Wondering how to recycle or dispose of your items?
Have a look in the Waste Wizard below or download our Abbotsford Curbside Collection App from App Store or Google Play. If you can't find information on the item you are looking for, click on the "Suggest as a New Item" button. We regularly update the Waste Wizard tool with top suggestions we receive.
Recycling in Abbotsford
Please see below for common materials that are accepted with curbside recycling.
Placing unacceptable material in the blue bags can negatively impact the recycling process leading to less material actually being recycled. A few spoonfuls of peanut butter left in a container can contaminate a tonne of paper and make it unmarketable. Same for that glob of yogurt left in the bottom of the container.
Other contaminants can cause damage to machines, diminish the quality and financial value of recycled materials and lead to unsafe conditions for workers. Contamination is the reason manufacturers reject tonnes of recyclables, leaving some material destined for the landfill.
Please see below for material that should NOT be placed with curbside recycling.
- Recycling is collected weekly. There is no limit to the number of blue recycling bags you can put out every week.
- Recycling must be contained in transparent blue recycling bags available at many retail stores.
- Place all recycling bags at the curbside by 7:00 am on your scheduled collection day.
- Flatten cardboard boxes and place in blue recycling bags or tie in bundles using natural string or twine. Bundles must not exceed 60 cm by 60 cm in size.
- Ensure recyclables are empty, clean and dry. Items don’t need to be spotless, a quick rinse is all you need! This will help reduce pests, odours and mess, and results in more material being recycled.
- Keep items soiled with food, grease and liquids out of curbside recycling. Paper items that are soiled can be placed with curbside compostables.
- Remove caps, lids and pumps from containers and place loose in curbside recycling.
- Leave labels on. There is no need to remove these anymore as new technology allows for label removal to take place at the processing facility.
- If you have plastics that are the same container type, shape and resin code (the number in the triangle symbol), feel free to stack them before placing with curbside recycling.
- Stretchy and crinkly plastics are not accepted with curbside recycling and need to be dropped off at a depot.
Materials not accepted in curbside recycling may be accepted for drop off at a recycling depot or other location in the City as part of various Product Stewardship programs. The City’s Residential Recycling Drop-Off Handbook provides information on how recycling is set up in our community and province. A list of local recycling depots is available on the City’s website and additional drop off locations can be found by searching your material in the Waste Wizard.
Please see below for common materials that are accepted with curbside compostables.
What goes into the compostables container directly affects the quality of compost produced. Keeping contaminants out of compostables ensures the final compost will be a high quality product that can actually be used. Please see below for material that should NOT be placed with curbside compostables.
- Compostables are collected weekly. Up to 10 items (combination of containers, bags or bundles) will be collected each week.
- Place all containers and bags at the curbside by 7:00 am on your scheduled collection day.
- Maximum accepted weight of 23 kg (50 lbs) for full containers and 12 kg (25 lbs) for paper yard waste bags.
- Curbside compostables containers need to have a green “Compostable Waste” sticker adhered to it. Stickers can be picked up free of charge at City Hall (32315 South Fraser Way), Abbotsford Recreation Centre (2499 McMillan Rd), Matsqui Recreation Centre (3106 Clearbrook Rd) and the Operations Works Yard (31739 King Rd).
- Only paper bags of good integrity will be collected. Plastic, compostable plastic or biodegradable plastic bags will not be accepted.
- Branches can be tied in bundles, placed in curbside compostables containers or paper yard waste bags.
- Branch bundles can be up to 1 m (3.3 ft) in length and up to 60 cm (2 ft) in diameter. Bundles must be tied with natural string or twine.
- Individual branches and stumps can be up to 15 cm (6 inches) in diameter. Larger diameter branches and stumps are not accepted in the curbside program and should be dropped off for composting.
- All material placed curbside should be cut to container or paper bag size. Overflowing material will not be collected.
- The simplest and most effective way to prevent odours is to reduce the amount of food waste generated. Refer to our flyer for a number of other options available for managing food waste both in your kitchen container and at the curb.
Additional yard waste may be dropped off at the Net Zero Waste Abbotsford composting facility located at 5050 Gladwin Road:
- Residents that receive the City’s curbside collection service can use one of the yard waste coupons that are mailed out with the annual collection calendar.
- Additional charges may apply for larger diameter stumps and branches.
- A gate charge will apply for those without a coupon or for those dropping off food waste.
Larger stumps and branches are best handled by a tree service contractor or residents can bring these items to Net Zero Waste Abbotsford for a charge. Information on hours and rates are available on the Net Zero Waste Abbotsford website or call 604-557-7065.
You can cut down on the amount of garbage generated by recycling and composting as much as possible. Find out whether an item is recyclable, compostable or garbage by searching for your item in the Waste Wizard. Please see below for common materials that are accepted with curbside garbage.
