Downtown waste collection

The City currently provides collection of garbage, recycling, and organics to properties and public space containers located within the downtown collection area show below. Service is delivered each morning six days per week, Monday through Saturday. The City’s Waste Management By-law (2019)-20392 outlines the requirements the properties must follow to participate in the City’s downtown collection service.

For businesses outside the downtown, please visit the Waste collection for businesses page.

Complying with the Waste Management By-law

The City’s Waste Management By-law (2019)-20392 sets out the requirements of properties receiving City waste collection to provide adequate containers for users and to ensure source separation of waste into organics, recycling, and garbage.

For the purposes of the By-law and this webpage, a Property Owner is the registered owner of property, including leased premises, and the owner’s agent, property manager, property developer or redeveloper, or any other Person having charge or control of the property.

Ordering carts for downtown properties

To prioritize public space containers for downtown patrons and maintain a cleaner streetscape, the City has requested that properties obtain a set of carts for their own use. A range of sizes suited to small to large storage areas, is available as shown below. To request carts, or to discuss alternatives if you do not have space to store a set of carts, please contact Solid Waste Resources at 519-767-0598 or [email protected].

Small waste cart: Depth - 55cm/22in, width - 41cm/16in, height - 87cm/34in


Holds 80 litres/21 gallons (equivalent to approximately one standard bag)

  • Height: 87 cm (34 in)
  • Width: 41 cm (16 in)
  • Depth: 55 cm (22 in)

Medium cart: depth - 54cm/21in, width - 49 cm/19in, height - 96cm/38in


Holds 120 litres/32 gallons (equivalent to approximately two standard bags)

  • Height: 96 cm (38 in)
  • Width: 49 cm (19 in)
  • Depth: 54 cm (21 in)

Large cart: depth - 70cm/28in, width - 62cm/25in, height - 110cm/43in


Holds 240 litres/64 gallons (equivalent to approximately four standard bags)

  • Height: 110 cm (43 in)
  • Width: 62 cm (25 in)
  • Depth: 70 cm (28 in)

Extra large cart: depth - 87cm/34in, width - 64cm/25in, height - 113cm/45in

Extra large

Holds 360 litres/95 gallons (equivalent to approximately six standard bags)

  • Height: 113 cm (45 in)
  • Width: 64 cm (25 in)
  • Depth: 87 cm (34 in)

How to set out waste for collection

Please follow these steps to collect and set out your waste correctly:

  • Collect organics, recycling, garbage, and large cardboard separately. For information on how to sort, use the Waste Wizard or download the Guelph Waste app.
  • Break down cardboard boxes and place them inside your blue cart only if they fit inside and allow the lid to close. Alternately, you may bundle them together and place them beside your blue cart. If you must use a blue public space container, ensure that the cardboard fits inside while leaving room for other users to use the container.
  • Set out your carts at the curb before 5 a.m. Monday to Saturday and retrieve them once they have been serviced no later than 10:30 a.m. Carts should be placed at least one metre apart, with the lid opening toward the street, and away from overhanging branches or structures.
  • If you must use a public space container, obtain permission from the property owner first. If the public space container is in front of a neighbouring property, ask the owner of your property to coordinate with the owner of the neighbouring property. This is to ensure that everyone understands and agrees with the placement and number of containers. If more capacity is needed than the public space container can accommodate, contact the City to request a set of carts.
  • Do not overfill or move public space containers.
  • Do not place any waste other than bundled cardboard on the ground.
  • During the seasonal patio program, location of your cart for collection may need to change. Please contact [email protected] or [email protected] if you require assistance.

Report an issue with waste collection in the downtown

If you notice an issue with waste collection in the downtown area, the best way to let us know is through the City’s report an Issue service and selecting the “Garbage bin issue downtown” option.

We need your help to shape the future of downtown waste collection

The City is seeking the downtown community’s input toward how the Solid Waste Management Master Plan’s Downtown Service Review should be implemented. The Master Plan recommended that public space containers be prioritized for use by pedestrians and a separate system be implemented to store and collect waste from downtown residential and industrial, commercial, and institutional properties.

Join the Downtown Waste Working Group

The City invites downtown residents, businesses, and services who use City waste services (carts or public space containers) to participate in the Downtown Waste Working Group. This will be a forum for in-depth discussion of downtown solid waste collection opportunities and issues, working toward building a shared understanding of users’ diverse needs. The group expects to meet monthly in April, May, June, and September. To read the full Terms of Reference and apply to the group, visit the project website ( or contact the project manager listed below.

Other ways to participate

Visit the project website at to:

  • Read more about the project and access documentation
  • Join the project mailing list to receive regular updates
  • Book an on-site meeting or phone conversation to let us know your thoughts
  • Participate in future public engagement opportunities

You may also contact the project manager:

Robertson Reid (he/him), Project Manager
Solid Waste Resources, Environmental Services
519-822-1260 extension 2104
[email protected]

General public engagement is scheduled to take place through July and August 2023. Engagement opportunities will be published on

Downtown Collection Area map

The City’s Waste Management By-law (2019)-20392 defines the Downtown Collection Area as within the bold line in the map below.