(Almost) Everything You Thought Was Recyclable…But Isn’t

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(Almost) Everything You Thought Was Recyclable…But Isn’t

bad blue box
An actual blue box we refused collection of that contained a syringe, branches, doorknob, and a halogen lightbulb.

Before I start listing things we’ve all put in the blue box by mistake, we should clarify a little on how the blue box program in Quinte works.

Quinte Waste Solutions is a not-for-profit municipal service board that runs a two-stream household container and fibres (paper) recycling program for nine municipalities in the Quinte region. That means residents are required to keep their plastic and metal containers separate from their household papers to ensure acceptable recyclable materials get recycled. This is usually accomplished by using two or more blue boxes. Check out this page to learn exactly what is accepted in the Blue Box program.

It’s important to remember, that any of these products need to be clean of all food waste, or dirt.

While many of the products I’m about to list are recyclable, they are not accepted in your blue box, and when we receive these items at our recycling plant, they are sent to the garbage.

So let’s take a look at the list!  The items listed below are garbage or could be re-used unless otherwise noted. And this is by no means a complete list, but the most common items we find.


Things you may have put in your Plastic & Metal Containers Blue Box, but shouldn’t have:

Medical waste  – contact service provider
Single serving coffee pods (Tassimo, Kuerig, etc) – Garbage
Motor oil containers – Hazardous waste
Propane cylinders – Hazardous waste
Black plastic – Garbage
Drinking glasses – Garbage or Reuse
Dishes – Garbage or Reuse
VHS Tapes – Garbage or GetReel
Photo slides – Garbage
Bubble wrap – Garbage
Textiles – Garbage or Reuse
Garden hose – Garbage
plumbing piping – Garbage
clothes hangers (plastic or metal) – Garbage or Reuse
Plastic forks, spoons, knives, plates – Garbage or Reuse
packing peanuts – garbage
plastic shelving – Garbage
Window glass – Garbage or Reuse
Mirrors – Garbage or Reuse
Ceramics – Garbage or Reuse
Spongy Styrofoam (doesn’t break when you bend it) – Garbage
CD/DVDs – Garbage
Audio cassettes – Garbage
Pet waste – Garbage
Coffee makers – Garbage or Reuse
Water cooler jugs – Garbage or Return to water store
Lawn furniture – Garbage
Saw blades or other tools – Garbage or Reuse (Power Tools can be taken to the Hazardous Waste Depot, and mobile events)
Toys – Garbage or Reuse
Dead animals – A proper burial


Things you may have put in your Fibres (Paper) Blue Box, but shouldn’t have:

Medical waste – Contact service provider
Disposable coffee cups – Garbage
Cling wrap – Garbage
Diapers – garbage
Tissue – Garbage
Chip bags – Garbage
Wooden Clementine crates – Garbage or Reuse
Wood – garbage
Paper towels – Garbage or green bin
Candy wrappers – Garbage
Fast food drink cups and straws – Garbage
Cereal box liners – Garbage
Dog food bags – Garbage
Binders – Garbage
Hanging file folders with the metal still attached (Remove the metal, and put the paper folder in the blue box.  The metal is not accepted in the blue box).
Pool covers – Garbage
Boat wrap – Garbage
Bale wrap – Garbage
Cigarette butts – Garbage
Foil gift-wrap and bags – Garbage or Reuse
Pet Waste – Garbage
Dead animals – A proper burial

Have a question about what you can or cannot put in your blue box, or why? Contact us.

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