Recycling/Blue Boxes

Starting January 1st, 2024, the blue box program will transition to “producer responsibility”; which means the County will no longer be managing or responsible for the blue box recycling program. The blue box program across Ontario will now be the responsibility of the companies that make or import recycling products (Producer). 

There will not be any significant changes for North Kawartha residents, except that for any blue box-related curbside collection questions or concerns (including missed collection), instead of contacting the County or Township, please only contact Emterra Environmental at 1-888-597-1541. Emterra is wholly responsible for curbside collection, and providing blue boxes.

For complete information regarding the change, its implications, and answers to Frequently Asked Questions, please visit our Blue Box Transition to Producer page.

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 1-888-597-1541 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). 

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 
Replacement/Obtaining Blue Boxes

Additional blue boxes are available by contacting Emterra Environmental at 1-888-597-1541, or can be picked up in-person at Emterra: 688 Harper Road, Peterborough, ON K9J 6X6. Please call in advance.

  • Existing residents: are entitled to 1 free blue bin (following the transition) that can be delivered by Emterra, to the resident's driveway on the next collection date, or can picked up in-person at the PTBO Emterra location. Please call in advance.

  • New residents: are entitled to 2 free blue bins that can be delivered by Emterra, to the resident's driveway on the next collection date, or can picked up in-person at the PTBO Emterra location. Please call in advance.

  • Additional blue boxes: Can be picked-up at Emterra's PTBO location for $15.00 per bin, or delivered to your driveway for $24.00.

Please note: There is no replacement of broken bins at this time, however the matter is being reviewed and may differ in the near future. 


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

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