Light Blue

Questions & Answers

Learning the ins and outs of your blue cart might take awhile. This page is designed to help answer some of the common questions that residents ask. 



What can be recycled in the Blue Carts?<div class="ExternalClass91912516A138478F96B5370577ECA2DD"><p>The Blue Cart residential curbside recycling program accepts cardboard, paper, metal cans and foil, and hard plastics with a recycling symbol #1-7.  <br></p><div>Glass and plastic bags are NOT accepted in the Blue Carts. They will continue to be collected at the recycling stations. <br></div><div><br></div><div>To find out what can be recycled at the three recycling stations, visit the <a href="/Pages/waste-wizard.aspx">Waste Wizard</a>.<br></div><p><br></p></div>
Why are there so many rules around what can and can’t go in blue carts?<div class="ExternalClassB5DEBF9D3D484A0089B0AEB1003B5C0D"><div>It might feel like there are a lot of rules but a big part of a successful curbside recycling program is quality control. We need to make sure we’re collecting clean, high-quality materials that will have the most environmental benefit, can be safely processed and that have value in the marketplace. Weighing these factors and talking with other communities, we’ve created a list of what’s in and what’s out so we can make a positive impact with our program. <br></div></div>
Why isn't glass allowed in my blue cart?<div class="ExternalClassBEFC37C646464E1D87E9FFF2C296EA86"><div><div>Glass needs to be collected separately for several reasons, these include: possible equipment damage, staff safety & the contamination of other materials (reducing their value). Many glass containers can be returned to the bottle depot for a refund. This includes wine and beer bottles. All other glass will continue to be accepted at the recycling stations. <br></div><div><br></div><div><div>When planning the curbside program, we asked other communities and industry experts if we should include glass and were told many times that it would not be recommended. The trend across North America is to remove glass from curbside collection.<br><br></div></div></div></div>
Why aren't plastic bags allowed in my blue cart?<div class="ExternalClassD5EDEDDFC5E44C7DA43FADBCB6F9E63F"><div><div>Plastic bags and items like plastic wrap, string and rope can get tangled in the sorting equipment and cause damage to the machinery. It is common practice in other municipalities to not include plastic bags in the curbside pickup but residents can still take their bags to the recycling stations. Plastic bags may also be accepted at some local retailers. Visit for more information.<br></div></div></div>
Do I have to clean my recyclables before they go in my cart?<div class="ExternalClassB69374174DDC45CCBFD15FA7DF58E96F"><p>Yes. We ask that residents make sure their materials are free of any food and residue before putting them in their blue cart. A quick rinse or a cycle through the dishwasher for greasy or sticky items should do the trick. A big factor in the success of our program lies in the collection of clean, high-quality products that have value in the marketplace. By cleaning materials, before they go in the blue cart, we can prevent contamination.<br></p></div>
How much will the program cost and how will I be billed? <div class="ExternalClass8A1D62C99C344CD5ABA0B61D2B1789AF"><p>Providing curbside recycling requires the development of an entirely new program and the addition of equipment and infrastructure to support it. <br></p><p>Starting in May 2019, the City of Lethbridge began collecting an additional $7/month through residential utility bills to pay for a portion of the curbside recycling program expenses. The program is not solely funded through utility charges as it will also generate revenue from the sale of recyclable materials and any regional use of the City's Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) by other municipalities or industries.  </p><p>Check out our <a href="/Pages/dollarsandcents.aspx">Dollars and Cents </a>page from more information on the program fees. <br></p></div>
How will curbside recycling be handled in apartment complexes? <div class="ExternalClass26C3993802E841B0B42A726B9DF0733E"><p>​<span style="color:#333333;font-size:14px;text-align:center;background-color:#ffffff;">For residents living in apartment complexes, there isn't necessarily a curb to place curbside recycling at. </span><br style="color:#333333;font-size:14px;text-align:center;background-color:#ffffff;box-sizing:border-box !important;"><span style="color:#333333;font-size:14px;text-align:center;background-color:#ffffff;">To address this, different processes have been developed to collect recyclable materials from these homes. For more information visit our <a href="/Pages/Apartments.aspx">Apartments</a> page.</span><br></p></div>
How does garbage change with curbside recycling? <div class="ExternalClass12E6D41223C448E4881D724A7C03D37D"><p>Curbside recycling and garbage will be collected on alternating weeks, reducing garbage pickup to every other week. We know this will be a big change for our residents so we've gathered some tips on how to manage your <a href="/Pages/changes.aspx">bi-weekly garbage </a>collection.   <br></p></div>
What happens to our recycled materials?<div class="ExternalClass7BAC766093FE4AD78D5D1FE9D50F4B18"><p>Blue Cart recyclables including paper, cardboard, metal cans, foil and plastics #1-7 are sent to the City's <a href="/Pages/mrf.aspx">Materials Recycling Facility</a> to be sorted out and sent across North America to be turned into new products.<br></p><p></p><a href="" target="_blank"><div><em><strong>Watch this video to find out how it all works!</strong></em><br></div><div><br></div></a><div>Items such as tires, paint and electronics are NOT accepted in the Blue Carts and are collected through programs administered by the <a href="" target="_blank">Alberta Recycling Management Authority</a>. </div><div><br></div><div>Search the <a href="/Pages/waste-wizard.aspx">Waste Wizard </a>to find out where to bring items which are not accepted in the Blue Carts.<br></div><div><br></div></div>

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