Blue Cart Collection

Blue Cart Recycling Collection
What goes in my blue cart?
  • Paper and cardboard
  • Plastic jugs and bottles
  • Bags, packaging and food containers (*please consolidate all bags & plastic film into one bag)
  • Food cans and foil
  • Glass jars and bottles
What Can be Recycled?

If you're unsure of where to place an item, check out our online recycling search tool to find out what goes where or download the Put Waste in It's Place mobile app.  

It is important to recycle the right things in our blue carts and at the Okotoks Eco Centre, and properly prepare our materials. When you put in items that don't belong, it can cause injuries to workers and cause shutdowns at the recycling sorting facility.

Paper and cardboard

  • Corrugated cardboard and boxboard (cereal boxes, pizza boxes, tissue boxes, paper towel tubes and toilet paper tubes)
  • Catalogues, paper back books and magazines
  • Newspapers and flyers
    • Paper
    • Letters
    • Envelopes/window envelopes
    • Greeting cards
    • Brochures
    • Non-foil gft wrap
    • Paper bags
  • Shredded paper (tied in a transparent plastic bag)
  • Telephone books and paperback books
  • Soup and beverage cartons (for example: Tetra Pak® packages)
Plastic jugs, bottles, packaging and food containers

  • Clean plastic jugs, bottles, packaging and food containers/lids with the recycling symbol 1-7 (please note: cups, food containers or packaging made of foam cannot be recycled)
  • Plastic bags, plastic wrap, bubble wrap

Bundle all plastic bags, plastic wrap and bubble wrap into one plastic bag and tie closed.

Please note: food containers or packaging made of foam (e.g. Styrofoam) cannot be recycled

Recycling Tips: 

Which plastic bags are recyclable?
If plastic stretches (like a grocery bag) it's recyclable; if it crinkles (like a cereal box liner), it's not recyclable.

Are all plastic lids accepted?
You do not need to remove caps and lids from the jugs, bottles and containers. Lids can be left on.

Metal food cans and foil

  • Clean food cans
  • Metal lids
  • Clean aluminum foil, aluminum foil plates and containers
Glass bottles and jars

  • Clean glass jars and bottles
  • No glass windows, drinking glasses or dinner plates
Beverage containers

  • Refundable beverage containers

They can also be returned to the Okotoks Bottle Depot for refunds. For more information, see the Alberta Beverage Container Recycling Corp.

What if my blue cart is full?

If you have more recycling than will fit in your blue cart, try flattening cardboard boxes to make some extra room, or save these materials until the following week's collection. You can also take your recyclables to the Okotoks Eco Centre.  

Exposure to rain, snow and wind can reduce the quality of recyclables, and creates a problem with litter in the community. For this reason, we only collect recyclables that fit inside the blue cart. 

Blue Cart - Tips for Preparing Your Recyclables

When you use your blue cart or the Okotoks Eco Centre, you keep valuable recyclable materials out of the Foothills Regional Landfill. Below, you will find tips for preparing your recyclable items so that we can make sure they are recycled properly, efficiently and safely at the recycling sorting facility.

1. Know all the materials you can recycle - put waste in its proper place

If you're unsure of where to place an item, check out our Waste Wizard online recycling search tool to find out what goes where: download the app or search online.

2. Place items in loose

Don't put recyclables in garbage or blue recycling bags. The only exception is plastic bags and shredded paper.

Plastic bags should be bundled together in one plastic bag and shredded paper placed inside a transparent plastic bag.

Remember: If you use bags to collect your recyclables, be sure to empty them loose into your blue cart.

Why can't I bag recyclables?

The recycling facility isn't set up to un-bag recyclables and they need to be loose to be sorted by the machines. For the safety of workers, garbage bags are assumed to be garbage and are never opened.

Shredded paper and plastic bags are hand-sorted for recycling; transparent bags make them easy to identify and grab.

Watch the City of Calgary video to learn about how recyclables are sorted at recycling facilities.

