Smart Recycle Questions and Answers
Why does Hamilton have 2-stream recycling?
This makes the sorting procedure easier and results in less contamination and a greater revenue for the material.
Why were some plastics removed from the blue box program?
In January 2018 China began to refuse recyclable material from other nations as it had high levels of contamination (incorrectly sorted and/or contaminated with food). Other nations followed suit. Without a way to sell the material, Hamilton and many other cities were unable to find a market for these that have low value.
How can we ensure that other recyclables will not be removed from the blue box program?
- Clean out all food from the packaging and put that into the Green Cart.
- Rinse out the containers. If you’re washing dishes please give the recyclables a quick rinse as well.
- If recyclable paper is contaminated with food put it in the Green Cart if it is compostable, e.g. non-foil sandwich wrap, pizza boxes, chip cups).
- In Hamilton paper cups go in the Green Cart (organics), not the blue box. (No lids – these now go in the garbage!)
- Milk cartons, juice boxes and frozen juice containers go in the containers (not paper) blue box.
What can I take to the community recycling centre?
Hamilton Community Recycling Centres take:
- Most curbside materials (blue box recyclables, leaf & yard but not Green Cart organics).
- Hazardous waste (e.g. paint, batteries, fluorescent lights, pesticides).
- Scrap metal (including small appliances that are mostly metal).
- Large plastic items (e.g. lawn furniture, children’s play structures).
- Electronics (audio and visual equipment).
- White goods (large appliances).
- Clean wood (no nails/screws; unfinished).
- Styrofoam packaging used around electronics.
- There is a fee for any garbage dropped off here.
What cannot be placed in the blue box?
- Non-recyclable plastics go in the garbage. This includes non-stretchy film (cling wrap, chip bags, granola wrappers, stand-up pouches, bubble wrap), toys, straws/cutlery and hangers. As of May 2018 all coffee cup lids, dark plastics and Styrofoam (that used for food) are no longer accepted in the blue box – they must go in the garbage.
- Non-recyclable paper (e.g. label backing, padded envelopes, paper/foil combo food wrap, tape) goes in the garbage.
- Other glass (e.g. drinking glasses, cookware and glass panes) and other metal (e.g. pots/pans, hangers, hardware) go in the garbage. Metals can be collected for a trip to the Recycling Centre.