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A word from the curb: three common recycling mistakes1 min read

Feb 25, 2022 < 1 min

A word from the curb: three common recycling mistakes1 min read

Reading Time: < 1 minute

What goes where? Your blue box is a big part of running a circular economy.

We’re busting three common blue box mistakes and offering some tips to help you become a recycling pro.


Styrofoam is not recyclable in Waterloo Region, and should go into the garbage.

Cardboard boxes:

Cardboard boxes belong in the recycling bin. Break them down, and if you have several boxes, please flatten and tie into a bundle using twine (maximum bundle size 75 x 75 x 20 cm). Place the bundle between your two blue boxes for easy collection.

Plastic bags:

Tie loose plastic bags such as milk, bread and retail store bags into one bag and put it into the blue box you use for paper and plastic bags. This helps wind from carrying them and protects the material. Soft, flexible materials like paper bags and newspaper can absorb food and drink debris and even a small amount of debris can make these materials not recyclable. For this reason, please don’t mix these with containers.

Bags such as chip and snack bags are made from a laminated material (layers glued together) and can’t be recycled, and should go in the garbage.

Do the two-box sort when recycling:

  1. A containers-only blue box: bottles, cans, cartons, jars, tubs and lids. Please rinse these materials.

2. A paper and plastic bags blue box: newspaper, food boxes, plastic bags and outer wrap (like on diapers).

Want to see how your blue box materials are sorted? Watch the recycling sorting centre on our virtual tour.

Not sure what to do with an item? Ask the Waste Whiz. Download the free Waste Whiz app or search on our website,