As of July 1, Thunder Bay residents will use wheeled recycling carts to place recycling at the curb, and blue bags will no longer be accepted.

Cart delivery to residential household addresses will begin the week of May 5 and continue into June. GFL Environmental Inc. (also known as Green For Life) will be responsible for setting up the new recycling cart system.

This change comes at the same time as a province-wide regulatory change that shifts responsibility for municipal recycling programs in Ontario to the producers of paper products and packaging, as part of the Extended Producer Responsibility program. Effective July 1, the City will no longer be operationally and financially responsible for the residential recycling program in the community. The responsibility for collection and recycling of Blue Box materials will be on producers.

Until July 1, the City remains responsible for these services. Starting July 1, Circular Materials, the administrator of the common collection system in Ontario, will manage the residential Blue Box (blue bag) recycling program in Thunder Bay.

“This change in responsibility is being phased in all over Ontario,” said Jason Sherband, Manager of the City’s Solid Waste & Recycling Services. “It only affects the management of residential Blue Box (blue bag) recycling services. Circular Materials is working with GFL to continue to provide collection services for residential curbside recycling, and GFL is introducing a much-anticipated automated recycling cart system. We are working closely with both organizations to ensure a smooth transition of services.”

"As we embrace the transition to a more sustainable future, Circular Materials is pleased to collaborate with GFL Environmental in modernizing Thunder Bay's residential recycling program,” said Allen Langdon, CEO of Circular Materials. “By introducing wheeled recycling carts and shifting responsibility to producers, we're not just changing habits, we're reshaping the landscape of environmental stewardship and forging a path towards a more efficient future."

Residents’ collection day, frequency of collection and list of acceptable recyclable materials will not change. GFL will continue to operate the existing, three City-owned residential recycling depots during the transition period between July 1, 2024, and Dec. 31, 2025.

For more information about changes to residential curbside recycling, visit: For more information about recycling cart delivery and inquiries about curbside recycling after July 1, contact GFL at: 844-870-4351 or                                                    


Contact:       Jason Sherband, Manager – Solid Waste & Recycling Services, 807-625-3851