Curbside garbage collection takes place weekly, usually on the same day every week, except for holiday exceptions. To find out your collection day, check your waste collection calendar.

What time to place garbage at the curb

Place garbage at the curb after 4 pm on the day previous to collection, or before 7 am on the day of collection. It is important to make sure garbage is at the curb on time, as collection schedules can vary.

Garbage item limit

Waste collection staff will pick up two non-tagged items. A third item of garbage will be collected if it has a garbage item tag is attached.

In keeping with recommendations of the Solid Waste Management Strategy, and best practices in Ontario, in 2017 the garbage limit changed to a two-item limit. A third item of garbage will only be collected if tagged with a $2 garbage item tag. Only one tagged item is allowed per collection day.

Garbage item tag

Garbage item tags are sold in groups of five for $10 at the following Thunder Bay locations:

  • City Hall (front desk)
  • Victoriaville Civic Centre Cashiers
  • The Landfill
  • EcoSuperior
  • All branches of the Thunder Bay Public Library

The garbage item tag should be wrapped around the neck of the garbage bag, or around the neck of the top item in the garbage can. Make sure the tag and its serial number are easily visible to waste collection staff. Learn more on how to use a garbage item tag.

One free bag days

On the first collection date after New Year's Day, Victoria Day and Labour Day, residents can put out a third item of garbage with no tag.

How to put garbage out

Garbage should be in securely closed garbage bags, or in cans containing bags of garbage. Use durable plastic/metal garbage cans with handles and secure lids (not tied to can), or 1.5 mm thick black or green garbage bags, securely closed. Cardboard boxes may not be used for waste. Make sure to wrap broken glass or sharp objects for safety. Please wrap, double-bag and seal animal waste. Place garbage at ground level at the end of your driveway.

Do not place garbage on snowbanks

Waste collection staff cannot collect waste from the top of snowbanks for safety reasons. If you are running out of room, use a shovel to dig a hollow in the snowbank in which to place your garbage for collection.

Garbage item size and weight

The maximum weight per item is 18kg/40 lbs. An item is a separate bag or garbage can.

A garbage can cannot exceed a maximum volume of 135 litres, maximum height of 81 cm (32 inches) without the lid, and a maximum combined weight of can and contents of 18 kg (40 lbs).

A garbage can may contain several bags. Do not put out liquid waste, medical sharps (needles and lancets) or 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. You may apply to increase the limit of waste to a maximum of three items per collection day on the basis of medial circumstances. 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.

For more information on garbage collection, call the Infrastructure and Operations Dispatch at 625-2195.

Contact Us