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Garbage and Recycling

Waste Collection Calendar

2024 Waste Collection calendars have been sent out through Canada Post in mid-December and are available online below.  Some printed copies are also available at City Hall.

Not sure when your garbage or recycling day is? Check out our Waste Management GIS page entering your address to find out your collection day!  Garbage must include a full bag tag for collection, please see guidelines below under 'Bag Tags'.

For an e-reader-accessible version of the Waste Management Calendar, please email with your waste pick-up address.

Garbage Collection

All garbage must have a City of Owen Sound bag tag.

Please make sure that your garbage, blue box, and corrugated cardboard are placed at the curb by 7:00 a.m. on the appropriate day.

Garbage bags can be no larger than 89 cm x 127 cm (35 in x 50 in), and garbage cans no larger than 136 litres (30 Imperial Gallon) capacity.

Garbage bags or containers are limited to 18 kg (40 lbs), including the container.  There is a limit of 4 bags or containers per unit, and each one must have a City Bag Tag.

Please flatten and bundle all corrugated cardboard placed at the curb for collection on the appropriate Monday.

Download the 2023 Waste Management Calendar here.

Image of garbage bag tag guidelines to make sure full tag is visible

The City of Owen Sound uses a bag tag payment program to encourage recycling and put a value on our environment. A bag tag is required on each bag or container placed at the curb for pick-up.

You may set out up to 4 bags or containers of garbage every other week for collection. If you live in the downtown core, waste is collected every week and there is a 3 bag limit.

Reminder: There is a 40lb (18kg) weight limit on each bag or can of tagged garbage.

Retail bag tag locations are as follows:

List of Bag Tag Locations
Store Location

City of Owen Sound - City Hall*

808 2nd Avenue East

City of Owen Sound - Public Works*

1900 20th Street East

City of Owen Sound - Library*

824 1st Avenue West

City of Owen Sound - Transit Terminal*

1020 3rd Avenue East

Daisy Mart

389 14th Street West

Food Basics

1350 16th Street East


915 10th Street West

Giant Tiger

1350 16th Street East

Econo Gas & Kwik Mart

1405 2nd Avenue West

Metro Grocery Store

1070 2nd Avenue East

Shoppers Drug Mart

1183 16th Street East

Shoppers Drug Mart

100 10th Street West

Terney's Smoke Shop

819 2nd Avenue East

Turbitt Pharmasave

1010 9th Avenue West


1150 16th Street East

*Bag tags can be purchased individually at City Hall, Public Works, the Transit Terminal and the Library for $2.50 individually or in groups of 5 for $12.50.

Retail outlets selling bag tags will only sell in groups of 5 for $12.50.

Garbage Bag Tag Guidelines

Image of garbage bag tag guidelines to make sure full tag is visible

To make sure your garbage will be collected, please ensure the entire Owen Sound bag tag is visible.

Using a bag tag on a garbage bag:

  • Secure the bag tag around the neck (or top) of the bag.
  • Do not use tags as a twist tie. 
  • Make sure the full tag can be seen. 

Using a bag tag on a garbage can:

  • Do not place the bag tag on the garbage can itself.
  • Place the tag on the top bag inside the garbage can.
  • Make sure the tag will be clearly visible when the collector removes the lid. 
  • You only need one tag on the top bag for the entire container to be collected as long as it weighs less than 18 kilograms/40 pounds.

Please Note:

  • Do not use tags for recycling, hazardous waste or leaf and yard trimmings.
  • You must bring garbage that can’t be bagged, placed in an approved garbage can, or properly bundled to the transfer station located at 2085 20th Avenue East.  

Below is a list of materials that cannot be put in your garbage for curbside collection:

  • Blue box recyclables (pop cans, glass bottles, etc.)
  • Electronics
  • Motor vehicle tires
  • Used oil
  • Leaf & yard waste (grass, leaves, and branches)
  • Medical waste
  • Batteries
  • Low level radioactive waste
  • Household hazardous waste
  • Liquid waste
  • Sewage
  • Asbestos
  • Brick, rubble, soil, fill, etc.
  • Root balls/stumps

Please deposit smoke detectors in your garbage. For more information, please see the proper safety and disposal method for household smoke detectors.

