Downtown collection

Give Waste a New Life

Downtown Guelph residents and businesses participate in an automated three-stream curbside collection program—green for organics, blue for recyclables and grey for landfill.

Sorting our organics, recyclables and garbage carefully and using the green, blue and grey carts or three-stream public space containers are all ways we can reduce the amount of waste we send to landfill, lower the City’s operating costs and decrease Guelph’s carbon footprint.

downtown collection map

Saturday downtown waste collection

On January 1, 2017 Solid Waste Resources began providing Saturday waste collection in the downtown core.

Collection on Saturdays was piloted in 2016 and approved as a permanent service through the 2017 budget process.

Saturday collection will lessen the high volumes of waste experienced on weekends and support a vibrant and clean downtown.

For more information

Solid Waste Resources

Your options

3-Carts-w-latch-shadow-Flat-logosThe City recognizes downtown residents and businesses have unique waste collection needs. To accommodate your needs the city offers downtown residents and businesses the following collection options for your organic waste, recyclables and garbage:

  • A – An individual set of blue, grey and green carts
  • B – A communal set of carts to share with other business and/or residents
  • C – Use of public space containers along the street
  • D – Use of public communal containers at designated locations that are less visible from the street

You are welcome to use any combination of these four options.

Options A and B: Individual and communal carts

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


Dimensions: 41 cm wide, 55 cm  deep, 87 cm  high. Holds 80 litres/21 gallons (equivalent to approximately one standard bag)

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


Dimensions: 49 cm wide, 54 cm  deep, 96 cm high. Holds 120 litres/32 gallons (equivalent to approximately two standard bags)

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


Dimensions: 62 cm  wide, 70 cm  deep, 110 cm  high. Holds 240 litres/64 gallons (equivalent to approximately four standard bags)

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

Extra large

Dimensions: 64 cm  wide, 87 cm  deep, 113 cm  high. Holds 360 litres/95 gallons (equivalent to approximately six standard bags)

Please note:

  1. All dimensions are approximate
  2. Standard bags are 30 x 38 inches (76 cm x 96 cm)
  3. Identify your carts

Options C and D: Public space and communal containers

Public Space ContainersConveniently located public space containers are available to dispose of your sorted recyclables, organics and garbage.

These containers are located along the street as well as, at designated public locations that are less visible from the street.

Map of current locations

Switching collection methods

If you want to switch from public space containers to carts or vice versa, please contact Solid Waste Resources. Cart size exchanges are also available.

For more information

Solid Waste Resources

What you need to know

The downtown core receives collection of organics, recyclables and garbage, Monday through Saturday.

Green (organics)

All Options (A through D):

  • A bag or liner is optional.
  • Acceptable liners include paper bags, newspaper, or certified compostable plastic bags.
  • If purchasing compostable plastic bags, look for one of both certification logos to ensure the break down when composted.
Compostable Logo
Compostable Logo

Blue (recyclables)

Individual/Shared Carts (Options A and B)

  • Do not use a plastic bag.
  • Public Space Containers (Options C and D):
  • Recyclables must be placed loose in these containers to reduce the number of bags sent to landfill
Shredded paper is the one exception, it must be placed in a transparent blue bag inside the blue cart or public space container.
Blue Public Space Container

 Extra large blue waste cart

Grey (garbage)

All Options (A through D)

  • It’s optional to use a clear bag.
  • Opaque bags are not accepted
Grey public space container
Grey cart

For more information

Solid Waste Resources

Cart placement at the curb

Ensure your carts are accessible to the waste collection truck and out of the way of vehicular traffic, pedestrians and bicyclists. Follow these steps:

1. Park

Place your carts, directly adjacent to the curb, no later than 5:00 a.m. on the day of pick-up.

Downtown restaurant carts

2. Point

Point the arrow on the lid of each car to the street.

3. Unlatch

Open the latch on your Green cart.

4. Space

Allow 1 metre or 39 inches (more than one arm’s length clearance)  on all sides of the cart and 5 metres clearance above the cart from obstacles (e.g. tree limbs, fixed posts).

Downtown carts space

5. Store

Remove your carts from the curb by 10:30 a.m. on your collection day and return them to your storage area

Downtown Inside Cart Storage

Note: If you have chosen carts but realize you do not have adequate space, please contact Solid Waste Resources.

For more information

Solid Waste Resources

Collection reminders

Place items loosely in the cart or public space container. Do not cram them in, as overstuffed carts and public space containers may not empty properly when tipped into the collection truck. You may open the lid of the public space container if needed.

Organics downtown
Recycle downtown

Follow these safety tips

Full containers

Ensure the carts and public space containers are not too full and the lids can close. Overstuffed carts and public space containers cause litter to spill out.

For immediate waste collection (if your preferred container is full), please locate the next closest container. If you notice container(s) that are constantly full, please notify Solid Waste Resources. Additional carts and public space containers are available.

Only material inside the carts and public space containers will be collected. Do not leave bags or items beside or on top of carts or public space containers. Cardboard is the one exception; it can be placed beside containers if necessary.

Cardboard collection

You can flatten and place all cardboard inside the blue cart or public space container. Alternatively, place cardboard broken down and securely tied in a separate bundle no more than 1 metre long by 0.6 metre at the curb adjacent to the blue cart or appropriate public space container.

Public Space Container - cardboard


Parked cars

The City typically finishes collecting waste from the downtown core by 7 a.m.—well before the morning parking rush. Please help by avoiding parking in front of the public space containers and the carts before 7 a.m.

Downtown church

Not collected at the curb