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Blue & Red Box Recycling

The recycling program in Essex-Windsor is a two-stream recycling program and uses two boxes - a Blue Box and a Red Box. The different colours are to separate materials for collection. The Blue Box is for container materials and the Red Box is for paper materials. If you mix containers and paper in the same recycle box – your recycling will not get collected.

Where to purchase: Recycle boxes can be purchased at local Home Hardware Stores. Please call your local store first to ensure availability. 

Key Guidelines for Recycling Collection

Please follow the following key guidelines to have your recycling picked up. 

Set out by 6:00 a.m. on your scheduled collection day. Collection time is not scheduled, so if you don't want to miss the truck, make sure your recycling is out by 6:00 a.m. of your scheduled collection day.

Recycling carts must have the lifting mechanism to be collected. If the cart does not have the lifting mechanism it will not be picked up.

Recycle boxes have a weight limit: per Blue/Red Box: 20 kg /45 lb

Do not place your recycling in plastic bags. Plastic bags are not accepted in the program, and if you include plastic bags in your recycling, it will not be collected.

Recycling Cart Rules

You can use a recycling cart for your materials as long as the following recycling cart rules are followed. 

You can use a recycling cart if it has the North American Lifting Mechanism. This allows the cart to be lifted mechanically. Recycling carts also must have:


 Recycle carts can only contain one type of material. Either paper or containers. You can’t mix containers and paper in the same cart – or your recycling will not get collected.

Carts have to have a label – “containers” or “paper”. Labels allow the driver to dump the contents in the correct compartment on the truck.

Accepted Materials in the Blue & Red Box

Please place the following containers in your Blue Box for recycling. All containers mjust be empty, rinsed, and loose in the Blue Box/Cart. 

Accepted Containers

Aerosol Cans: hair sprays, shaving creams, oven cleaners, cleaners, deodorizers, whipped toppings, spray cheese, etc.

Aluminium Foil & Aluminium Trays: aluminum foil (loose sheets), aluminium trays, aluminium pie plates, and aluminium pans.

Beverage Cartons & Tetra Paks: milk cartons, juice cartons, creamer cartons, juice boxes, broth cartons, soup cartons, etc.

Food & Beverage Cans: pop and juice cans, vegetable cans, fruit cans, soup cans, etc. All food and beverage, aluminium and steel cans are accepted.

Glass Bottles & Jars: glass bottles and jars - all colours (condiment bottles and jars, dressings, sauces, etc.)

Plastic Bottles & Jugs: pop, water, sport drink bottles, lotion, shampoo, fabric softener, and condiment bottles, etc.

Spiral Wound Containers: frozen juice cans, frozen dough containers (e.g. Pillsbury crescent rolls), powdered drink containers, chip containers (e.g. Pringle), powdered creamer containers, etc.

Trays, Clamshells, & Cups: plastic food trays (frozen food trays/single serving), clamshell containers (muffins, cookies, nuts, candies), plastic baskets for fruit/vegetables, and plastic cups, etc.

Tubs & Lids: margarine tubs, sour cream tubes, yogurt, ice cream, spread and dip tubs with their lids, etc.

Please place the following paper products in your Red Box for recycling. All paper products must be empty (no lids, no food, no liquids).

Cardboard: cardboard boxes, shipping / moving boxes, clean pizza boxes, etc.

Preparation: stack smaller boxes inside larger boxes. Large appliance boxes need to be broken down into bundles (no larger than the size of a red box) 30" X 30".

Catalogues / Magazines: catalogues, magazines, telephone books, etc.

Preparation: Place materials loose in the Red Box.

Mixed Paper: Includes cereal, pasta, cookie, laundry, detergent, tissue and shoe boxes. Pet food bags, flour, sugar and potato bags. Kraft and brown paper bags. Paper tubes (toilet paper, paper towel, wrapping paper tubes). Office paper, envelopes, fibre egg trays, gift cards, gift wrap, etc.

Preparation: Flatten boxes and place in a boxboard box, and place in Red Box. Remove any plastic inserts/wrap and throw in the garbage.

Newspaper: Newspapers, junkmail, inserts, flyers, etc.

Preparation: Remove any plastic inserts/wrap and throw in the garbage. Place paper loose in the Red Box.

Inclement Weather Tips

  1. Windy Days: Stack your Blue Box on top of your Red Box. This will help secure the paper products so they don't blow out of the box.
  2. Snowy Days: Please find a clear, flat spot to place your recycle boxes. Do not place them on top of or behind a snow bank.

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