Additional bags of garbage will be collected curbside if there is an extra garbage sticker adhered to each bag. Buy stickers ahead of time so you are prepared in case they are needed. Stickers can be purchased for $2 at one of the following locations:
- City Hall located at 32315 South Fraser Way
- Abbotsford Recreation Centre located at 2499 McMillan Road
- Matsqui Recreation Centre located at 3106 Clearbrook Road
If you are planning on putting out more than 10 bags or containers of garbage, please call 604-853-5485 so we can inform collection staff ahead of time. Large amounts of extra garbage can also be dropped off at a local transfer station where additional disposal fees will apply.
Seasonal Curbside Tips
Residents can put their pumpkins directly into their compostables container for curbside collection. Please ensure you remove candles and non-compostable decorations. Painted pumpkins are not accepted.
Pumpkins can also be taken directly to the Net Zero Waste Abbotsford composting facility for free. The composting facility is located at 5050 Gladwin Rd. Contact Net Zero Waste Abbotsford at 604-604-557-7065 for more information.
Winter temperatures can freeze garbage and compostables inside your curbside container and make it difficult to collect. To avoid injury and damaging containers, collection workers are only able to provide limited shaking and hitting of containers against the truck to dislodge frozen materials.
To prevent materials from freezing to the sides of your container, please line it with crumpled newspaper, paper, dry grass, branches or cedar needles. Please also ensure your garbage and compostables containers have a secure lid when placing them outdoors to prevent rain from entering and freezing.
During the holidays, the amount of waste generated increases by approximately 25%! Here are some tips on how you can reduce your waste and lessen your impact on the holiday season.
REDUCE: Save money and avoid overconsumption
- Plan ahead. Use a grocery list to avoid buying food you don’t need.
- Buy local. Locally made items don’t need to be shipped long distances and often have less packaging.
- Buy in bulk. Purchase grocery items from bulk bins and fill reusable containers and bags to cut down on packaging.
- Create memories, not waste. Consider giving gifts of culture, wellness, time and experience that don’t generate waste. Movie tickets, club memberships and gift certificates for dinners or spa treatments are all great options.
REUSE: Replace single use items with reusable versions
- BYOB. Bring your own bag when doing your holiday shopping.
- Wrap wise. Reuse ribbons, bows and gift bags, and use “upcycled” newspapers, paper bags or magazines for wrapping paper.
- Borrow from nature. Decorations can be found in your backyard. Pinecones, branches, leaves, and twigs can all be used as festive decor.
- Entertain in green. Skip disposable dishes, cutlery and napkins in place for reusable versions.
RECYCLE: Give items a second life so they become new things
- Compost. Compost unusable food scraps. Natural Christmas trees can also be cut to size and placed in your curbside compostables container.
- Drop off old Christmas lights. Broken or working string lights and extension cords can be dropped off for free at a recycling depot. Please keep these out of curbside recycling.
- Recycle right. Unsure of where an item goes? Use the City’s Waste Wizard to learn how to properly recycle and dispose of hundreds of items.
Here is some recycling and disposal information on common holiday wrapping materials that people often wonder about:
- Wrapping paper
Most paper wrapping paper can be included with your curbside recycling. Foil-lined or holographic wrapping paper is not accepted for recycling and should be disposed of with garbage.
- Tissue paper
Tissue paper used to wrap presents or fill gift bags can be included with curbside recycling.
- Ribbons and bows
Ribbons and bows should be disposed of with garbage.
- Gift bags
Paper gift bags can be included with curbside recycling. Be sure to remove handles, metal grommets and decorations such as bows or ribbons. Similar to wrapping paper, gift bags with foil lining or non-paper decoration are not recyclable as they are not compatible with the recycling process.
- Greeting cards
Greeting cards can be included with curbside recycling. If your card plays music or a recorded greeting, be sure to remove the electronic circuitry and battery first before placing with recycling. The electronic circuitry and battery can be dropped off at a depot that accepts electronics or batteries. Find depot locations by searching ‘batteries’ in the Waste Wizard.
- Gift baskets
Neither cellophane wrap used with gift baskets, nor the basket itself are able to be recycled. Dispose of cellophane wrap with garbage. Reuse or donate the basket. Shredded paper basket filler is okay to include with curbside recycling.
Cardboard boxes used for shipping gifts should be broken down so that they lay flat, and bundled with other boxes before being brought to the curb. Tissue or kraft paper packaging can be included with curbside recycling. Bubble wrap and plastic shipping envelopes can be dropped off for free at a Recycle BC Depot. Foam packaging peanuts are not currently recyclable and should be disposed of with garbage.
- Wrapping paper
Christmas trees can be cut into smaller pieces and placed in your curbside compostables container or into tied bundles for curbside collection. Bundle length must be shorter than 1 m (3.3 ft) and bundle diameter must be less than 60 cm (2 ft).
Christmas trees can also be taken directly to the Net Zero Waste Abbotsford composting facility where they will be accepted in exchange for a minimum $5 donation. This year, all proceeds from the Christmas tree collection will go to the Canadian Cancer Society. The composting facility is located at 5050 Gladwin Road. Contact Net Zero Waste Abbotsford at 604-557-7065 for more information.
Decorated or flocked trees will not be collected curbside or accepted at the composting facility. These items should be taken to a transfer station for disposal.