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Garbage Removal City of Ottawa

Garbage Removal / December 6, 2017

Multi Residential Properties Receiving Containerized Garbage & Recycling Collection Service

Download a printable version of the Recycling and Waste Handbook.


The objectives of this guide are to:

  • Outline the City of Ottawa’s multi residential waste collection program and summarize the services available to your building/property.
  • Outline the role of the property owner/manager.
  • Help you share information and increase awareness to your residents through available communication material in order to maintain a successful waste and recycling program.
  • Inform you of other waste management services the City provides to help your building/property reduce waste.

Residents and property managers have a responsibility to ensure all materials designated as recyclable under the City’s program are kept separate from garbage and are properly placed out for collection.

Your efforts will reduce garbage going to the landfill and SAVE YOU money.


Currently apartments, condos and multi-units recycle only 16% of their waste. Pop cans, plastic bottles, glass jars, newspapers and tin cans do not belong in the landfill.

Why bother recycling?

  • Save land – by recycling more, Ottawa’s Trail Road Waste Facility (landfill) can last longer.
  • Save money – if the City has to site a new landfill, it’s estimated at $200 million based on Toronto’s most recent landfill acquisition.
  • Protect our assets – by recycling more items like paper, more woodlots are protected, fewer resources are used.
  • Create jobs – recycling creates manufacturing and service sector jobs, and boosts the local economy.

What really happens to recycled materials?

  • Ottawa’s recyclables are sorted and sold to different companies to reuse or make into new products.
  • Most car parts, t-shirts, parkas, sleeping bags, home insulation, patio furniture and playground equipment are made from items you put in your recycling containers.

Putting the right item in the right bin, the processing plant has fewer problems and program costs are reduced.

Recycling is mandatory for all Ottawa residents receiving City waste collection services. All efforts must be made by the property owner to make recycling containers available and accessible to residents.

Multi residential properties are provided a once-per-week collection of recyclable materials from front end loading (FEL) containers or recycling carts form the City’s contracted private hauler.

The once-per-week collection and processing costs for recycling is covered under the property taxes and mill rate. There are no additional costs for the collection of recyclables to the property owner.

The following services/items are provided free of charge:

  • Supply of FEL recyclable containers or recycling carts.
  • Additional collections (whether scheduled weekly or the on-calls during a peak period).
  • Container/cart repairs.
  • Replacement or additional recycling FEL containers/carts.
  • Handling services (there is no charge for the FEL recycling containers/carts to be moved by the contractor to facilitate collection including return to their original location).

Containers provided

Recycling materials are collected in separate bins: a bin for paper and cardboard (referred to as fibre) and a second bin for glass, metal and plastics (referred to as GMP).

The City provides two different types of bins for recyclable materials collection depending on a property’s needs:

  1. 360 litre recycling cart (black for paper and cardboard and blue for glass, metal and plastic)
  2. Front end loading (FEL) container (yellow for paper and cardboard and grey for glass, metal and plastic. FEL containers are available in 2, 3, 4 and 6 cubic yard capacities.

Any recycling containers/carts with graffiti, damaged or that require painting should be reported to the City immediately.

To request additional containers/carts, exchange damaged ones, or requests an extra collection, call 3-1-1.

It is the responsibility of the property owner to keep the recycling containers/carts clean at all times.

Locking of recycling containers

Locking FEL recycling containers will reduce contamination and discourage scavengers.

The contractor supplies and will unlock, empty, and relock the containers on collection day during the spring, summer and fall months. Locks are removed for the winter as they freeze and prevent the bin from being emptied.

Statutory holiday schedule: Recycling collection

When the regular recycling collection day falls on Family Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, Victoria Day, Canada Day, Ontario Civic Holiday, Labour Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day or New Year’s Day, there is no recycling collection service on that day.

The recycling collection schedule for the remaining days of the week will be delayed by one day, with Saturday making up for the missed day.

Acceptable recyclable material – paper and cardboard

  • Newspapers and flyers
  • Magazines and catalogues
  • Corrugated cardboard
  • Cereal and cracker boxes (liners removed)
  • Shoe and laundry detergent boxes
  • Fine paper such as writing paper, computer paper, paper pads, advertising mail
  • Hard and soft cover books
  • Paper egg cartons, toilet paper rolls and paper towel rolls
  • Paper gift wrap, greeting cards
  • Clean paper shopping bags or paper packaging
  • Pizza boxes (if your building does not have a green bin)

Unacceptable material

  • Paper and cardboard lined with foil
  • Cereal and cracker box liners, chip and cookie bags
  • Chocolate bar and candy wrappings
  • Foil wrapping paper, bows, ribbons


  • Glass bottles and jars (remove lids)


  • Steel and tin cans
  • Soft drink cans
  • Aluminum foil (clean or soiled)
  • Aluminum pie plates, take-out containers, roasting pans, etc.
  • Paint cans (empty, lids removed)
  • Jar and bottle lids
  • Aerosol cans (empty)
  • Frozen juice cans, potato chip tubes


  • All food and household plastic containers #1-7 (e.g. bottles, fruit or cake clamshells)
  • Pails (remove metal handle)
  • Planting trays and flower pots
  • Tubs and lids (e.g. margarine, yogurt, ice cream, cottage cheese, sour cream, etc.)
  • Single-serve yogurt
  • Clear plastic egg cartons


  • Milk and juice cartons
  • Drink and soup boxes

Unacceptable material - glass, ceramics

  • Ceramic dishes, cups and pottery
  • Drinking glasses, window glass, light bulbs and mirrors
  • All Styrofoam containers and packaging
  • Plastic grocery bags
  • Meat and cheese wrap, stretch wrap, cereal wrap, snack food bags
  • Plastic dishes, cups, toys, make-up jars, laundry baskets
  • Plastic garden bags for fertilizers, soil, peat moss etc.
  • Empty motor oil bottles
  • Scrap metal
  • Utensils/pots and pans


Contamination in recycling containers is an important issue. It is the property owner/manager’s responsibility to make sure only acceptable items are deposited in the appropriate recycling containers.