What is recyclable?


New Mobile Version

To make recycling easier, ÉEQ and RECYC-QUÉBEC developed a mobile app for the Quebec Charter of Recyclable Materials so you can look up what may be placed in your recycling bin.

Note that some Quebec municipalities might reject certain types of containers and packaging such as plastic bags and film. Ask your municipal services for details!

Visit m.recreer.ca on your mobile

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Containers, packaging, prints and newspapers

Paper and cardboard

WHAT MAY BE PLACED IN THE RECYCLING BIN

  • Boxes used for cereal, frozen foods, laundry detergent, shoes, cardboard tubes and rolls
  • Brown paper grocery bags
  • Cardboard boxes that have been flattened
  • Cardboard rolls
  • Directories
  • Egg cartons
  • File folders
  • Gable-top milk and juice containers
  • Invoices
  • Lottery tickets
  • Newspapers, circulars, catalogues, journals and magazines
  • Paper bags
  • Promotional inserts
  • Sheets of paper (including staples, if any) and envelopes
  • Tetra Pak™ type containers

A FEW SPECIFICS

Most paper and cardboard may be placed in the recycling bin. However, to maintain sanitary conditions in the sorting centre and to avoid contaminating other materials, it is important not to recycle paper and cardboard that is very greasy.

Note that waxed paper, adhesive labels, wallpaper, photographic paper, metallic wrapping paper, padded envelopes, diapers and items make up of a variety of materials such as binders are not recyclable.

More information on what you should not place in the recycling bin





Containers and packaging

Plastic

WHAT MAY BE PLACED IN THE RECYCLING BIN

Rigid plastics

  • Beauty, personal hygiene and household care product containers
  • Caps and covers (left on containers)
  • Food product containers and packaging (e.g. peanut butter, mayonnaise)
  • Ice cream and margarine tubs, large yogurt containers or smaller ones that are sold by the unit
  • Laundry detergent and bleach bottles
  • Oil and vinegar bottles
  • Ready-to-eat food containers (except those made of #6 plastic)
  • Strawberry, raspberry and blueberry containers (except those made of #6 plastic)
  • Transparent egg containers
  • Transparent packaging for small electronic devices
  • Water, juice and soft drink bottles

Flexible plastics

  • Bags for bread, pastries or food products (clean and grease-free
  • Plastic milk bags, paper-towel and toilet tissue wrappers
  • Shopping bags

A FEW SPECIFICS

Plastic bags may be placed in the bin; however, you need to make a “bag of bags,” i.e. stuff them all in one bag and knot the handles to make sorting easier. Generally speaking, plastics containers and packaging made of plastic #1, #2, #3, #4, #5 and #7 may be placed in the recycling bin.

On the other hand, except for a few regions in Quebec, most sorting centres reject polystyrene (#6 plastic). Work is underway to find ways to give this material a second life.

The following are a few examples of polystyrene containers and packaging that should not be placed in your recycling bin:

Polystyrene foam: coffee cups, trays used for meat, fish, or vegetables, protective packaging for electronic devices.

Rigid: plastic utensils, mushroom containers (blue or black), single-serving yogurt containers*, transparent gable-top containers for pastries (e.g. croissants), mini coffee creamers, CD and DVD cases.

*Packs of 4 or more yogurt containers are generally not accepted in sorting centres. However, small yogurt containers sold by the unit are generally accepted because they are made with recyclable plastic.

Flexible: Some Quebec municipalities might reject plastic bags and film. Ask your municipal services for details!





Containers and packaging

Glass

WHAT MAY BE PLACED IN THE RECYCLING BIN

  • Wine, juice and sparkling water bottles
  • Oil and vinegar bottles
  • Food and product jars (pickles, salsa, sauce)

A FEW SPECIFICS

Glass containers and packaging of all shapes and colours may be placed in the recycling bin, with or without their labels. And if they bear the mention «Consignée Refund Québec», they have to be returned to retailers. Items that disrupt the sorting process are those that are neither containers nor packaging.

More information on what you should not place in the recycling bin





Containers and packaging

Metal

WHAT MAY BE PLACED IN THE RECYCLING BIN

  • Tin cans for food
  • Covers and caps
  • Aluminum cans and containers not showing the «Consignée Refund Québec» mention
  • Aluminium plates, containers and foil

A FEW SPECIFICS

Steel and aluminium containers and packaging may be placed in the recycling bin. The aluminum cans and containers bearing the «Consignée Refund Québec» mention have to be returned to the retailer. A few sorting centres do not accept aerosol containers.

More information on what you should not place in the recycling bin





Unacceptable Objects

WHAT SHOULD NEVER BE PUT IN THE RECYCLING BIN

Sorting centres that receive recyclable materials from municipal curbside collection services are mainly designed to sort containers, packaging, printed matter and newspapers.

Any other item could damage equipment, slow sorting centre production or hamper the recycling of some recovered materials, which would ultimately limit the production of products with recycled content.Some flexible plastic packaging such as shopping bags and bread bags can block the sorting centre’s machines. It is therefore important to stuff them in one bag and knot its handles to make recycling easier.

The following items or packaging should not be placed in the recycling bin:

  • Adhesive labels
  • Batteries
  • Belts
  • Beverage glasses or glass dishes
  • Binders
  • CD and DVD
  • Cell phones
  • Ceramic items
  • Cereal, cracker and chip bags
  • Christmas lights and decorations
  • Clotheslines
  • Clothing
  • Compact fluorescent light bulbs
  • Crystal
  • Diapers
  • Dishes
  • Earthenware
  • Electric bulbs
  • Facial tissue
  • Fluorescent tubes
  • Garden hoses
  • Gardening tools and other items
  • Granola bar wrappers
  • Hand towels
  • Hangers
  • Insulation panels
  • Metallic gift wrap
  • Mirrors
  • Nails and screws
  • Paint cans
  • Patio chairs and tables
  • Pens and pencils
  • Photographs
  • Pipes
  • Plastic toys
  • Porcelain
  • Purses
  • Pyrex dishes
  • Razor blades
  • Rugs
  • Small electrical appliances
  • Small yogurt cups (single-serve portion)
  • Shoes
  • Soiled cardboard
  • Soiled paper
  • Stretch wrap
  • Swimming pool vinyl
  • Tissue wrapping paper
  • Toothpaste tubes
  • Wallpaper
  • Waxed paper
  • Window glass

Some of these objects may be recovered by municipal or neighbourhood ecocentres, waste recovery centres or other participating retailers. Check with your municipality for recovery services available in your community.