They will help determine the eligibility of various types of properties (such as new developments and multi-residential properties), how to deal with construction projects and road closures, and other requirements. 

Use the Waste Whiz to check if your building is eligible. Type in the address, and if it's eligible, its collection schedule will be listed.

Responsibilities of landlords and property managers

  1. In Ontario, recycling is mandated at multi-unit complexes having six or more units. Owners of these buildings have to implement and manage recycling programs at their own initiative and cost. 
  2. Teach residents how to properly sort, prepare, and set out waste items to make sure collection is safe and efficient, prevent litter, and maximize recycling. Go to our Publications page for flyers and other resources, that you can share with your tenants.
  3. If residents do not follow the rules of our Bans and By-law, landlords and property owners may be fined and/or ordered to appear in court. For serious or repeat offences, you may receive a summons, and if convicted, may receive a fine of up to $5,000. In addition to a ticket or a summons, your annual tax bill may also include a cleanup cost. Please note: The most common by-law infractions relate to early or late setout, and non-collectable materials that are not removed from the curb.
  4. If your building has curbside collection, ensure residents are using the proper waste containers (garbage cans and bags, blue boxes, green bins), and have extras available for holidays. If your building participates in our Blue and Grey Cart program, we supply reusable bags to help tenants sort, and take their recyclables to the carts.
  5. Monitor setout and ensure residents follow the rules. Waste limits apply at all times including tenant move-in and move-out periods. Learn about limits for garbage, and bulky items. And see our Bans and By-law page for more details.
  6. Clear snow and ice in a timely manner to ensure collection crews can safely access waste materials.
  7. Ensure there are no parked cars blocking access to waste containers.
  8. Check for low-hanging branches and wires. Many recycling trucks are top-loading and need plenty of overhead space.
  9. Remove contamination (unacceptable material).
  10. Clean collection containers as needed. 
  11. For buildings on our Cart programs, please email us if the owner, property manager or superintendent changes

Collection rules and reporting collection issues

If your buildings are eligible for our collection services,

And if your building is participating in our Blue and Grey Cart program:

  • Set out carts that are at least half-full of recyclables.
  • Schedule move-ins and move-outs outside of cart collection days.
  • Consider installing "no parking" signs near onsite cart collection areas.
  • if you are planning a construction project, such as repaving the parking lot, please notify us at 519-575-4400 to prevent collection issues. A temporary collection site may be needed.
  • Email or call us at 519-575-4400 if a cart is broken (Note: If collection staff notice that the cart is broken, they will sticker it closed, not empty it, and report it for pick-up and replacement.)
  • Email or call us at 519-575-4400 if you need additional carts (limits apply). 

If waste was not collected:

  1. Ensure that it was set out on time and properly
  2. Check for "Oops" or other stickers that the collector may have left to identify an issue.
  3. If you can't identify any issues, please report your collection concern by using our online form, or contact our Call Centre at 519-575-4400. 

Set up your building for successful waste diversion

Here are some ideas to help your building reduce, reuse, and recycle waste successfully:

  1. Set environmental goals for your building. Send progress reports to your residents on a regular basis.
  2. Add a clause in lease agreements which requires waste sorting and recycling.
  3. Have a "green" champion or committee to help educate and promote the programs.
  4. Create "eco-depots" in common areas to help residents sort waste. Each area would have containers for garbage and recyclables (including organics!): 
    • Consider chute rooms, laundry rooms, fitness room, mail room, community/party rooms, main floor "garbage" rooms, lobby, parking garage,
    • Ensure areas are convenient to access, well-lit, clean, and monitored and emptied on a regular basis, and
    • Label containers and post instructions.
  5. Many buildings have recycling carts outside next to garbage dumpsters. Here are tips to make sure it's easy to access and use:
    • Store carts on a concrete or asphalt surface so that the area is easier to maintain and carts are easy to move.
    • Build a shelter to protect residents and carts from the weather and prevent snow buildup.
    • Monitor and clean the carts and area on a regular basis. 
    • Keep it open to residents at all times.
    • Use solar and motion-activated lights to lower energy costs.
  6. Educate new residents about the collection programs. Welcome them with an information package which could include waste reduction tips, and show them where the garbage and recycling containers are located. Explain other diversion programs that may be available at your building, and in the community. (Check out our waste reduction tips, and information about the Region of Waterloo's drop-off programs, and stewardship/vendor take-back programs.)
  7. Ensure all residents are using approved containers and that there are enough containers to handle the amounts of waste generated (even during holidays). TIP! Write the building address on containers in permanent marker. 
  8. Monitor the amount and type of garbage, organics, and recyclables set out to discover how to best focus messaging to residents.
  9. Post flyers, reminders and other information in common areas such as entrance ways and laundry rooms.
  10. Consider providing information about, or setting up special events to swap reusable household goods, or collect household hazardous waste, electronics or other items. Through stewardship programs, many local businesses have free take-back programs for various residential products. 

