Business Waste

Business Waste

Organic waste

Put your food scraps, soiled greasy paper, and other organic waste in your green bin. Organic waste is material that comes from plants or animals and breaks down into a nutrient-rich, soil-like product called compost.


  • Baking ingredients (dough, flour, sugar, etc.)

Butcher or deli

  • Keep bones and meat trimmings in the cold storage or freezer until your collection day to prevent smells and pests, and then put them in the green bin.

Café or restaurant

  • Liquid waste such as cooking oils and sauces are not accepted in the green bin. 
  • Instead place small amounts of grease, oil and fat in a paper lined container and freeze until collection day, and then add to your green bin.
  • Pads from meat trays, plastic wrap and bags from flour are not accepted and go in the garbage.
  • Compostable plastic items (bags, utensils, take-out containers and cups) are not accepted in your green bin.
    • It is hard to tell the difference between “compostable” plastic and “regular” plastic as they look the same. 
    • Use paper cups and take-out containers instead, as these are compostable.

Hair or beauty salon

  • Store loose hair and nail clippings in paper bags to prevent them from blowing out of your green bin.
  • Hair brushes, hair dryers, perm solution and cotton balls go in the garbage.

Search for what items go into the green bin.

  • Rinse out your green bin after you empty it to remove any leftover food residue.
  • Try lining your large green bin with a paper yard waste bag to prevent things from sticking to the sides.
  • Layer your smaller green bins with newspaper or paper towels to soak up the juices to reduce/prevent smell.
  • Please make sure that you are only using compostable bags that are certified. You can make this distinction by only buying bags with the following logo.

Two-stream recycling

In Hamilton we have a two-stream recycling system, this means that you need to put out two blue boxes each week. One box for containers recycling and the other for papers recycling.

Containers Blue Box

All aluminum, glass, juice, milk and plastic containers go in one blue box.

  • Aerosol Cans (empty)
  • Aluminum and metal cans
  • Aluminum foil, plates and trays
  • Cartons (juice, milk and soap)
  • Foam coffee cups, plates and take out containers (bagged)
  • Glass bottles and jars
  • Molded plastic (from toys, etc)
  • Paint cans (empty, lid removed)
  • Plastic bags (bread, frozen vegetable, grocery, milk and produce)
  • Plastic bottles (empty)
  • Plastic bowls, cups and plates
  • Plastic trays, containers and fruit baskets
  • Plastic flower pots and trays
  • Plastic take-out containers
  • Plastic coffee cup lids
  • Plastic tubs and lids

Papers blue box

All paper and cardboard products go in a separate blue box.

  • Books (hardcover removed)
  • Boxboard (cereal, detergent, tissue and frozen food boxes)
  • Cardboard boxes
  • Computer paper, writing paper and envelopes
  • Gift bags and wrapping paper (handles removed, non-metallic)
  • Magazines and catalogues
  • Newspapers
  • Packaging paper


Two Boxes Recycle

  • Juice, milk and soup cartons go in your containers blue box.
  • Avoid smells and pests by rinsing all bottles, cans and jars before putting them in your blue box.
  • Bag your stretchy plastic bags and recycle them with your containers.
  • Keep items loose in your blue box
  • Flatten cardboard boxes and tie them in bundles no bigger than 76cm x 76cm x 20cm (30”x30x8”).
  • Stack papers vertically in your blue box so they don’t blow away.
  • Cardboard with a wax coating is not recyclable and goes in the garbage.
  • Shredded paper and Styrofoam should be placed in separate clear bags and placed beside your blue boxes.
  • Each full blue box must weigh less than 13kg (30lbs). 


If your business is eligible and using the City’s recycling programs you can put out up to six bags of garbage each week on your collection day.

  • Each garbage bag/can must weigh less than 23kg (50lbs).
  • Businesses are not eligible for bulk pick-up.
  • Please put broken glass in a cardboard box tapped and clearly marked “broken glass”.
  • Blister packaging, bubble wrap and plastic wrap.
  • Bags containing pet food, flour, rice and cereal grains
  • Bread tags, elastic bands, produce stickers and twist ties
  • Candy wrappers, chip bags, plastic cutlery and straws
  • Candles and wax
  • Carbon paper
  • Cardboard barrels and drums
  • CDs, DVDs, pens and binders
  • Charcoal and ashes (cooled)
  • Cigarettes, cigarette butts and ashes (cooled)
  • Cookware (don’t forget to try donating first)
  • Cotton balls
  • Diapers and feminine hygiene products
  • Hair brushes and dyes
  • Latex rubber gloves
  • Metallic gift wrap
  • Pads from meat trays
  • Pet waste including litter and bedding)
  • Plastic cereal and cracker box liners
  • Scouring pads and sponges
  • Stickers and sticky notes
  • Vacuum cleaner bags and contents
  • Waxed cardboard
  • Wine corks (plastic or wooden)
  • Wooden crates