Blue Box & Recycling

What can be Recycled

  • Books (hardcover removed)
  • Computer paper, writing paper and envelopes
  • Magazines and catalogues
  • Newspaper and flyers
  • Boxboard (cereal, detergent, tissue and frozen food boxes)
  • Paper egg cartons, toilet paper rolls and paper towel rolls
  • Gift bags and wrapping paper (handles removed, non-metallic)
  • Cardboard boxes (flatten, tie in bundles and place beside your blue box)
  • Aluminum and metal cans
  • Aluminum foil, plates and trays
  • Paint cans (empty)
  • Cartons (juice, milk and soup)
  • Glass bottles and jars
  • Plastic bottles (lids on)
  • Plastic plates, cups and coffee lids*
  • Plastic tubs and lids
  • Plastic fruit baskets and containers
  • Plastic flower pots and trays (light colours only)
  • Molded plastic (from toys, etc.)
  • Plastic bags and plastic product wrap (bread, milk (outer bag only), grocery and produce bags) *inner milk bags are garbage

* Effective May 1, 2018, please put  single use black plastic and Styrofoam products in the garbage due to the unpredictability of the recycling market. 

Every plastic container or bottle has a recycling symbol. The symbol is a number ranging from 1 to 7, within a triangle. The City of Hamilton currently accepts #1, #2, #4, #5 and, #6 and #7 with restrictions. It’s important to know even though a plastic type can be recycled, it may not be accepted in our curbside blue box program.

Plastic #1- PETE or PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate) includes clear food packaging/clamshell containers such as berry, baked good and pre-made salad containers, pop bottles, water bottles, salad dressing containers, mouthwash bottles and peanut butter containers

Plastic #2 - HDPE (High Density Polyethylene) includes plastic grocery bags, household cleaner containers, detergent bottles, yogurt and sour cream tubs, juice bottles, and shampoo and conditioner bottles

Plastic #3 – PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride)  NOT ACCEPTED

Plastic #4 – LDPE (Low Density Polyethylene) includes squeezable condiment bottles like mustard, mayonnaise bottles, and stretchy plastic frozen food, grocery and bread bags. Unacceptable #4 plastics include cling wrap and zipper bags. These items are garbage in Hamilton.  

Plastic #5 – PP (Polypropylene) includes plastic tubs and lids like margarine, sour cream and yogurt containers, ,ketchup bottles and syrup bottles.

*Plastic #6 – PS (Polystyrene or Styrofoam) includes plastic single-use plates and cups. This also includes foam egg cartons, meat trays, plates, cups and take-out containers; styrofoam items are not accepted in the curbside blue box program and should be placed in the garbage. Large foam packaging can be recycled at one of the Community Recycle Centres (please link CRC to the CRC page).

*Plastic #7 – (Miscellaneous Plastics) include many non-recyclable items like sunglasses, computer cases, baby bottles, etc. They also include large 3 & 5 gal water bottles which are accepted in the blue box or at a Community Recycling Centre.