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Diversion Programs

This page contains information of the City of Barrie's multi-residential organics program and recycling program.

Multi-Residential dwellings are residences with 6 or more units and include apartments, condominiums, and townhouse complexes. There are approximately 11,950 multi-residential units, or 292 multi-residential buildings in Barrie.

Organics Program

In January 2017, the City of Barrie began the implementation of a multi-residential organics collection program in apartments, condominiums, and townhouse complexes throughout Barrie. The organics program was phased in to eligible multi-residential properties between 2017 and 2019.

Each multi-residential property is supplied with large collection carts as well as small, in-unit kitchen bins to collect organic material and transport it to the building's recycling and organics collection area. Once the bins are full they can be emptied into your building's large organics carts.

To find out if your building or complex is eligible for an organics collection program, please contact your property management company or email

Advantages of an Organics Program 

  • Helps extend the life of Barrie’s landfill
  • Creates nutrient rich compost
  • Reduces greenhouse gas emissions
  • Recycling organics creates less garbage

Multi-Residential Organics Program Guidelines

Participation in the multi-residential organics collection program is mandatory for all residents in order for your building to receive municipal garbage collection services (Council Motion 15-G-223). The multi-residential organics program helps extend the life of the landfill and is designed to help residents manage their waste differently while helping to divert everyday household organic waste from the landfill.

Acceptable items for Organics Collection Program

Refer to the Where does it go? lookup tool to check for specific items.

Acceptable items in the organics program (green bin):

  • All food scraps and leftovers
  • Meat, bones, rice and dairy products
  • Vegetables and fruits
  • Pastas and breads
  • Cooking oils and grease
  • Coffee grounds and filters, tea bags
  • Microwave popcorn bags
  • Dryer lint, dust
  • Hair, pet hair
  • House plants
  • Soiled newspaper, paper towels
  • Paper plates, napkins, tissues
  • Paper egg cartons
  • Fast food drink trays
  • Paper cups
  • Popsicle sticks, toothpicks
  • Wood wine corks
  • Wood ashes (cold)
  • Dried flowers
  • Pumpkins
  • Eggs and eggshells
  • Muffin paper cups
Unacceptable items for the Organics Collection Program
  • Plastic bags (grocery bags) or biodegradable bags
  • Diapers and hygiene products
  • Kitty litter and pet waste
  • Medical waste (bandages, gauze)
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Recyclables
  • Construction and demolition waste
  • Vacuum bag and contents
  • Ceramics
  • Drinking straws
  • Styrofoam
  • Treated wood
  • Hazardous waste
  • Textiles
Liners for organics bins

Non-compostable plastic bags are NOT accepted in Barrie’s organics program. Plastic bags labelled only as “bio-degradable”, “degradable” or “oxo” degradable are also NOT accepted in the organics program. These bags are not acceptable at the composting facility that accepts Barrie’s organics material because they contaminate the finished compost.

Options for lining your kitchen organics bin:

  • Certified compostable bin liners/bags with one of the certified compostable logos*
  • Paper bags
  • Newspaper
  • Popcorn and pet food bags without plastic liners
  • Boxboard such as cereal and cracker boxes

Tip: Disposable coffee cups make great containers for food scraps/peels. When preparing meals, just drop the filled cup into your organics bin!

Related document: Organics Liners 

* Both the individual bags and the package will be marked with the logos. The list below includes of some of the brands carried at Barrie retailers:

Multi-Residential Organics Program: Frequently Asked Questions

Why doesn't my building have an organics program?

The organics collection program will be extended to eligible properties beginning in 2017. For more information on when your building will be starting this important diversion program, please contact your property manager or site superintendent.

Recycling Program

Please note: On October 19, 2020, the Ontario Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks introduced a draft regulation under the Resource Recovery and Circular Economy Act, 2016 that will make producers responsible for blue box programs’ operation, including collection, as part of the Province’s full producer responsibility framework. Subject to the filing of the new regulation and amendments, the City of Barrie cannot confirm that it will be the recycling service provider for multi-residential properties upon the completion of the City of Barrie’s Blue Box program transition, anticipated to occur in 2024.

