Recycling in Ontario

Ontario is transitioning to extended producer responsibility where the businesses that sell packaging and paper products to consumers will be financially and operationally responsible for collecting, processing and recycling those materials.

An enhanced recycling system

Under the Resource Recovery and Circular Economy Act, 2016, Ontario’s Blue Box Regulation shifts responsibility for the Blue Box Program to the organizations that produce products and packaging. Under the old system, communities shared the costs.

Starting July 1, 2023, communities began transitioning their Blue Box programs to this new extended producer responsibility framework. During the transition period, you won’t notice any difference to your pick-up schedule or the materials you can recycle. What’s changing is who is responsible for funding and operating the recycling system.

Once the transition to the new framework is complete in 2026, producers will be fully accountable and financially responsible for recycling the products and packaging that end up in recycling bins.

Find your community

Find recycling information for your community using the search tool below.

Transition timelines

By the end of 2026, all communities across the province will be operating under the new system where the organizations that produce the products and packaging will be responsible for the Blue Box Program and every community will be able to recycle the same list of materials.

The Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Parks developed the transition schedule and the transition date for each community.

July 1 – December 31, 2023

67 eligible communities transition to the new system.

January – December 2024

127 eligible communities transition to the new system.

January – December 2025

182 communities transition to the new system.


Transition to the new system complete.


Check out our FAQs below to find out more about the new Ontario Blue Box program. If you have any further questions, please contact us at


Starting on July 1, 2023, Ontario’s blue box recycling program will transition to a new model where it is 100% funded and operated by producers – those that sell packaging and paper products to residents. Circular Materials is the not-for-profit organization responsible for the system and representing producers to ensure they meet their obligations under the new framework. You likely won’t notice any difference to your daily routine and you’ll still be able to recycle exactly the same materials as before. However, under the new system, producers are now financially responsible and accountable for managing the waste associated with their products and packaging.

Historically, Ontario’s blue box program was operated by municipalities and First Nations communities who were responsible for paying about half of the costs of the program, with producers responsible for the other half. Now, under the Blue Box Regulation, Ontario is transitioning to a new model where producers – the organizations that produce the products and packaging – will be responsible for operating and funding the program.

Circular Materials is a national not-for-profit organization that supports producers to meet their obligations under extended producer responsibility regulations, like Ontario’s Blue Box Regulation. We are working with our producer partners to ensure Ontario’s recycling system is efficient and effective, making sure materials are reused again and again.

Extended producer responsibility makes the businesses that sell products and packaging responsible for them over their full life cycle. This encourages companies to make more careful decisions about the materials they use in their packaging and products, and it holds them responsible for the cost of recycling those products at the end of their life.

This new system, operated by Circular Materials, represents the evolution from product stewardship to a more circular economy where materials are collected, recycled and returned to producers for use as recycled content in new products and packaging. More material looped into the circular economy means less waste, which not only benefits consumers but also our planet.

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