How to help tenants sort waste

Each waste stream accepts only certain materials due to regulations, bans and by-laws, health and safety concerns, environmental impacts, and other issues.

leave behind containers that contain unacceptable material. Here are ways to help tenants sort waste: 

  1. Promote and educate on a regular basis. This could include having "staging" areas. Some buildings have sorting stations in common areas (such as chute rooms) and then building staff or volunteers sort the materials into the containers that get picked up. This helps to monitor participation, better target education, and assure well-sorted materials for collection.

    • creating boards with actual examples of what is and/or is not accepted,
    • posting instructions,
    • hosting meetings, workshops or presentations, and 
    • distributing flyers, newsletters and updates. Go to our Publications and Resources page for printable flyers, brochures and information sheets for all of our programs.
  2. Monitor waste containers on a regular basis. Remove unacceptable material as quickly as possible to avoid others thinking it's acceptable, and to prevent an uncollectable container.

  3. Encourage residents to use our free Waste Whiz App. For residents who participate in our curbside waste collection programs and have smart phones, our app is helpful to find collection schedules, set up reminders, and search for "what goes where". Note:  Waste Whiz does not have information about our Cart programs, but the same materials are collected.
  4. Encourage residents to sign up for our electronic Waste newsletter to keep updated on our programs and services.

How to deal with corrugated cardboard

Corrugated cardboard is bulky and banned from landfill. As well, we limit the number of recycling carts for corrugated cardboard. If your building produces a lot of cardboard, please consider:

  1. Contracting services. Shop around, and hire a bin and collection service from a waste hauler. 

  2. Bringing cardboard to one of the Region's waste management sites. Fees will apply.  

  3. If your building receives our curbside collection services, check out in formation on our Blue Box page (Tips/Frequently-asked-questions section).

Tips for setting up food waste reduction and recycling programs (seven or more units)

Waste produced by residents includes a lot of food waste and other organics (such as hair, paper towels, pet waste, etc.). By setting up an organics program, garbage volumes and costs should be reduced, and it could be a marketing feature, too!
  • Determine the amount of organics being produced. Generally, organics can make up 30 to 50 per cent of garbage, or each apartment/townhouse unit could generate one to three kilograms per week.
  • Provide food waste reduction ideas such as shopping tips, planning meals, storing food correctly, etc. Check for information online, such as our waste reductionfood waste reduction, and options for dealing with green bin organics sections.

  • Determine the level of interest there is in starting an organics recycling program at your building. Consider conducting a survey, and organizing a "green team".

  • Is composting onsite an option? Check out our Backyard Composting program page which also includes information about vermicomposting (composting with worms).

  • For large buildings with private garbage collection, investigate your current garbage contract to ensure there is flexibility. Then, shop around to find a waste hauler that meets your needs. Find out the types of organics accepted, costs, collection frequency and flexibility (since more organics may be generated during holidays), and supply of promotional materials and containers (including in-unit kitchen containers).

  • When starting a new program, promotion is key. Inform residents about the program and their responsibilities ahead of time. Consider holding meetings with residents, put up lobby displays, and distribute newsletters or door hangers.

  • Once the program begins, monitor participation, report results, and address any issues in a timely manner. 

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