What can't go in your blue cart
Some items can’t be recycled and should never go in your blue cart.
These materials 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.
Not sure where to put an item? Check out What Goes Where.
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. Some items like small appliances may have recycling drop-off options. To find recycling and 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)
- 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
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
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
No mixed packaging
- 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)
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
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
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
- 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.
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
- Vinyl siding and plastic decking
- Treated wood and lumber
To find disposal and recycling options for electronics, check What Goes Where.
- Cell phones
- CDs, DVDs and video tapes
- Computers and computer accessories
- Video game consoles
- Radios and stereos
Tips to Recycling Right at Home
Not sure of all the ins and outs when it comes to recycling? Watch these tips from local author Jessica Janzen on how she makes the blue cart program work for her and her family.