paperclip recycling bin


Common Questions

What goes in the recycling bin (blue/green box)?

Paper products

  • Paper
  • Flattened Cardboard


  • Glass
  • Plastic (Types of plastics are differentiated by numbers which appear on the containers with the triangle recycling image)
    • PET: Polyethylene terephthalate
      Soda bottles and oven-ready meal trays.
    • HDPE: High-density polyethylene
      Bottles for milk and cleaning liquids.
    • PVC: Polyvinyl chloride
      Food trays, plastic wrap, plastic juice bottles, water bottles and shampoo containers.
    • LDPE: Low density polyethylene
      Plastic bags and garbage bags.
    • PP: Polypropylene
      Plastic containers, microwaveable trays.
    • PS: Polystyrene
      Yoghurt containers, foam trays, hamburger boxes and egg cartons, plastic cutlery, protective packaging for electronic goods and toys. Currently this type of plastic is not recycled in Quebec.
    • OTHER: Any other plastics that do not fall into any of the above categories.
      An example is melamine, which is often used in plastic plates and cups.
  • Metal
  • Milk & Juice Cartons


Recycling pickup takes place once weekly (the exact day of the week depends on your municipality). Take out recycling bins no earlier than 12 hours before pick-up - after 7 p.m. the evening before collection day. To find out the recycling schedule for your sector, phone 514-367-6627.

To find the day of collection in your area visit: Ville de Montréal - Info-Collectes

Why recycle?

  • Because... it makes sense: Nearly half of what we throw out every week is recyclable. Disposing of it in the garbage is costly, wasteful, and pollutes the environment.
  • Because... it makes dollars and cents: Recycling creates many jobs and saves natural resources. It also takes 10 to 20 times less energy to make new products from recycled materials rather than raw materials.

Why separate?

Recycling trucks usually have two compartments: one for paper and flattened cardboard, and the other for glass, plastic and metal containers, and milk and juice cartons. At the sorting centers serving Montreal households, these two categories of items are placed on separate conveyor belts for further sorting depending on the requirements of each recycler. However, some municipalities (especially those off the island of Montreal) do collect all recycling material together and separate them later on in the recycling process at an increased cost. Separating at the source makes everything more efficient.

What to rinse and why?

Rinse soiled containers to prevent mould and unpleasant odors. It's a question of cleanliness and hygiene. Some operations at the sorting center are done manually. Everyone's entitled to a healthy work environment.


How to prepare the recycling bin for pick-up

  • Rinse plastic, glass and metal recyclables (but do not waste water while doing it, use water sparingly).
  • Remove paper labels from metal cans (if applicable).
  • Flatten plastic and carton containers.
  • Collapse cardboard boxes.
  • Shred old used paper (to preserve your privacy).
  • Group recyclables according to the two categories if applicable (i.e.: separate paper products from containers (plastic, metal, glass, etc.)).
  • No hazardous material allowed in recycling bin (household hazardous waste should be taken to an ecocenter).

Below is a chart of items that can and should be recycled. Determining which household items are recyclable can prove to be quite a challenge. We have simplified everything by providing you with a complete categorized chart.

Recyclable Items


  • Clean aluminum foil
  • Clean aluminum pie plates
  • Soft drink cans
  • Soup cans
  • Fruit cans
  • Coffee cans
  • Tuna cans
  • Cat food cans
  • Beer caps

Paper & Cardboard

  • Computer paper
  • Ruled paper
  • Junk mail
  • Brown paper bags
  • File folders
  • Newpaper & inserts
  • Magazines
  • Catalogs
  • Flyers
  • Telephone books
  • Books
  • Maps
  • Cereal boxes
  • Milk cartons
  • Juice boxes
  • Ice cream containers
  • Snack food boxes
  • Shoe boxes
  • Sugar cartons
  • Paper towel rolls
  • Tissue paper rolls


  • Beer bottles
  • Wine bottles
  • Pickle jars
  • Fruit Jam jars
  • (Clear, green or amber)


  • Water bottles
  • Pop bottles
  • Dish soap bottles
  • Hand soap bottles
  • Shampoo bottles
  • Cleaning agent bottles
  • Mouth wash bottles
  • Face wash bottles
  • Lotion bottles
  • Liquid detergent bottles
  • Cooking oil bottles
  • Peanut butter jars
  • Milk jugs
  • Juice jugs
  • Yogurt cups
  • Salad dressing containers
  • Bottle caps
  • Bottle lids


  • Frozen concentrated juice containers

Non-Recyclable Items


  • Aerosol cans
  • Iron hangers
  • Gas propane tanks
  • Metal scraps
  • Metal sheeting
  • Pipes
  • Electric wire
  • Tools
  • Nails & screws
  • Pots & pans
  • Cake pans
  • Candle sticks
  • Blinds
  • Toys

Paper & Cardboard

  • Diapers
  • Pet food bags
  • Napkins
  • Toilet tissue
  • Paper towel
  • Paper plates
  • Carbon paper
  • Wax paper
  • Photographs
  • Stickers
  • Wallpapers
  • Duotangs
  • Folders
  • Contaminated cardboard
  • Bar soap boxes
  • Detergent boxes
  • Pizza boxes


  • Light bulbs
  • Fluorescent tubes
  • Fibreglass
  • Window glass
  • Windshield glass
  • Mirror glass
  • Drinking glasses
  • Cooking pots
  • Ceramics
  • Pottery
  • Porcelain
  • Dishes


Unless your municipality dictates otherwise, the plastics NOT identified by a logo of recycling (triangle made up of three arrows inside which one finds a figure from 1 to 7) are NOT accepted in your recycling box. This is valid also for the polystyrene (expanded polystyrene #6).

* Sources: Recyc-Québec