All multi-residential properties in Barrie are provided with a recycling program. Most multi-residential buildings use 95-gallon blue and grey carts to collect their recyclables. All carts are provided to each building free of charge and are collected weekly. The City recommends a minimum of one 95-gallon cart for every 7 multi-residential units, however there is no limit on the amount of recycling carts that can be placed out for collection.

Each multi-residential property is supplied with small, in-unit recycling bins to help store recyclable material and transport it to the building's recycling collection area. Once the bins are full they can be emptied into your building's large recycling carts. Please ensure your material is sorted into the appropriate blue (containers) and grey (papers) carts. These bins are available at no charge. If you do not have one, please contact your property manager or site superintendent.

Multi-residential Recycling Program Guidelines

Acceptable items for blue containers cart
  • Empty aerosol cans
    Remove the lid and dispensing nozzle (if possible) from the empty can before placing in your blue containers cart. Aerosol cans that are not empty must be taken to the Household Hazardous Waste Depot.
  • Empty, dry paint cans
    Remove the lid to allow the remaining paint to dry and place both the can and lid in your blue containers cart. Can sizes are limited to 4 litres and under. Paint cans that are not empty must be taken to the Household Hazardous Waste Depot.
  • Plastic retail and grocery bags.
    Bags must be clean and empty. Remove any receipts or materials from the bags, put all bags inside of one bag and then tie shut before placing in your blue containers cart.Do the stretch test: if the plastic stretches when you pull on it, it's acceptable in the blue cart. Plastic (clingy/film) wrap is not acceptable. 
  • Aluminum trays, pie plates and clean aluminum foil
  • Tetra Pak boxes Juice and milk cartons
  • Plastic food and beverage containers, bottles, jugs, tubs, styrene trays and lids
  • Glass food and beverage bottles and jars
    No need to remove labels
  • Food and beverage cans
    Push lids down inside, no need to remove labels
  • Spiral cardboard cans
    The plastic strip around frozen juice cans is not acceptable but please include the metal portions
  • Bulk packing styrofoam providing it fits into the blue containers cart. No styrofoam peanuts
Acceptable items for grey papers cart
  • Telephone books and magazines
  • All household paper including newspapers, photocopy paper, hardcover books (without the cover) envelopes, gift wrap, cards and paper bags (without foil or plastic coating)
  • Boxboard and egg cartons
    Remove all plastic wrap and food liner bags, flatten box
  • Cardboard
    Flattened and bundled no larger than 75cmx75cmx20cm. Place in the grey containers cart
Unacceptable items for both carts


  • medical waste
  • motor oil or pesticide containers
  • ceramics, textiles
  • plastic wrap or plastic toys
  • plastic plant trays & pots
  • paper or waxed cups
  • drinking glasses
  • broken glass
  • dishes
  • light bulbs
  • window panes, mirrors, etc.
  • kitty litter or pet waste
  • wooden orange crates
  • appliances
  • food waste


Multi-Residential Recycling Program: Frequently Asked Questions

How can multi-residential buildings recycle materials such as batteries and other hazardous wastes?

The City of Barrie Hazardous Waste Depot is located at the Environmental Centre at 272 Ferndale Drive North. The depot is open every Saturday from 9:00am to 4:00pm.

Many retailers will accept hazardous materials at their stores. Visit for a list of local retailers and details of their take back programs.

Residents who are interested in starting a free battery recycling program for their building are encouraged to contact City staff at 705-739-4219 or email to get set up.

How can I dispose of a bulky item?

Bulky items such as furniture, appliances, and construction and renovation wastes are NOT acceptable materials for recycling or garbage containers and should not be stored in your building's garbage and recycling rooms. Contact local charities or a local private hauler that will collect these materials.

What should I do with empty beverage alcohol containers?

Putting empty wine, beer, and spirit bottles into your building's containers carts can increase the cost of a recycling program. Return your eligible beverage alcohol containers for a full deposit refund. Visit to find a list of local return locations.

What are acceptable recycling materials?

Please refer to the list above, or refer to the Where does it go? Look-up Tool to look up specific items.

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