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What can't go in your blue cart


Some items can’t be recycled and should never go in your blue cart.

These materials can injure our workers, get stuck in equipment, shut down the recycling sorting facility or spoil the quality of good recyclables.

See what items can be recycled. If you are not sure where to put an item, check our online disposal search tool What Goes Where.

Print guides for Blue Carts:

​​Your blue cart is for paper, packaging and containers not household items like toys, clothing or electronics.

Clean out food residue and rinse out containers. Garbage or blue recycling bags are not accepted.

Recyclables must be loose except for:

  • Bundled plastic bags
  • Bagged shredded paper

No. Keep these items out of the blue cart or recycling depot

No household goods

Household items in good condition can be donated to charity, given to family and friends, or sold online. To find disposal options, check What Goes Where.

Put broken and end-of-life items that can't be reused in the black cart as garbage.

  • Small appliances (e.g. toaster, kettle)
  • Furniture
  • Utensils, baking trays, pots and pans
  • Garden hoses and electrical cords
  • Cleaning and hygiene products (brushes, sponges, razors, etc.)
  • Drinking glasses, ceramics and dishes
  • Light bulbs
  • Picture frames, mirrors and decor
Housewares NO

No toys, sports equipment, shoes or clothing

To find recycling and disposal options, check What Goes Where.

  • Shirts, pants, sweaters, etc.
  • Outerwear (e.g. coats and jackets)
  • Shoes and footwear (sandals, runners, dress shoes, heels)
  • Purses, backpacks, suitcases and luggage, wallets, and belts
  • Household linens (e.g. bedding, towels, curtains, pillows, tea towels, duvets and blankets)
  • Accessories like hats, mittens and scarves
  • Skates, cleats, balls, hockey sticks, etc.
  • Toys (including plastic toys) and stuffed animals
Clothes Sports Toys NO

No foam – all types

Polystyrene foam, even recycling symbol #6, must be bagged and placed in the garbage.

  • Packing foam and packing peanuts
  • Foam meat trays
  • Foam cups and takeout containers
Styrofoam NO

No mixed packaging

Not all packaging is recyclable. Put these items in the black cart as garbage.

  • Deodorant sticks and toothpaste tubes
  • Coffee pods
  • Non-stretchy plastic bags and pouches (e.g. frozen fruit bags, baby food pouches etc.)
  • Items made from more than one type of material (e.g. chip bags, candy, chocolate granola bar wrappers, butcher paper)
Mixed Packaging NO

No miscellaneous plastics, even if they have a recycling symbol

Put these items in the black cart as garbage. Your blue cart is for plastic containers – if your plastic item is not a container, do not recycle it.

  • Plastic cutlery (forks, knives, spoons) and straws
  • Plastic food wrappers and cellophane e.g. yogurt tubes, popsicle wrappers, noodle wrappers
  • Plastic mesh bags e.g. onion and avocado bags
  • Laundry baskets, kiddie pools and large tubs (anything bigger than 5 gallon pail)
  • Pens and markers
  • CD cases and DVD cases
  • Coffee cup lids and fountain pop lids
Misc. Plastics NO

No metal household goods

Take to a metal recycler or the metal bin at a City of Calgary Throw 'N’ Go (fees apply).

  • Aluminum siding
  • Car parts
  • Electrical wire and cords
  • Pots and pans, oven racks
  • Shelving racks
  • Wire coat hangers
Metal NO

No hazardous materials

If a container has a hazardous symbol (e.g. poison, flammable, explosive), bring it to a household hazardous waste drop-off location, even empty containers.

  • Aerosol cans
  • Car batteries and motor oil
  • Cleaning products and gardening chemicals
  • Propane tanks, bear spray or helium canisters
  • Paint cans
  • Smoke detectors and thermometers
  • Household batteries – take to a participating retailer for recycling.
  • Needles and diabetic lancets – put in puncture-proof container (e.g. bleach bottle), seal tightly and put in black cart or dispose of through your local pharmacy.
Household Hazardous Waste NO

No construction materials

Put small amounts of construction material in your black cart (make sure lid can close) or take large quantities to a City of Calgary landfill.

  • Bricks, concrete, tile and drywall
  • Nails
  • Vinyl siding and plastic decking
  • Treated wood and lumber
Construction Materials NO

No electronics

To find disposal and recycling options for electronics, check What Goes Where.

  • Cell phones
  • CDs, DVDs and video tapes
  • Computers and computer accessories
  • Televisions
  • Video game consoles
  • Radios and stereos
Electronics NO