Residents of Northumberland County are required to keep their paper and paper packaging separate from their household plastic, metal and glass containers in blue and grey boxes. Bags of recycling are not accepted with the exception of a dedicated clear or clear-blue bag of bags, and a clear or clear-blue bag of shredded paper. Please have your recycling to the curb/roadside by 7 a.m. on your regular collection day.

In 2024, responsibility for recycling collection and processing in Northumberland will transition from Northumberland County to producers of packaging and paper products. This is part of a three-year province-wide transition to ‘Producer Responsibility'.

Quick links

What can I recycle?

What goes in the blue box?

 Plastic bottles, tubs and jugs (empty and clean)

Plastic bottles, jugs and tubs

Plastic clamshell containers (empty and clean)

plastic clamshell

Aluminum and tin cans and foil (empty and clean)

aluminum cans and foil

Glass bottles and jars (empty and clean) lids loose in box

glass bottles and jars

Milk/juice cartons, juice boxes and tetra paks (rinsed)


Takeout coffee cups (lids are garbage)

coffee cup 

Empty and dry metal paint and aerosol cans (leave lid off paint cans)

paint and aerosol cans

What goes in the grey box?

Newspapers and flyers (plastic sleeves go in your bag of bags)


Office paper and envelopes (please bag shredded paper in a clear bag)

office paper

Magazines and books (hardcovers must be removed and put in garbage)


Boxboard (cereal, cracker boxes, etc. - liners are garbage)


Corrugated cardboard (Flattened and bundled in a size that the driver can lift – 30” x 30” x 10”)


Plastic Bags (Stuff all plastic bags inside one clear bag)


plastic bags


  • Plastic grocery bags
  • Plastic retail bags
  • Toilet paper, napkin and paper towel overwrap
  • Bottled water or pop case overwrap
  • Milk outer bags (no inner milk pouches)
  • Diaper and feminine hygiene product outer bags
  • Garden product bags (e.g., soil, mulch, etc.)
  • Plastic water softener or salt bags
  • Bread bags
  • Newspaper or flyer bags
  • Dry cleaning bags
  • Plastic zipper type bags (Ziploc® bags)
  • Shipping air pillows
  • Plastic shipping envelopes
  • Plastic bubble wrap
  • Other plastic bags identified by a #2 or #4 recycling symbol

Unacceptable (the following items are garbage)

  • Stand-up pouches (e.g. granola bags, soup pouches, chip pouches, etc.)
  • Chip, cookie, candy or chocolate bar wrapping
  • Meat or cheese wrapping
  • Pasta bags
  • Grape or cherry bags
  • Cellophane (clear crinkly/non-stretch plastic)
  • Cereal box liners
  • Cling wrap (e.g. Saran™ wrap)
  • Wine bags (from boxed wine)
  • Plastic stretch wrap
  • Agricultural wrap
  • Boat wrap
  • Solar blankets
  • Biodegradable or compostable plastic bags and film
  • Plastic bags identified with #1, #5 or #7 recycling symbol

Download the Recycle Right flyer

Still not sure?

Type the name of the waste item below and the Waste Wizard will tell you how to properly dispose of it.

Box specifics

The Blue Box and Grey Box are the same size:
Volume: 23.8 gallons (90.1litres)
Height: 54 cm
Width: 48 cm
Depth: 39 cm
Weight: 5.0 lbs empty 

If your household produces more recyclables than what will fit into these two boxes, you will need to purchase more. 

Blue and grey bins

Purchase boxes and lids

Blue and Grey Boxes are available for purchase for $8.50 each. Broken boxes will be exchanged for new ones for no charge. The broken box will then be recycled. 

Lids are currently available for no charge.

Smaller bins are available to residents who find the delivered bins are too large. 

Available locations

Snowy and windy day tips

  • Do not overfill your boxes. Keep material no higher than 3/4 full.
  • Place heavier materials on top of lighter materials.
  • Stack your blue box on top of your grey box.
  • Set your recycling out the morning of your collection, rather than the night before.
  • Blue and grey boxes on snowbanks will not be collected.
  • During extreme wind events, wait until your next collection day if possible. Otherwise, follow the tips above.

Recycling accessibility application

Residents with disabilities that prevent them from using a blue or grey box, can apply to continue to set their recycling out in bags. Please note, that if approved, sorting materials is still required.

Apply through the Recycling Accessibility Application Form