City of Vaughan

09/04/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/04/2021 08:07

How to properly dispose of your waste

Sorting tips and online tools to help you understand what goes where

Blue box, green bin, garbage - it may get confusing to know what items go where when sorting your waste. The City of Vaughan is here to be your guide by providing sorting tips and online resources so your collection days can run smoothly. Remember, when you properly sort and dispose of your waste, you're helping to reduce the number of items sent to landfills.

Unsure about what waste items go where? The City has many online tools, free to use! Download the City's Recycle Coach App through the Apple App Storeor Google Playto help determine where to dispose of your materials. The app provides waste-less tips and optional alerts for a personalized collection schedule. The City also offers an online sorting toolso you can quickly check where an item belongs using the search bar.

Below are examples of items that go in the blue box (recycling):

  • plastic bottles, jugs and containers
  • milk/juice cartons and drink boxes (but not the straws)
  • steel/aluminum food and beverage cans, trays, plates and foil
  • empty paint and aerosol cans (lids removed)
  • unbroken glass bottles and jars
  • household paper and paper products (books, magazines, etc.)
  • cardboard, broken down and flattened containers (detergent, dry food boxes, etc.)
  • corrugated cardboard

Items that go in the green bin (organics):

  • all food and food scraps
  • food-soiled paper products such as tissues, napkins, paper towels and plates
  • cut flowers and house plants

Items that go in the garbage:

  • wipes, masks and gloves
  • Styrofoam™
  • black plastic
  • plastic bags
  • coffee cups and coffee pods
  • food pouches

It's important to rinse out food from containers before putting them into the blue box to help reduce waste sent to landfills. Everyday food items, such as soup cans, yogurt containers, pop bottles, jam jars and more, could contaminate the rest of the recyclables, making the whole blue box garbage. The waste facility is unable to wash and clean recyclables.


Everyone needs to work together to help reduce litter on streets and in parks. Overflowing blue boxes can cause litter and debris, especially on windy days. To help ensure materials end up - and stay - in the blue box, follow these tips:

  • Leave space (7.5 centimetres or three inches) at the top of the blue box. Do not overfill it.
  • Flatten items and pack them in the blue box carefully.
  • Put heavier items on top of lighter ones.
  • Consider putting your recycling out the following week if it's a windy day.
  • Purchase additional blue boxesor use a larger blue box (up to 121 litres, no lids or wheels) if you have too much material.

When visiting the City's parks or trails, remember to use the recycling and waste bins provided in public spaces. If they are full, take your garbage home with you, including pet waste. Even though Canada Post is responsible for cleaning up litter around community mailboxes, recycling bins left at community mailboxes will not be picked up. Remember to take any recycling home with you.

For the safety and well-being of everyone in the community, including frontline staff, littering and illegal dumping are prohibited under the Littering and Dumping By-law 103-2020(PDF). If you see an instance of illegal dumping or litter, please report it to Access Vaughan at 905-832-2281 or [email protected]. Individuals found dumping their household garbage are subject to a maximum fine of $5,000 per offence.

For information on upcoming Double Up Days, leaf and yard waste collection and other important waste reminders, view the 2021 Waste Collection Schedule (PDF) online. For more information about waste and litter in Vaughan, visit

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