Beginning December 2019, residents of Northumberland County will be 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.

The Material Recovery Facility in Grafton processes all recyclable materials.

Please note that we are still delivering bins to Trent Hills and missed locations. If you have not yet received your bin, you can continue to set out clear or clear-blue bags for your recyclables until you receive your new bins.

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)

 Grocery and retail bags, newspaper sleeves, produce bags. 

plastic bags

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 and delivery

Throughout the summer and fall months, blue boxes for containers, and grey boxes for papers will be delivered at the end of your driveway. Each bin will have a brochure inside that explains the program in detail. Start using the bins as soon as you receive them. 
Residents of the Rural Ward of Port Hope will not receive these containers as they do not receive curbside collection.

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


Download the blue box and grey box brochures that are being delivered inside recycling boxes.

picture of new recycling 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

Precautionary measures have been put in place across County services to support community action against the spread of COVID-19. Please note blue and grey Recycle Right box and lid exchanges and purchases are temporarily unavailable. For other service updates visit our COVID-19 Updates page.

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. Please note that this will apply to the delivered boxes only.

Lids are available for $3 each.

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

Available locations

Northumberland County Headquarters
555 Courthouse Road, Cobourg
Monday-Friday: 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Material Recovery Facility
280 Edwardson Road, Grafton
Monday-Thursday: 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Friday: 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.