Caution | Outdoor water restrictions in effect

Stage 3 outdoor water restrictions are in effect. Learn more about how City services are impacted and what you can do during this stage.

Learn more

Your blue cart is for acceptable household paper, cardboard and container packaging.

It is important to recycle the right things in your blue cart and community recycling depots, and properly prepare your materials.

When you put in items that don't belong, it can cause injuries to workers and costly shutdowns at our recycling sorting facility.

Not sure where to put an item. Check out What Goes Where.​

Remember to:
  • Clean/rinse out recyclables
  • Put your recyclables in loose except for:
    • Bundled plastic bags
    • Bagged shredded paper
  • Keep all recyclables inside the blue cart
Print guides for Blue Carts:

Yes. Put these items into your blue cart

1. Bundled stretchy plastic bags and cling wrap

Bundle all stretchy plastic bags into a single plastic bag and tie closed before recycling. Acceptable bags include:

  • Grocery bags
  • Shopping bags
  • Sandwich/lunch bags
  • Resealable/Ziploc bags
  • Freezer bags
  • Bread bags
  • Dry cleaner bags
  • Plastic overwrap (wrapping on toilet or paper towel, water bottle cases)
  • Plastic film wrap (saran wrap)
  • Bubble wrap

Bag Tip:

  • If the plastic bag/wrap stretches (like a grocery bag) it's recyclable; if it does not stretch, is crinkly or tears (like a chip bag or cellophane), it's not recyclable.
  • Hang a bag off a hook/door handle and fill up with plastic bags as you finish using them. Once full, double-knot bag closed for recycling. Start over with a new bag to fill.

2. Paper and cardboard

  • Cardboard boxes (cereal, pizza, tissue boxes, etc.)
  • Toilet and paper towel tubes
  • Catalogues, magazines and telephone books
  • Newspapers, flyers and brochures
  • Letters and envelopes (remove plastic window)
  • Paper coffee cups and fountain pop cups (no lid)
  • Greeting cards
  • Non-foil paper gift wrap
  • Paper bags
  • Soup and beverage cartons (e.g.Tetra Pak® packages)
  • Milk cartons and juice boxes
  • Shredded paper (in a see-through bag and tied closed)
  • Paperback and hardcover books (separate hardcovers from pages)

3. Container packaging

Your blue cart is for containers – bottles, jugs, jars, cartons, cans and other rigid containers.

3a. Containers made of plastic

  • Milk jugs
  • Yogurt tubs
  • Pop bottles
  • Takeout containers
  • Laundry detergent container
  • Body lotion containers (no tubes)
  • Beverage and juice bottles
  • Mouthwash bottles
  • Shampoo and conditioner bottles (no hand pumps)
  • Molded plastic packaging
    • A plastic holder with a cardboard backing – separate each item for recycling
    • Clamshell packaging
    • Divided food trays like cookie trays or party trays

Once you have determined that your plastic item is a container, then look for the recycling symbol 1-7. If your plastic item is not a container, do not recycle.

3b. Containers made of tin – food cans and tin foil

  • Tin food cans
  • Clean tin foil (crumple up)
  • Foil take out containers and pie plates
  • Tin containers (e.g. cookie tins)
  • Pop cans

3c. Containers made of glass – food jars and bottles

  • Glass food jars – baby food jars, salsa jars
  • Glass bottles – pop bottles, condiment bottles

Lids and caps – separate from container

  • Metal lids must be larger than 5 cm (two inches) in diameter
  • Plastic lids must be larger than 7.5 cm (three inches) in diameter

Lids tip: if the lid is about the size of the palm of your hand, it's ok to recycle. Please note that all coffee cup lids belong in the garbage. They are too light to be sorted properly at the recycling facility.

Please note that all coffee cup lids belong in the garbage. They are too light to be sorted properly at the recycling facility.

Recycling Right at Home - One Calgarian's Story

Check out how local Youtuber Igor Ryltsev makes recycling work for his family at home. See tips for putting the right items in and preparing them the right way.