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November 3, 2006
Toronto’s blue box now accepts cardboard cans
The City of Toronto’s Blue Box Program has expanded to include cardboard cans from products such as frozen juice, refrigerated dough, powdered drink mix, baby formula, chips and powdered cleanser.

Cardboard cans have metal ends and a spiral groove. The empty cardboard can, metal ends and plastic lid are recyclable and can now be added to the blue box. The only pieces that go in the garbage are the pull-off plastic strip and the peel-off aluminum seal used to secure the can.

“We expect that adding cardboard cans to the Blue Box Program will divert 250 to 500 tonnes of waste annually,” said Richard Butts, General Manager, Solid Waste Management Services. “That means we’ll keep roughly one truck per month from going to landfill. It’s another step towards our goal of achieving 60 per cent diversion by 2008.”

Cardboard cans will be recycled with other steel containers into new products, including reinforcing bars for concrete and automotive parts.

The Blue Box Program last expanded in 2005 with the addition of plastic food jars, tubs and lids. In 2005, the City of Toronto also announced that residents could mix their recyclables (containers and paper products) together in one recycling box, making it easier and more convenient to recycle.

• the Blue Box Program was first launched in the fall of 1988 and spring of 1989 throughout the former Metro Toronto
• the first materials accepted in the program were glass bottles, jars, metal cans and newspapers
• throughout the years, other paper products were added such as magazines, telephone books, catalogues and pizza boxes
• in 2001, the City of Toronto expanded the program to include milk and juice cartons, empty aerosol cans and empty paint cans
• in 2005, the City added plastic food jars, tubs and lids
• in 2005, the City of Toronto also announced that residents could mix their recyclables (containers and paper products) together in one recycling box for more efficient collection and processing
• in 2005, Toronto recycled 158,116 residential tonnes of recyclables resulting in 4,650 fewer trucks to going to landfill
• expansion of the Blue Box Program to include cardboard cans will divert an additional 250 to 500 tonnes a year, or the equivalent of one less trailer truck load of garbage going to landfill each month.

What to add to the blue box
Toronto residents can now put cardboard cans in their blue boxes. Cardboard cans are round and have a spiral groove that can be seen on most cans. Sometimes the product label will hide the spiral, but when the cardboard can is empty you should see the spiral on the inside. Cardboard cans are used for a variety of products, including:
• refrigerated dough
• frozen juices
• chips, nuts and other snacks
• powdered drink mixes and baby formula
• shortening
• powdered cleansers.

How to recycle a cardboard can:
1. Rinse or wipe out the food/residue
2. Throw away the plastic pull-off strip and/or aluminum peel-off seal, if there is one
3. Place the empty cardboard can, metal ends and plastic lid (if any) in the blue box (put the
loose metal end or “top” inside the cardboard can and pinch closed).

More details about the Blue Box Program are available at

Media contacts:
Katie Herbert, Senior Communications Co-ordinator, 416-397-5001
Richard Butts, General Manager, Solid Waste Management Services, 416-392-8831



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