Garbage

Your garbage, blue boxes, green bin, yard waste and bulk items (if you booked a pick up) must be placed at the curb in front of your property between 7 pm on the evening before and 7 am on the morning of your scheduled pick up day.

Find out what goes into the garbage.

  • If you see a bright “oops! Sticker” on your garbage after the garbage truck has come by, it means there are items in your garbage that don’t belong.
Yellow oops sticker 
This is Too Heavy - Does your blue box weigh more than 13 kg or 30 lbs?
This needs a trash tag - Attach a trash tag to each extra bag or container of garbage

You will get an Oops! sticker if you:

  • Put out more than one bag or can of garbage for pick-up without a trash tag.
  • Forget to take off the bungee cord or brick that's holding the lid on your garbage can.
  • Stuff so much garbage into your can that the collector can't get it out.
  • Put anything in the garbage that should go in your:
    • blue boxes,
    • green bin, or
    • yard waste bag or cans.
  • Put out a bag or can that weighs more than 23 kg (or 50 lbs).

2017 waste guide and pink trash tags

  • Pink trash tags are valid April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018.
  • Blue trash tags expire March 31, 2017.


You can put out one bag or can of garbage for pick up each week. If you need to put out more than one garbage bag, you must attach a trash tag to each extra bag or to the item at the top of your extra garbage can. The trash tag is a long, narrow sticker. Trash tags can be used on extra garbage any week of the year.

How to order more trash tags

  • Each household gets 12 trash tags in the mail along with the City of Hamilton's 2016 Garbage and Recycling Guide.
  • Each household can also request 14 more trash tags once per year. There is no fee for ordering trash tags.
  • Order 14 more trash tags for your household 
  • Once you have ordered 14 more trash tags, you will not be eligible to order more trash tags until the following year.
  • All trash tags (mailed or ordered) will be good for one year, from April to March.
  • A new set of tags will be mailed every year with the Garbage and Recycling Guide.

How to use trash tags

  • Do not put a trash tag on your first bag or container of garbage.
  • If you need to put out more than one garbage bag, attach a trash tag to each extra garbage bag or container.
  • Remove a trash tag from the piece of paper it came on and stick it on your extra container of garbage using the sticky adhesive backing. Attach the trash tag around the neck of each extra garbage bag (preferred), or stick it on the item at the top of your garbage can. Do not put the tag on your garbage can itself.
  • Trash tags must be visible to garbage collectors.
  • Trash tags are for curbside garbage pick up only and can not be used at a Community Recycling Centre.
  • You cannot use your neighbours trash tags, and your neighbour can not use yours. Trash tags are not transferrable.​

If you have more than one garbage bag every week

A special consideration policy has been developed for medical circumstances, households with two or more children under the age of four, registered home day cares and agricultural businesses with a need to set out more bags or cans of garbage. If you are approved for special consideration you will be given extra trash tags that you can use when you need them. Your blue trash tags are valid until March 31, 2017. New pink trash tags must be used starting April 1. You must reapply by March 1 to receive your new tags by April 1.

To apply for special consideration:

Special Consideration application forms are also available in PDF format:

Garbage tips

  • Your garbage bag or can must not weigh more than 23 kg (or 50 lbs) and must not be larger 135 litres (or 30 gallons).
  • You can put one bag or can of garbage for pick-up each week. If you need to put out more garbage you must attach a trash tag to each extra garbage bag or container.
  • Use plastic garbage bags (any colour). Place grocery bags holding garbage inside garbage cans.
  • Cardboard boxes are not an acceptable container for garbage, except when used for broken glass.
  • Broken glass must be placed at the curb in a cardboard box clearly marked "GLASS". Cardboard boxes must be taped to prevent them from falling apart in the rain.
  • You have to pay if you want to drop off garbage at a Community Recycling Centre.
  • Bulk items and furniture are picked up by the City of Hamilton year round. You must call 905-546-2489 to request a bulk pick up.
  • Appliances or scrap metal are not picked up by the City but can be taken to a Community Recycling Centre.
  • Construction materials like bricks, concrete and drywall are not picked up by the City.
  • In the winter, clear a spot for your blue boxes, green bins, and garbage can that is free of snow and easy for collectors to see. Do not place any of your containers on top of or behind snowbanks.
  • Know what items should go into your blue box and recycle all possible items
  • Buy only what you need, use all that you buy
  • Instead of buying commercial household cleaners, use less toxic alternatives
  • Buy in bulk and try to eliminate excess packaging
  • Take re-usable bins or canvas bags to the grocery store
  • Do not use plastic bags
  • Shop at used goods stores
  • Rent things you don't use often or borrow them from a friend
  • Repair or reupholster furniture before throwing it out
  • Use a backyard composter
  • Use reusable gift bags
  • Take a travel mug with you to the coffee shop
  • Take a litterless lunch to school or work; use reusable containers instead of plastic bags for your lunch
  • Use cloth table napkins rather than paper napkins
  • A reusable coffee filter can replace many paper filters
  • Use cloth rags and mops rather than one-time-use disposal products
  • Donate magazines to senior's residences or doctor's offices
  • Choose quality products that are durable
  • Safe placement of your blue boxes, green bin and garbage helps avoid injury for everyone. Place containers where they can be clearly seen and safely collected.
  • Clear a spot for your  blue boxes, green bin, and garbage that is free of snow and easy for collectors to see.
  • Don't place your waste containers on top of or behind snowbanks.
  • Place your waste containers at the left side at the end of your driveway (facing the street). If you do not have a driveway, place waste containers on the boulevard closest to the curb. If there is no boulevard, place containers on the left side at the end of your walkway (facing the street).
  • If you need to put out more garbage you must attach a trash tag to each extra garbage bag or container.