Holiday Recycling

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Holiday Recycling

The gift-giving holiday season is upon us! And with gifts, comes packaging”lots of it. It’s important to pay attention to some of the items we buy, and how we can dispose of the packaging that these items come in. The good news is that you can recycle A LOT of this packaging.  Let’s take a look at some of the most common items.

Wrapping paper – wrapping paper is recyclable, provided it is actual paper.  The only example of wrapping paper that is not recyclable is the shiny, foil-type wrapper.  Place all recyclable wrapping paper in your paper/fibres blue box, but be sure to remove all ribbons and bows beforehand, they are garbage or can be reused. Save room in your blue box by folding the paper instead of crushing it into a ball.

corrugated cardboard
flattened corrugated cardboard

Corrugated Cardboard – Many toys, electronics and other products come packed in cardboard boxes. These boxes are highly recyclable.  But to get them into our recycling trucks, they need to be broken down and bundled into 30″ X 30″ X 8″ dimensions. This ensures trucks can pick up as much cardboard as possible. Sometimes, we see cardboard boxes on the curb being used as a Blue Box.  Our drivers will not pick up this material, so be sure to break down those boxes! Use tape or twine to keep boxes bundled.

Boxboard – a paper box product often confused with corrugated cardboard can be found with many holiday products.  Boxboard such as cereal boxes, tissue boxes, etc. are recyclable.  To save room in your blue box, be sure to break these boxes down.  Aside from boxes, you will find boxboard on the backing of toys, tools, and other items.  Toilet paper rolls are also boxboard. Be sure to take any plastic overwrap off of the boxboard before putting it in your paper/fibres blue box.

Polystyrene – Some holiday gifts come with a lot of polystyrene, or Styrofoam, as it is commonly known.  You can find packing Styrofoam in a lot a gifts.  It is used to restrict TVs, video game consoles, and other items from moving around during shipping. Is it recyclable?  If you bend it, and it breaks, then yes.  If it does not break, it is not accepted in the blue box.  Before putting polystyrene in your plastic and metal containers blue box, you’ll need to break it into smaller pieces.  If it’s too much for a blue box, place it all in a clear plastic bag and set it beside your blue box.

LCBO bottles – We accept unbroken clear and coloured glass bottles and jars, but we urge residents to return their empty alcohol bottles from the LCBO to the Beer Store to get their deposit back.  Your remaining unbroken bottles and jars need to be rinsed and placed on top of your papers blue box.  Doing this, allows your truck driver to easily spot the material, and sort it into the correct bin in the truck.  It also reduces material flying out of the blue box.

Other common holiday recyclables:

Cartons– All cartons are recyclable and includes milk, juice, soup cartons and more. It is primarily a paper product and should be put in your papers blue box. The holiday sees a big jump in this material, especially in the form of egg nog.  Make sure you rinse out your cartons before putting them in the blue box.

Aluminum Aside from pop and beer cans, aluminum pie plates and foil can be put in the blue box with your other plastic and metal containers provided they are clean from all food waste. Aluminum can be put in your plastic and metal containers blue box.

Old Cookware Baking sheets, frying pans, etc are popular gifts.  But what to do with the old ones?  You can place old cookie sheets, pots and pans on top of your blue box with your other plastic and metal containers. Make sure they are clean from all food.

For a complete list of what is accepted in the blue box program, click here.


What isn’t recyclable in the blue box?

  • Wooden clementine crates – purchase clementines packaged in cardboard instead.
  • Old toys
  • Foil wrapping paper
  • Cellophane (stretch wrap)
  • Plastic cover packaging (blister pack) of toys, tools, etc.
  • Artificial Christmas trees
  • Real Christmas trees
  • Christmas tree lights – Take to the hazardous waste depot or recycling plant. Remove glass bulbs.
  • Bendable polystyrene
  • Used paper plates
  • Plastic cutlery, plates, straws, etc.
  • K-Cups, Tassimo Cups, etc.

Electronics – Electronics are a big holiday item.  New cellphones, power tools, computers, cameras, and more make the top of many holiday gift lists.  If you’re replacing an older model of the aforementioned, be sure to dispose of these items properly.  Take these outdated items to the hazardous and electronic waste depot at 75 Wallbridge Crescent in Belleville.  The depot is open every Thursday, and the first Saturday of every month from 10 am-2 pm.

Have a question?  Give us a call 613-394-6266, toll-free at 1-800-210-0762, or email us at

Always have your blue box to the curb by 7 AM on your collection day. 


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