3. Clean off food and other residue

Rinse bits of food and other residue from the inside of food containers. Labels can be left on the containers.

Tip: If you wash dishes by hand, use the dirty dish water to clean off food residue from your recyclables.

4. Keep recyclables inside the cart

If you have extra recyclables that won't fit inside your cart:

  • Flatten boxes to create extra room in your cart.
  • Hang on to your extra recyclables for next week's collection.
  • Bring extra recyclables to the Okotoks Eco Centre.

Why can't I put recyclables next to the cart?

Your blue cart protects recyclables from the rain, snow and wind. Your cart also helps keep our communities litter-free. To learn more, watch the City of Calgary video online: Make Your Recycling Count video.

How Do I Use My Blue Cart?

The Town of Okotoks uses collection trucks with mechanical arms to pick up your carts. The mechanical arms need space to reach, grab and lift the carts. To make sure your carts are collected quickly and safely, they need to be properly placed.

How do I set out my carts?
  1. Garbage should be bagged in your black cart. Place recyclables loose inside your blue cart. See preparing your cart for tips.
  2. Set out your carts by 7 am on your collection day.
  3. Point arrows on the lid toward center of road or lane.
  4. Leave enough space to walk between and around your carts (one metre) so there's enough room for the automated arms on the trucks to work safely.
  5. Pull your empty carts back in by 10 pm.
Please follow these steps:

Fill It

Place your recycling in the cart loose and close the lid. The cart lid must be fully closed. If your weekly recycling exceeds the capacity of the cart. Learn more about using your blue cart and what to do with your extra recyclables when your cart is full.

Time It

All carts must be placed out for collection no later than 7 am on your collection day. Carts placed after 7 am will not be collected until your next collection day.  

Park It

Place wheels against the front curb or at least 0.5m (1.6ft) from your back hedge or fence. Park it on flat ground at road or lane level and make sure you are not blocking traffic.

Point it

Point arrows on the lid toward the center of the road or lane.

Space It

Place your cart(s) and/or excess garbage bag(s) at least 1m (3ft) apart.

Store It

Pull your empty blue cart back onto your property for storage as soon as possible on your collection day to avoid blocking traffic. Carts must be removed from the street by 10 pm on your collection day.

Who receives a blue cart?

We provide blue cart collection to single-family homes in the Town of Okotoks.

FAQ About the Blue Cart Program

All eligible single family homes have blue cart service as of October 2016.

Why blue carts?

Blue carts have proven to be effective in diverting recyclable materials from the landfill.  

By using your blue cart, you can:

  • Reduce dependence on our landfills.
  • Reduce greenhouse gases.
Other recycling options

Okotokians can also recycle at the Okotoks Eco Centre. The Okotoks Eco Centre provides services such as electronics recycling,  household hazardous waste, etc. Learn more about what is accepted at the Okotoks Eco Centre

Will apartments and condos receive blue carts too?

The blue cart program is being rolled out to all single-family homes. The Town is developing a bylaw that will require multi-family buildings to divert waste from landfills through recycling, composting and/or other means. This bylaw will be brought to Council in 2017 for approval.  More information will be available in 2017.

Customer service assistance

Missed pick up?

To report a missed collection, call 403-938-8054.

Need a cart?

Did you move into a new home that does not have a cart? Please contact 403-938-8054.

Missing or damaged cart?

If your cart is missing or damaged, please contact 403-938-8054 for free repair or replacement.

Where will I store the blue cart?

For several years residents have had a mix of front and back lane collection, residents have managed with up to three carts and found storage solutions that worked best for them. 

What is my collection day?

View the online collection schedule.

Sun - Mon: Closed
Tue - Sat: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Closed stat holidays. Access to the Eco Centre and the drop off areas are only available during normal operating hours.
  • Garbage, Organics and Recycling Inquiries: 403-938-8054 Contact Online
    Okotoks Eco Centre: 403-938-2652