Recycling/Blue Boxes

The Township of North Kawartha implemented a curbside garbage and recycling collection program in 2004. The Recycling Program for all eight Townships in Peterborough County, whether curbside or at the North Kawartha Transfer Stations, is administered by the County of Peterborough, in co-operation with the Township. For additional information regarding recycling please visit the County of Peterborough's "Blue Box Recycling" page, or call The County at 705-775-2737. 

Blue Boxes

  • The 2-Stream Recycling Program consists of one blue box for the collection of fibres, and one blue box for the collection of containers. Please keep fibres and containers in separate blue boxes.
  • Set out recycling before 7:00 am.
  • There is no recycling limit for the number of blue boxes.
  • If the Contractor (Emterra) misses emptying your recycling blue box, please contact Emterra directly at 705-742-3139, or the County of Peterborough 705-775-2737 as soon as possible. Reporting without delay will ensure that any concerns are addressed as they occur, through the use of Emterra's very sophisticated GPS tracking system.
  • If you missed your recycling collection, you may take it to the nearest transfer station, or put it out at your next collection day. Blue box recycling does not require bag tags. 
  • Standard blue box size is 47 litres (12 gallons), measuring 48cm x 40cm x 31cm or 19" x 16" x 13" (L x W x H).

  • Additional blue boxes are available at a cost of $6.00 each, at the Municipal Office, and both the Anstruther and Haultain Transfer Stations. 

If you are concerned about windblown litter from your blue boxes, consider: 

  • Stacking blue boxes to keep lighter material in
  • Only filling blue boxes to 3/4 full
  • Waiting until the following week to recycle 


The sorting method applies to recycling for Curbside and at the Transfer Stations.  

Acceptable Fibres

  • Paper (newspapers, writing paper)
  • Construction paper
  • Magazines
  • Envelopes, junk mail, flyers
  • Telephone and paperback books
  • Egg cartons, and brown paper bags
  • Corrugated cardboard
  • File folders
  • Food boxes (liners must be removed)
  • Toilet paper tubes
  • Paper towel tubes
  • Plastic bags (grocery, milk, and produce bags) - gather all into one bag, tie bag, and place in blue box.
  • Flattened and bundled cardboard no bigger than 75cm x 75cm x 20cm or 30” x 30” x 8” (bundles can be outside the blue box) 

Non-acceptable Fibres

  • Toilet paper, and paper towel
  • Napkins, and parchment paper
  • Used paper plates
  • Frozen food boxes, waxed cardboard
  • Chip bags, chocolate bar wrappers, plastic stretch-wrap
  • Liners from cracker/cereal boxes

Acceptable Containers (please rinse out)

  • Any empty container that has held a liquid (including cardboard containers)
  • Containers for general household cleaning products
  • Coloured and clear bottles and jars
  • Plastic food and drink containers, tubs, and lids
  • Metal pop cans, pie plates, and tin foil
  • Metal food and drink cans, and tins
  • Empty metal paint cans (lids removed)
  • Empty windshield washer jugs
  • Empty aerosol containers
  • Milk cartons, coffee cups, and juice boxes

Non-acceptable Containers

  • Empty oil jugs
  • Broken glass
  • Window glass
  • Pyrex, ceramic, or other dishware
  • Scrap metal, i.e. utensils, pots, and pans
  • No Styrofoam of any kind

Recycling Videos

  1. Contamination in recycling is a growing problem. The County/City of Peterborough and the City of Kawartha Lakes have prepared a video showing what you can do to help. Click here to view the video.
  2. In an interview, the Manager of Waste Management for the County of Peterborough, discusses the recycling program, and provides insight into how materials in Peterborough County are managed, as well as where they go once they have been collected. Click here to view the video.
  3. Know before you throw - where should recycling go? Reduce, re-use, and recycle are three things we can all do to help the environment. However, blue boxes that are not sorted properly will no longer be collected. Click here to view the CHEX News video.
  4. Peterborough County Waste Diversion Section Manager, and CHEX News, participate in a rapid-fire Recycle Q&A. Click here to view the video.
  5. At the end of 2019, the City of Peterborough started enforcing the rules of what you can and can’t recycle. With different rules for different municipalities, it can get confusing. CHEX News asked Peterborough Councillor and Chair of the Waste Management Committee, Gary Baldwin, about some of the more confusing items. Then went to the street to see how everyone else does when it comes to the rules of recycling. Click here to view the video.

If after viewing these videos, you require additional information or clarification, please visit the County of Peterborough's "Blue Box Recycling" page, or call The County at 705-775-2737.

Curbside Recycling Collection Contract Q&A 

The County of Peterborough entered into a new collection contract on November 1, 2019, with the company Emterra. If you're looking for a quick summary of FAQs regarding the change in the Company providing this service (curbside recycling collection), click here.

For the most part, the sorting guidelines have remained the same since 2004, but as Emterra also operates the Sorting Facility, it is important to them that recycling is collected in blue bins and sorting guidelines followed. Recycling will only be collected from blue bins, and must be sorted, with containers in one bin, and fibres in the other. 

To further explain some of the recycling rules, collectors can more easily make out items that should not be in the recycling if they are placed loosely in the blue box, versus in a bag, that is often covered in dew or rain. The County of Peterborough does not have the costly “bag-breaking” technology at the Material Recovery Facility, which would then require staff to cut and empty bags of recycling manually. This may not seem like more than an inconvenience, but quite often things like used diapers, used medical sharps, and other hazardous waste materials are hidden in bags of recycling, resulting in health and safety risks for the workers that would have to cut open hundreds of bags every day. The only exceptions to this rule are that plastic bags can be bagged into one bag, tied up and placed in the fiber bin, and shredded paper can be bagged, tied up, and placed in the fiber bin. There is no limit to the number of blue boxes you can place out for pick up.

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