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In apartment buildings, management organizes garbage, compost, and recycling collection, and buildings have rooms or spaces dedicated to these purposes.

If you own a house, you are responsible for putting out your garbage, compost, and recycling. These are typically placed at the edge of the street in front of your house. Garbage collection is organized by the municipality and pick-up days vary by neighbourhood within each city, so consult the official website for each city to see when your garbage collection days are. These are typically found under the tabs “City Services” or “Garbage and Recycling” at

Ottawa: www.Ottawa.ca,

Ottawa/Gatineau: www.Ville.gatineau.qc.ca,

Toronto: www.Toronto.ca,

Montreal: www.Ville.montreal.qc.ca,

Calgary: www.Calgary.ca and

Vancouver: www.Vancouver.ca.

It is also helpful to follow the patterns of your neighbour or to ask the city to send you a calendar that lists the recycling days. Note that some cities only pick up garbage once every two weeks, but recycling is picked up every week. Cities may also have a limit on the number of garbage bins that can be collected, and you may be required to pay more to have excess garbage picked up.

Each city has its own standards and instructions on how to organize recyclable materials for collection. In general, recyclables should be separated into following categories: paper, metal, plastic, glass and organic waste. Organic waste collection (food and garden waste, also known as compost) is collected in separate bins, either weekly or bi-weekly in all of the major Canadian cities, although it is largely only available to single-family households. There are plans to include apartments and condos in the collection of organic waste, but these do not yet exist in every city.

There are many items that should not be put in the garbage and require special disposal practices, including batteries, paint, flammable waste and electronics. Please consult the municipality for instruction on how to dispose of these items.