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Recycling Guidelines

Collection of recycling is provided bi-weekly; please refer to the attached 2018 Waste Calendar to determine your zone.

Recycling must be at the curb no earlier than 6:00 p.m. the day prior to your collection day or before 7:00 a.m. on collection day. There cannot be any material set out on the road or in the gutter.

There is no limit to the number of recycling or compostable containers.  Blue boxes will be delivered free of charge to new residents of Sarnia owning detached dwellings as of 2012.  Additional blue boxes can be purchased from Public Works and Customer Service, first floor City Hall for $7.00 per box.

Recyclables will be collected in 83 litre (22 gal) blue box, transparent bags or small roll carts. Lids on carts can be broken and make it  difficult for the recycling company to sort collectable material from non-collectable material. 

All plastics coded 1-5 and 7 and plastic bags can be recycled; separation of material is no longer required. There is no limit on the number of recycling containers, but must not weigh more than 22 kilograms (48 pounds) per container. Below is a breakdown of acceptable and unacceptable recycling material. For any unacceptable material, please see our Non-Collectibles page for businesses that will accept the noted items.

Acceptable Fibre

Acceptable Glass, Cans, Plastic

Unacceptable Blue Box Items

Ad mail

Bills, statements

Books (Hard covers removed)

Boxboard (cereal boxes, egg cartons)


Clean pizza boxes (no food or grease)

Copy paper


Household paper


Molded pulp (fast food take out trays)

Newspapers, Newsprint

Office paper

Paper cores (toilet, paper, kraft, wrapping)

Paperback books

Phone books

Writing paper

Corrugated cardboard (flattened, bundled, and no larger than 1mx1mx0.5m)

Small plastic containers
Plastics coded 1-5 and 7 – rinsed (over 3 inches)

#1 plastic (PET): 
Soft drink bottles,
water bottles,
juice bottles,
liquor bottles,
cooking oil bottles,
peanut butter containers,
dish soap bottles,
mouth wash bottles,
clear egg cartons,
bakery, clamshells, trays, oven/microwavable trays


#2 plastics (HDPE):  
Plastic juice, milk, laundry soap, shampoo, and windshield washer containers

#3, #4, #5, & #7 plastics

· Yoghurt containers, margarine tubs and lids


Aluminum foil wrap
Aluminum plates and trays
Clean plastic bags, bundled
Metal paint cans - empty, dry, lid removed
Glass bottles (clear and coloured)
Milk and juice cartons, rinsed
Plastic clam shell containers
Steel food and beverage cans, rinsed
Tetra Pak boxes


Aerosol cans
Auto parts, tires, rubber
Biohazards, medical waste
Blister packaging
Broken glass
Building materials
Carbon, photographic, blueprint paper, facial tissue
Cards (with foil, plastic, ribbon, or lamination)
Chip, snack, candy bags
Coffee pods
Composite cans
Construction, renovation
Dishes glass, plastic
Electronics – computers, audio, appliances, batteries
Facial tissue
Fast food cartons, coffee cups
Floor sweepings
Flower pots, trays, planters
Gift Wrap
Gift, plastic bags, tissue paper
Hangers, laundry baskets
Hazardous waste
Laminated paper packaging
Light bulbs
Medical equipment, syringes
Motor oil bottles
Paint cans with liquid paint
Paper cups, cutlery
Paper towels, toilet paper
Paper with foreign material attached
Pet waste in plastic bags
Pizza boxes with grease or food
Plastic bags (loose)
Plastic film (wrap)
Plastic paint cans
Plates, pots, pans
Prescription bottles (3in or less)
Prescription vials
Recyclables in any non-transparent bag
Spiral wound frozen food containers (i.e. frozen juice containers)
Styrofoam, meat trays, packaging
Waxy cardboard

If you have any questions, please contact the Public Works Department at 519-344-1932.

Sarnia's Waste Collection By-Law

If your waste is set out prior to the designated day or placed on the road or gutter it contravenes Sarnia’s Waste Collection By-Law 62 of 2006. Contraventions of this By-Law can result in fines set by the court.

This page was reviewed or revised on Wednesday, January 3, 2018 9:35 AM

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255 North Christina Street,
Sarnia, ON N7T 7N2
PH#: 519-332-0330
TTY# : 519-332-2664