If you live in Calgary, you are likely familiar with the blue cart recycling program. Households are provided with blue bins that are used for recycling items including paper, cardboard, tin, plastic, and more. But did you know there are options for recycling other household items such as clothing, textiles, electronics, small appliances and toys?
Learn more about what may be recycled and where it can be recycled to help minimize the amount of garbage sent to Calgary landfills.
What can be recycled in my blue cart?
The City of Calgary’s blue carts can be utilized for paper, cardboard, plastic, glass, tin, and containers.
Household recyclables should be cleaned out and placed loosely in the bin. Except for plastic bags, plastic wrap, and shredded paper which should be gathered in a bag together.
Cardboard must be broken down, while other paper products such as coffee cups, envelopes, newspapers, toilet/paper towel tubes, and even books can be placed in the blue container as is.
Tubs, jugs, jars, containers, clam shells, bottles, cans, pie plates, and molded packaging made of plastic, glass, or tin can all be recycled in the blue bins.
Metal and plastic lids should be recycled separately from the container. Coffee cup lids, and canisters, on the other hand, belong in the trash.
Click here to find out more about what can and can’t go in your blue cart.
Where can I recycle other household Items?
clothing, shoes and Textiles
Everyone has old clothes, shoes, belts, and outerwear. So what do you do when it’s too worn to give away or donate?
Clothing and textiles can be recycled for free at Calgary landfills. Materials are cleaned and sorted and then based on the items’ condition, they are donated, repurposed, or recycled. Worn garments, fabrics, and shoes are typically recycled into new items or broken down to be repurposed as upholstery stuffing or fiber recycling.
Before being dropped off, all goods should be cleaned and placed in a bag. Further information and a complete list of recyclable items can be found here. Even old purses, backpacks, wallets, bedding, reusable shopping bags, sleeping bags, tents, and luggage can all be recycled!
Small appliances, televisions, HDMI cords, outdated cell phones, computers and accessories, tools, and even toys are all free to recycle at Calgary landfills.
When dropping off, be sure to preserve your privacy by removing any personal information from all devices and memory cards. A comprehensive list of items and recycling locations can be found here.
Household Items that can't be recycled
Certain goods cannot be recycled because they are too tiny to be processed at recycling facilities, are made of mixed materials, or are too light and wind up contaminating other recyclables.
Household goods that are not recyclable include:
- Plastic cutlery
- Stir Sticks
- Chop Sticks
- Coffee Lids/Fountain pop lids (even if labelled recyclable)
- Coffee Canisters
- Coffee pods
- Chip Bags
- Paper towels soiled with cleaning products or chemicals
- Cleaning and hygiene products
- Non-stretchy plastic bags
- Mixed material items
- Mesh bags
If you are unsure if a household item is recyclable, the City of Calgary provides detailed lists and information.
Recycling saves energy, decreases waste, water, and air pollution, reduces emissions, conserves natural resources, and benefits the economy and environment. Do your part, and check before you chuck.