Residential Recycling Collection

If you have a grey household garbage cart, you can have a blue recycling cart too.

The residential recycling program applies to all single-family homes and smaller multi-family residences (fourplexes or less) that currently have a household garbage cart as per Waste Bylaw #1805.

Using your blue recycling cart

Blue recycling carts are for accepted recycling materials only. Materials such as yard waste, organic waste, food or glass will ruin other recycled items when they arrive at the Materials Recovery Facility. If it can't be sorted or poses a health and safety risk to employees on the sorting line, it will all be thrown away.

two recycling carts with one showing contaminated materials and the other showing proper recyclingDon't be the one in your neighborhood to trash a batch of recycled materials by putting contaminated material into your blue cart. Great recycling efforts by your neighbours can literally go to waste!

Set your cart out properly

Roll your waste carts out to your assigned set out location before 7 a.m. on your designated collection day. To find your collection day, please view the zone map and collection schedule.

Set carts apart and away from obstacles so collection trucks can empty them. If you can easily walk around each cart, then there is enough room for the trucks to collect your contents.

Did your cart get missed on collection day?

Note that collections may occur later in the day. If you believe your cart was missed on collection day, please contact us on the following business day to let us know.

Return your cart to your property within 24 hours of collection. Please see Waste Bylaw #1805 for more info.

Always check What Goes Where to make sure you sort materials into the right carts.

Prepare your accepted recyclables

It is important to properly prepare your materials for recycling.

Aluminum food containers

Aluminum food trays and pie plates are accepted in your blue recycling cart. Please remove all trace of food particles before placing them in the cart.

Cardboard and boxboard

Cardboard and boxboard are accepted in your blue recycling cart. Be sure that materials are free of food particles. Even pizza boxes with minimal grease spots are accepted!


Writing and printer paper, books, newspaper and flyers are accepted in your blue recycling cart. Place shredded paper in a clear plastic bag before placing in the blue cart.

Plastics 1-7 with recycling symbol

Check plastics for the recycling symbol and a number from 1 to 7. The numbers help workers sort plastics based on resin content. Please rinse plastic items free of food and residual contents before placing them in your blue recycling cart.

Plastic shopping bags

Bundle plastic shopping bags together into one clear bag so sorters can identify what's inside and to keep them contained when placing them in your blue recycling cart.

Tin foil and tin cans

These items are accepted in your blue recycling cart. You do not have to remove labels from cans as they are removed during the recycling process. If possible, please pinch the ends of tin cans after placing the lid inside, to keep other recycling materials from becoming wedged inside of the can.

What should I do with unacceptable materials?

Clothing, bedding and textiles

These items are NOT accepted in the blue recycling carts. If they can't be re-used or re-purposed, dispose of them in your household garbage.


Glass poses a safety hazard to workers on the sorting line and is NOT accepted in blue recycling carts. Please recycle glass at depots located throughout the city.

Metal waste

Metal waste is NOT accepted in blue recycling carts. Metal waste such as small appliances or parts from vehicles, bicycles, chairs or plumbing can be taken to the landfill for proper diversion.

Plastic food wrap

Plastic food wrap is NOT a recyclable plastic and is not accepted in blue recycling carts. Please dispose of this in your household garbage.


Styrofoam packaging is NOT accepted in blue recycling carts. Please dispose of styrofoam packing material with your household garbage.

Where does my recycling go?

Recyclable materials from the blue carts are collected by Green For Life Environmental (GFL). The materials are taken to the Medicine Hat transfer station, baled, transferred to GFL's Material Recovery Facility for sorting and then marketed appropriately.

Program details

The residential recycling program was part of the City's 2012-2022 10-year waste management strategy. A 2015 customer service survey focused on solid waste management showed strong support for residential collection of recyclables. To date, the residential recycling program has been a great success!