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 will no longer be 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.

Accessibility Application

New! Get Caught Recycling Right!

The Material Recovery Facility in Grafton processes all recyclable materials.

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)
• Cereal box liners
• 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)
• Cling wrap (e.g. Saran™ wrap)
• Wine bags (from boxed wine)
• Plastic stretch wrap
• Agricultural wrap
• Boat wrap
• 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.

Bin 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

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.

Additional boxes and lids

Additional boxes are available for purchase for $6.00 each. Broken boxes will be exchanged for new ones for no charge. The broken box will then be recycled. 

Lids are available for $3 each.

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

Available locations

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

Get Caught Recycling Right

Throughout the summer months of 2021, staff will be visiting randomly selected neighbourhoods in order to get a better idea of how residents are sorting their recyclable material for collection. Residents who are properly sorting their recycling will receive information on how enter a contest to win one of several prizes. See below for when we will be in your municipality:

 Township of Alnwick/Haldimand
 The week of August 9th
 Municipality of Brighton
 The week of September 13th
 Town of Cobourg
 The week of July 19th
 Township of Cramahe
 The week of August 26th
Township of Hamilton
 The week of July 5th
 Municipality of Port Hope
 The week of June 21st
 Municipality of Trent Hills
 The week of September 27th