Recycling curbside collection

Curbside recycling collection takes place every two weeks, usually on the same day every week, except for holiday exceptions. To find out your collection day, look for the recycling symbol on your waste collection calendar.

Check out Our Green Guide (PDF) for more information about recycling specific types of items.

What time to place recycling at the curb

Place recycling at the curb after 4 pm on the day before 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.

Recycling item limit

There is no limit on the number of items you can put out for collection.

How to recycle

Recycling is as easy as 1, 2, 3

  1. See-through plastic blue bag for paper: newspapers, flyers, junk mail, magazines, paperbacks, fine paper, paper food and beverage cartons (egg cartons), boxboard such as cereal boxes. Cardboard must be flattened.
  2. Bundles of cardboard: large cereal boxes, shoeboxes, clean delivery boxes, tied securely with twine.
  3. See-through plastic blue bag for containers: pop cans, milk cartons, juice boxes, metal cans, all #1 through #7 plastic containers (e.g. drink bottles, soap bottles, salad and fruit containers), glass bottles and jars. Containers must be rinsed of any liquid or food residue.

Please note that single-use bags and all styrofoam plastics are not allowed in the recycling stream. In addition, rinse your containers and do your part to keep the recycling stream clean.

Print out our handy card for your fridge: Recycling Is Easy!

Recycling curbside pick-up

Place recycling bags 1.5 m (5 feet) away from your garbage at the curb. The maximum bag weight is 18kg (40 lbs.).

Do not place recycling bags on snowbanks

Waste collection staff cannot collect recycling 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 recycling for collection.

Apartment recycling

For apartment recycling information, contact your apartment Superintendent.

Recycling depots

Thunder Bay has three recycling depots.

Mountdale Avenue and Walsh Street Depot

  • Located across from Westgate High School
  • Open Monday to Friday 8 am to 6:30 pm and Saturday 8 am to 4:30 pm
  • Closed Sundays and all statutory holidays

Front Street Depot

  • Located between McIntyre and Van Horne Streets
  • Open Monday to Friday 8 am to 6:30 pm and Saturday 8 am to 4:30 pm
  • Closed Sundays and all statutory holidays

City of Thunder Bay Solid Waste & Recycling Facility Depot

  • Located at 5405 Mapleward Road (take the second right after entering the gate, before crossing the scales)
  • Open Monday to Friday 8 am to 6:30 pm and Saturday 8 am to 4:30 pm
  • Closed Sundays and statutory holidays

Tips for using the depots

  • Watch the signs at the depots
  • Don't put non-recyclables in the depots
  • Take garbage away with you - only recyclables can be left at the depot
  • Don't leave behind large items
  • For information on disposing of larger items call 625-2195

Household hazardous waste

If the product you wish to dispose of is marked DANGER or POISON, this indicates that it is toxic, corrosive or extremely flammable. WARNING or CAUTION indicates that the product is slightly toxic. Disposal of all of these products poses a threat to the environment if not handled correctly, so we encourage you to drop off such materials at the Household Hazardous Waste Depot.

Household Hazardous Waste Depot location and hours


The Depot is located at the Solid Waste & Recycling Facility, 5405 Mapleward Rd., between Oliver Road and John Street Road.


Monday to Friday: 8 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.

Saturday: 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Closed Sundays and statutory holidays

What products does the Depot accept

The Depot only accepts special residential waste such as:

  • Drain cleaner
  • Empty propane tanks
  • Household batteries under 5kg  (Please note: All Lithium batteries must be individually bagged or have the positive terminal taped for safe storage)
  • Insecticides
  • Oven cleaner
  • Paint
  • Spent fluorescent tubes and cfls
  • Spot remover
  • Used motor oil and oil filters (limit of two 5-gallon containers of used oil at any one time)
  • Electronic waste

Bring hazardous waste in its original container, or label all products you bring to the Depot. Never mix hazardous wastes.

Identifying hazardous waste

It is not always easy to identify hazardous products. Consumers often rely on product labels for information, but labels may not list all ingredients. To determine if a product is potentially hazardous, see if it bears any of the following symbols or signal words such as Danger, Warning, Poison, Caution, Caustic, Irritant or Volatile. Products labelled Danger are the most hazardous, and products labelled Caution are the least hazardous.

Sharps and used medications

Canada's Health Products Stewardship Association has made it possible for Ontarians to return unused or expired medications and sharps, free of charge, to many pharmacies in our community. Find a list of collection locations near you. 

Stewardship Ontario's Orange Drop Program

Under Stewardship Ontario's Orange Drop Program, local retailers accept many hazardous waste items for proper disposal. For a full list of locations or "Drop Zones" and what hazardous wastes they accept, visit Make the Drop's website.

Electronic waste

Used, broken or unwanted computer and electronic equipment doesn't belong in the landfill. Not only can it leach toxins such as lead, mercury and cadmium into the soil, but it contains valuable materials that can be recycled. Electronics waste must be disposed of in an environmentally responsible way.

How to recycle electronic items

Electronic items can be taken to the City of Thunder Bay Household Hazardous Waste Depot at the Solid Waste & Recycling Facility. Accepted items include:

  • Computers Printers (desktop and floor-standing), including printer cartridges
  • Video gaming devices
  • Telephones, including cellular phones
  • Display devices
  • Radios and stereos, including after-market vehicle stereos
  • Headphones
  • Speakers
  • Cameras, including security cameras
  • Video recorders
  • Drones with audio or visual recording equipment Peripherals and cables used to support the function of information technology, telecommunications and audio visual equipment, including charging equipment
  • Parts of information technology, telecommunications and audio visual equipment sold separately, such as hard drives
  • Handheld point-of-sale terminals or devices
  • Musical instruments and audio recording equipment

What happens to electronics being recycled?

Ontario Electronic Stewardship funds the collection and consolidation of e-waste in Ontario. Waste is collected and shipped to industries that disassemble and re-use up to 90% of the e-waste components.

Working electronics

Items still in working condition, and not obsolete, can be donated to agencies such as The Salvation Army - just call first to confirm. Check the Yellow Pages of the telephone book under Second-Hand Store or Computers - some local businesses will buy used computers in working condition.

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

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