For new residents

Welcome to Waterloo Region! The very first Blue Box program was invented here and we have one of the highest waste diversion rates in Ontario. So, we hope that you join our community in maximizing recycling, preventing litter, and saving space in our one-and-only local landfill

Collection services and rules vary from municipality to municipality. In this area, the Region of Waterloo is responsible for providing residential waste collection services in all seven area municipalities (Cities of Cambridge, Kitchener and Waterloo, and the Townships of North Dumfries, Wellesley, Wilmot and Woolwich). Our collection services focus on small residential buildings (up to six units), and we operate two transfer stations which accept both residential and business waste generated within Waterloo Region.

We are here to help you with your waste management questions and concerns:

And if you can't find the information you are looking for, contact our Call Centre at 519-575-4400, available 24 hours a day, every day.

Moving day - Tips for moving in

1. Get informed about the waste collection services available:

  • To find out if you are eligible for our curbside collection services, go to our Collection Matters page for details, or contact your landlord.
  • To figure out how to sort and prepare waste, ask the Waste Whiz above. And remember to download our free Waste Whiz app to set reminders and take advantage of the other features it offers.  
Ask the Waste Whiz!

2. Pick up the correct containers to use:

  • If you receive curbside collection, get the correct containers:  blue boxes, green bins, liner bags, garbage containers, and yard waste.
  • If you live in a multi-unit building, ask the Landlord, Property Manager or Superintendent for information about waste diversion programs, and garbage disposal in your building.Garbage can, blue boxes and green bin
  • Create an “eco-depot”. In a central location in your house, or unit, line up the collection containers and post instructions to help you and other sort waste correctly. Remember to set up containers in bathrooms to “blue box” empty bottles (such as shampoo, body wash), and “green bin” hair, facial tissues and paper cotton swabs if you have green bin organics collection.

3. Wondering what to do with cardboard boxes?

  • If your new home has blue box collection, flatten and cut corrugated cardboard into pieces no larger than 75 x 75 x 20 centimeters (30 x 30 x 8 inches), tie together with twine and place beside your blue box on your collection day. 
  • Flatten cardboardIf you are in a multi-unit building,
    • check to see if there is a dumpster just for cardboard. If so, flatten cardboard and slip it in the dumpster.
    • and participate in our Blue and Grey Cart program, flatten, and cut the cardboard into pieces to fit inside of the cardboard cart.

4. Do you have excess garbage and bulky items?

  • If you house participates in our curbside services, wait until your collection day to set out these items. Ensure you don't go over the limits for garbage and bulky items.
  • If you are in a multi-unit building, ask your landlord how to dispose of these items.

5.  Need furniture or other household goods? Consider buying used. Or if you are getting new furniture or appliances delivered, ask the company to take back any

 packaging. 

Moving day - Tips for moving out

Plan ahead. We know it’s a busy time for you, but please figure out what you need to set to the curb or donate ahead of time.

  • The number of Bulky Items you can set out is limited every second week. Any Bulky Items above the limit will not be collected.
  • You may need to purchase garbage tags. Any garbage bags or cans over the limit have to be tagged to be collected.
  • Gather up batteries, unused or expired medication, fluorescent light bulbs (including the curly compact ones) and other Household Hazardous Waste and drop it off at local depots.
  • Clean and leave behind the blue boxes and green bins, or the reusable recycling bags (for multi-unit buildings). These containers belong to the address, not the occupants.
  • Sort through your clothing and household items. Donate things you no longer want or need.
  • Sort through your food. Consider donating food you no longer want to local food banks, as appropriate. For food that has expired, remove packaging,

For post-secondary students

If you live on-campus, please check with your residence’s coordinators or dons, and check your school’s policies on recycling and sustainability:  Conestoga CollegeUniversity of WaterlooWilfrid Laurier University.

If you are living off-campus, 

  1. Contact your Landlord. They are responsible to orientate you to waste collection systems at your building and provide you with the correct containers. And check our Collection Matters page for details.
  2. Get the information you need to avoid by-law and collection issues. If your home receives Region of Waterloo waste collection programs, read through our webpages, download our free Waste Whiz app, subscribe to our Waste electronic newsletter
  3. If you are creating roommate agreements, include information, goals, and responsibilities about waste management.
  4. Post information and reminders. Check out the flyers and posters available on our Publications page.
  5. Look at ways to reduce your waste, such as using refillable travel mugs and bottles.

And check out any “end of term” programs your school might be organizing to gather furniture and other goods for reuse and recycling.

Collection in a construction zone

For new developments, project managers are responsible to work with our staff to ensure the development meets our waste collection guidelines and our collection crews can safely and efficiently collect waste. At times, new homes may be occupied, but due to the road conditions and other factors, our collection crews cannot provide service. In these cases, the developer is responsible to manage waste set out.

As well, when streets are under construction for watermain replacement, resurfacing or other reasons, waste collection vehicles cannot safely or directly access the items you set out. Managers of the construction project are responsible to arrange changes to waste collection with our staff, and provide you with instructions. In most cases, construction crews will move all the waste to certain location(s) on adjoining streets which are accessible to our collection crews.

If you are living in a construction zone, please

  • Write your address on each of your blue boxes and green bins, using permanent marker. This helps your containers to be returned to you.
  • Use garbage bags instead of garbage cans.
  • Ensure all of your items are preapred correctly.
    • Do not overfill blue boxes.
    • Keep within the limits for garbage and bulky items.
    • Keep within the weight limit of 23 kilograms (50 pounds) for each container, garbage bag, and bundle.
    • Ensure each container can support its contents. For example, ensure paper yard waste bags do not tear with lifted.
  • Set out items on schedule, such as every-second-week collection schedule for garbage/bulky items, and seasonal yard waste.
  • Follow the set-out times required by the construction project manager. It may be earlier than 7 a.m.
  • Keep informed. The Region and local municipalities provide information about construction projects. 

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