If you have more than 4 bags of garbage (the bi-weekly allowable limit for collection), you can take it directly to the Miller Waste Transfer Station. Ensure these bags do not have bag tags on them, as Miller Waste has outlined disposal fees for their services.

Miller Waste Transfer Station is a privately owned facility, and the tipping fees are set by Miller Waste. Miller Waste operates the City of Owen Sound Recycling Depot, located at the transfer station, on behalf of the City.

For more information about Miller Waste, please see the Miller Group website for the City of Owen Sound, or call (519) 372-1855.


2085 20th Avenue East. The City of Owen Sound's recycling drop-off depot is also located at the transfer station.

Hours of Operation:

  • Monday to Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm
  • Saturdays, 8:00 am to 2:00 pm
  • Closed Sundays and Statutory Holidays


The following list of materials must be separated from your garbage and placed in the appropriate bin or area at the Miller Waste Transfer Station:

  • CFC Appliances (fridge, freezer, air conditioner, dehumidifier, etc.)

  • Scrap metal

  • Appliances that do not contain refrigerant

  • Tires

  • Blue box materials

  • Corrugated cardboard

  • Boxboard, wax and plastic coated boxboard including juice boxes

  • Newspaper, fine paper, etc.

  • Glass (clear and colour glass jars and bottles - no pane glass)

  • Tin and plastics (cans, bottles, clean foil wrap, tubs and lids, etc.)

  • Metal pots and pans with plastic handles removed

  • Tupperware

The River District and the City of Owen Sound have teamed up to create the Community Clean Up Cart, the first initiative under the Locals Love It Here Campaign. This campaign is focused on people showing their love for the City of Owen Sound and the heart of the city, the River District.

Community Clean Up Carts can be borrowed for free from City Hall and assist in cleaning up public outdoor spaces.  Carts include a pull behind wagon, bin, bags, gloves, and more.

For more information about booking one of these carts, check out the Community Clean Up Carts web page.

Recycle Collection

Please note that blue box recycling in Owen Sound is now managed by Circular Materials, a not-for-profit organization that is committed to building efficient and effective recycling systems in Ontario and across Canada.

This transition means no change to the materials you can recycle or your collection calendar.   Please direct all recycling inquiries and Blue Box needs to Miller Waste Systems at (519) 372-1855.

Residents can recycle using either the standard blue box or transparent plastic bags, but it must be properly sorted.

Blue boxes can be purchased through Miller Waste Systems.

To ensure your recycling is collected, please properly sort all bags and containers. A list of all items that can and cannot be accepted can be found by using our Owen Sound Recycling Guide. When recycling in clear plastic bags, please refer to the Clear Bag Sorting Guide

Corrugated cardboard is thick cardboard, often used for packing boxes, etc. Boxes must be flattened and tied in a bundle when placed at the curb for pick up. Unlike boxboard (such as cereal boxes), this will not be accepted in the regular curbside blue box collection.

Corrugated cardboard is picked up separately every Wednesday in the downtown core (before 6:00 a.m.) and approximately one Monday per month throughout the rest of the city (before 8:00 a.m.), with the exception of the Industrial Park. To see your property's cardboard pick-up dates, see the Waste Collection Calendar here.

The Habitat for Humanity ReStore is the certified collection point for the Ontario Electronic Stewardship Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment.  At no cost, you can drop off electronics, including computers and peripherals (keyboards/mice), fax machines, televisions and cell phones.

For a list of accepted e-waste items please visit the Owen Sound ReStore e-waste items page or call (519) 371-6776.

Grey Bruce ReStore location: 223017 Grey Road 17 (Springmount)

Batteries thrown in the trash or recycling bin can spark and possibly cause a fire, and batteries that end up in landfills can be harmful to wildlife and the environment. 

