Waste Management and Recycling in Montreal: The Rules

Are you visiting the city of Montreal (or live in Montreal) and wondering why you should and how to recycle? Recycling is one of the best ways for you to have a positive impact on the world in which we live, however it can sometimes be confusing and difficult to know whether you are following all the right rules. Recycling is important to both the natural environment and us. We must act fast as the amount of waste we create is increasing all the time. There are three key factors when thinking about how to recycle – The 3 R’s: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. If you have questions regarding recycle, you can dial 311.

Plastics Recycling

The following containers in plastic can be recycled (Rinse the containers!):

  • soda, drinking water, food, cleaning, beauty and health product
  • flower pots, covers,
  • lids and caps
  • grocery and other shopping bags
  • dry cleaning bags
  • bread and pastry bags (grease-free),
  • clean food storage bags
  • plastic milk bags
  • paper towel
  • bags, etc

These plastics can not be recycled:
• Soiled plastic film
• Cereal or cracker bags (waxed)
• Chip and snack bags (greasy)
• Compostable plastic bags
• Stretch wrap (pâté, meat, cheese, etc.)
• Pool covers, awnings, etc.
• All No. 6 plastics (polystyrene)
• CD cases
• Paint, motor oil or similar containers
• Toothpaste or cosmetic tubes and pumps
• Rubber items (garden hoses, boots, etc.)
• Other items made of mixed materials (tools, toys, etc.)

Batteries – Non-rechargeable

Recycling batteries helps protect the environment by preventing the heavy metals and hazardous chemicals contained in batteries from leeching out into the environment. Take non-rechargeable batteries to a participating retailer for recycling. This includes lithium primary batteries and alkaline/single-use household batteries. These batteries are found in watches, car remotes, TV remote controls, and calculators.

Clothing, shoes and textiles

Contact local charities to find out what type of reusable clothes, shoes and damaged textiles are accepted in their drop off bins. You can also sell some clothes or shoes to thrift stores for cash.

Electronics Recycling

Many nonprofits and companies offer electronics recycling for old phones, batteries, laptops and TVs. Retailers like Amazon, Apple, Best Buy, and Staples have recycling opportunities for electronics. Your workplace may offer hazardous waste disposal services too. No matter what, keep electronics out of the recycling bin.

Paper and Cardboard Recycling

Corrugated cardboard, magazines, office paper, newspapers, and cartons can all be recycled. Greasy pizza boxes, unfortunately, cannot.

Christmas Trees

Christmas trees are picked up in Montreal on specific dates after the holiday end and delivered to the St. Michel Environmental Complex. After the holiday season, place it on the curbside for the special Christmas tree collection. It will be picked up and converted into wood chips.

Glass Recycling

Most glass can be recycled. Except these ones:

  • Drinking glasses
  • Flat glass (windows, mirrors, etc.)
  • Incandescent and fluorescent light bulbs
  • Pyrex, porcelain, ceramic and broken or unbroken dishes

Aluminium and Metal Recycling

Aluminum cans, aluminum foil and bakeware, and steel or tin cans can be recycled. Remember to give them a rinse first, to avoid odor or insect issues in the bin.

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