City improves its Blue Box recycling program

It is now much easier for City of Ottawa residents to use their Blue Boxes. Any confusion about what plastic is acceptable was simplified today when the City of Ottawa announced that ALL food and household plastic containers are now permitted in Blue Boxes.

“The acceptance of these containers is another step to help us reach our diversion target of 60 per cent”, said Mayor Jim Watson. “It is a move that will make recycling simpler and easier for our residents and is part of our overall commitment to a greener Ottawa.”

The additional food and household containers now accepted include all plastics with recycling numbers 1 through 7, such as plastic take-out containers, bakery and produce plastic containers (clam shells), single serve yogurt containers, clear plastic egg cartons, plastic pails, plastic planting trays and plastic flower pots.

Councillor Maria McRae, Chair of the City’s Environmental Committee, urged the public to fully participate in the recycling program. “These recyclables add up,” she said. “In 2010, our recyclables were marketed and amounted to over $8 million in revenue!”

Once collected, Blue Box materials are sorted into plastics, metals, glass and paper products that are sold to different companies in Ontario, Quebec and the U.S. which use the raw materials for manufacturing.

Residents may visit the City’s Waste Explorer online search tool at to find out how to properly recycle or dispose of items. Or residents may also call 3-1-1 (TTY: 613-580-2401).