Used batteries can be safely recycled at Public Works during regular business hours, or on Household Hazardous Waste days.

For more information and other battery recycling options, please visit

The Mandatory Recycling By-Law has information for industrial, commercial and institutional facilities.

Household Hazardous Waste

This service is open to residents of:

  • City of Owen Sound
  • Township of Chatsworth
  • Municipality of Meaford
  • Township of Georgian Bluffs
  • Municipality of Grey Highlands

All residents attending the Household Hazardous Waste facility must bring valid ID indicating their home address from the townships listed above.  Attendees must also complete the Hazardous Waste Form here. 

Got items to dispose of outside of Household Hazardous Waste events?

RPRA’s ‘Where to Recycle’ map displays locations across Ontario where you can drop off used materials to be recycled, such as batteries, electronics, household hazardous waste, lighting and tires, for free. Materials collected at these locations are reused, refurbished, recycled, or properly disposed of to help keep them out of landfill, recover valuable resources and protect our environment.  Just add your location, the distance you're willing to travel and type of material you'd like to recycle.

Household Hazardous Waste includes materials that are corrosive, oxidizing, flammable or poisonous. 

Acceptable items include: 

  • Aerosol cans (full or partially full)
  • Antifreeze
  • Batteries 
  • Bleach
  • Brake fluid
  • Cosmetics and beauty products
  • Detergents
  • Disinfectants
  • Fertilizers
  • Gasoline (containers brought to the depot will not be returned)
  • Fluorescent tubes and CFL bulbs (broken ones are not accepted)
  • Glues and adhesives
  • Household cleaners (includes oven, drain, floor, glass and toilet cleaners)
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Mercury containing items
  • Mildew remover
  • Mothballs
  • Motor oil
  • Oil filters
  • Paints (liquid and solid)
  • Paint thinner and varnish remover
  • Pesticides, insecticides and herbicides
  • Pool chemicals
  • Propane tanks
  • Solvents
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Prescription medicines
  • Waxes
  • Windshield washer fluid

Unacceptable items include:

  • Materials containing PCBs (e.g. fluorescent light ballasts)
  • Infectious or medical wastes (old syringes)
  • Radioactive wastes (e.g. smoke detectors)
  • Explosives, ammunition or flares
    • If you have any of the items listed above, please contact your local police branch for further disposal information.  
  • Broken or leaking containers
  • Unidentified wastes
  • Empty containers, recycling and garbage
  • Empty paint cans
  • Material generated by farms, industrial, commercial and institutional sources

All residents visiting the Household Hazardous Waste facility are required to fill out the form below.

Hazardous Waste Report Form

The City is prohibited by law from accepting hazardous waste at any other time.  Household hazardous waste cannot be transported on City buses.  Carpooling with neighbours is encouraged.

City of Owen Sound Public Works Building
1900 20th Street East
Owen Sound, ON N4K 5N6

Open 9:00am to 2:00pm on the following Saturdays:

2024 Dates:

  • Saturday, April 20
  • Saturday, May 11
  • Saturday, June 15
  • Saturday, July 13
  • Saturday, August 17
  • Saturday, September 14
  • Saturday, October 5
  • Saturday, October 19

Waste Reduction

The Goods Exchange Day program is designated to provide an opportunity for City residents to leave items that are no longer useful to them but may still be useful to others.

Place items at the end of your driveway or edge of your lawn on the appropriate dates listed below to indicate these are goods exchange day items.

Some acceptable items include:

  • Furniture
  • Small appliances
  • Doors
  • Sinks
  • Windows
  • Art
  • Books
  • Tools
  • Sporting goods
  • Toys

The City does not assume any liability for items lost or removed during goods exchange days. 

Leftover items must be removed by 6:00 p.m. that evening as there will be no special municipal collection. 

