Curbside recycling 101

Airdrie Recycling

You should soon be receiving your blue cart, but do you know what to do with it? Most people know the basics of recycling but these tricks from the City of Airdrie will help you figure out if something is recyclable or not.

It is tricky to know if plastic film is recyclable. To know for sure, do the stretch test. If the plastic film stretches, it can be recycled (like plastic wrap and zip-close plastic bags). If it’s tough to stretch or crinkly like a chip bag, it’s not recyclable.

Paper and wax-lined cups are tricky because the City is making changes to the way it disposes of cups. Wax-lined cups should no longer go in the green cart with your organics as it’s been found the wax does not break down during the recycling process and compromises the final product. Waxed cups should now be placed in the garbage. Unwaxed paper cups can be recycled in your blue cart.

To know if a cup is waxed or unwaxed, do the scratch test. Scratch your fingernail along the inside – if it is waxed, you will see a layer of wax under your fingernail.

Test your blue-cart smarts with this quiz:

Which of the following items can go in the blue-cart recycling program?

  • Clean zip-close baggies and plastic wrap;
  • Pie plates;
  • Metal jar lids;
  • Sauce jars;
  • Gift wrap paper;
  • Milk jugs;
  • Empty paper cups;
  • Catalogues.

Answer – all of the above.

With organics and blue-cart recycling, what’s left to go in your garbage? Common items that are considered waste are:

  • Chip bags, granola bar wrappers, other foil-type packaging;
  • Diapers;
  • Pet waste;
  • Broken glass (must be placed in a container marked broken glass);
  • Waxed cups, frozen juice cans, used tissue;
  • Soiled aluminum foil;
  • Food Styrofoam;
  • Beverage container lids and disposable coffee cup lids (although these have a recycling symbol on them, they are too light and small to go through the recycling machinery);
  • A privacy bag.

Blue cart collection will not be the same day as your waste and organics collection. For a schedule of your community’s recycling, organics and waste collection, visit And while you’re there, make sure you sign up through MyAirdrie for free text or email reminders of your waste, recycling and organics collection days.

Have questions about recycling? The City of Airdrie’s Waste and Recycling team is happy to help. Visit, email or call 403-948-0246.

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