Curbside garbage collection takes place every week, usually on the same day every week, with some adjustments for holidays.

Use the ReCollect tool on our Garbage & Recycling page to find your collection date and to schedule reminders.

What time do I place garbage at the curb?

Place garbage at the curb:

  • before 7 am on collection day (you may put garbage out anytime after 4 pm the day before) 
  • make sure garbage is at the curb on time - collection schedules can vary!

 How many garbage bags or garbage cans can I put out?

  • you can put out two non-tagged garbage items (an item is a separate bag or garbage can)
  • you can put out a third item of garbage if you attach a $2 garbage item tag
  • only one tagged garbage item is allowed per collection day

Thunder Bay Solid Waste & Recycling's two-item limit aligns with recommendations of the Solid Waste Management Strategy, and with best practices in Ontario.

 Garbage item tags for third garbage items

How to Purchase Garbage Item Tags

  • garbage item tags are sold in groups of five for $10
  • you can buy tags by phone during business hours at 807-625-2266 using a credit card, and receive them by mail
  • you can buy tags in person at the Landfill site (5405 Mapleward Rd) or at any branch of the Thunder Bay Public Library

How to Use a Garbage Item Tag

  1. Close your garbage bag with a knot or twist tie.
  2. Peel the garbage item tag off the sheet and place the tag around the neck of the garbage bag.
  3. If using a can, place the garbage item tag around the neck of the top bag of garbage, or apply the tag flat to the top bag of garbage. Make sure waste collection staff can see the tag and its serial number. 


Shows the three step process to use a bag tag

 "One Free Bag" days

You can put out a third item of garbage, FREE (no tag required) on your first collection date after:

  • New Year's Day
  • Victoria Day
  • Labour Day 
 How to put garbage out
  • use securely closed garbage bags, or cans containing bags of garbage
  • use durable plastic/metal garbage cans with handles and secure lids (lid not tied to can), or 1.5mm thick black or green garbage bags
  • do not use cardboard boxes for waste
  • wrap broken glass or sharp objects for safety
  • wrap, double-bag and seal animal waste
  • place garbage at ground level at the end of your driveway
 Garbage item size and weight limits
  • max. weight per item: 18kg/40 lbs. (an item is a separate garbage bag or garbage can)
  • garbage can max. volume: 135 litres; max. height: 81cm (32 inches) without the lid; max. combined weight of can + contents: 18kg (40 lbs) 

A garbage can may contain several bags. 

What not to put out!

Do not put out:

  • liquid waste
  • medical sharps (needles and lancets)
  • construction waste
 Medical exception to garbage item limit
Certain Thunder Bay households may need to set out more than the weekly garbage item limit due to medical circumstances. Under these circumstances, you may apply to increase the limit of waste to a maximum of three items per collection day. Approved applicants may be provided up to a maximum of 52 garbage tags per year, enough for an extra item of garbage each week. To be eligible for the exemption, complete and return the medical exception application.

Reduce waste with the six Rs!

  • Rethink: Think about waste before you buy. Avoid "disposable" products.
  • Refuse: Try not to bring home bags and containers. When possible, use your own instead.
  • Reduce: Use reusable containers and bags instead of disposable ones.
  • Reuse: Charitable organizations and thrift shops can take reusable items you no longer need.
  • Repair: Be handy! Fix items instead of replacing them.
  • Recycle: Recycle everything you can.

For more information on garbage collection, call Infrastructure, Development & Operations Dispatch at 807-625-2195.

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