2024 Dates:

  • Saturday, May 18
  • Saturday, July 20
  • Saturday, September 21

The City of Owen Sound does not collect leaf and yard waste at the curb (even if it has a bag tag). It must be brought to the composting facility that is located at 2450 28th Avenue East (the southwest corner of the intersection of 28th Avenue East and 26th Street East, north of 20th Street East).

The Leaf & Yard Waste composting facility is for the City of Owen Sound, Township of Georgian Bluffs and Municipality of Meaford Residential Use ONLY.

All compost information, including hours, accepted materials, and helpful tips, can be found at


Do not take items unless you’re going to use them. Say ‘no’ to bags, receipts, extra napkins and cutlery. Avoid produce and other items wrapped in too much packaging.


Use reusable bags for shopping and gift giving, reusable bottles and mugs instead of disposables when on the go and real dishes and cutlery at events. When shopping, consider thrift stores and garage sales, as well as buying items in bulk using your own containers.


Find new uses for things you would otherwise throw away. A few examples include using cookie tins for storage, turning old clothes into rags, using cans as pencil holders and using old jars as vases or food storage containers.


Attend or organize a swap with friends or neighbours. The Swap It Toolkit, a multi-language and customizable package of resources, includes everything you need to organize a successful swap event in your community, building, or workplace.


Consider borrowing or sharing less frequently used items, such as tools, party supplies, camping gear, sports equipment, board games and toys. Lawn mowers and ladders can be shared with neighbours, while clothing can be rented for special events.


Extend the life of items like clothing, appliances and electronics by repairing them and keep an eye out for repair events in the community.

Shop Consciously

Plan ahead, buy only what you need, and consider the impact of packaging when making purchases.


Give clothing, books, toys and more a new life by donating them.

Try one of these sustainable swaps to help reduce your everyday waste.

Disposable Item Sustainable Solution
Coffee cup Reusable travel coffee mug
Disposable cutlery Saying 'no' if you don't need them or pack regular cutlery
Paper napkin Cloth napkin
Plastic or aluminum food wrap Beeswax-covered cloth wrap or reusable container
Coffee pod Brewed coffee or pour-over or reusable coffee pod
Plastic produce bag Mesh or other reusable produce bag
Dryer sheet Dryer ball
Paper towel Tea towel or cloth rag
Single-use water bottle or carton Reusable water bottle
Disposable bag Tote or reusable bag
Parchment paper Silicone baking mat
Disposable sandwich bag Reusable silicone or fabric sandwich bag
Disposable batteries Rechargeable batteries
 Disposable apple sauce and yogurt squeeze packs Refillable snack pouches
 Baby wipes or diapers Cloth wipes or diapers

Textiles, like clothing or furniture, that are put into the garbage end up in landfills, where they take up valuable space and release greenhouse gases contributing to climate change. Manufacturing clothing also has a significant environmental impact from the raw materials and energy used to the pollution created in the process. Reusing or re-purposing clothing extends its life.

Ways to Shrink Your Clothing Footprint

  • Shop consciously. Buy only what you need and look for clothes that are high quality and will last.
  • Bring unwanted clothing back to retailers who have take-back programs.
  • Buy second-hand. Thrift stores, online marketplaces, and garage sales are great places to find clothing that is new to you.
  • Borrow, share or swap clothing instead of buying new, or renting special occasion clothing for a special event.
  • Repair clothing to extend its life.
  • Give clothes a new life through donations. Find non-profit organizations where you can donate unwanted clothing and other items.

Long-Term Waste Management Plan & Strategy

Owen Sound City Council adopted the Long-Term Waste Management Plan on October 22, 2007, following a public process in order to maximize waste diversion.

In 2022, the City of Owen Sound developed a Waste Management Strategy to provide strategic direction for managing the City’s waste. Through this Strategy, the City examined how new approaches in waste management and consumer trends will shape the future of waste management in Owen Sound and how to improve our current waste management system for a more sustainable future. City Council approved the final version of the Waste Management Strategy on May 8, 2023. 

Contact Us

808 2nd Avenue East,
Owen Sound, ON
N4K 2H4
Phone: 519-376-1440
Email us

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