Toronto Recycling – How to Recycle Unusual and Hazardous Materials

We, citizens of Toronto are lucky to have many options for safe recycling. However, there are some potentionally dangerous materials whose disposal is less easy and in some cases even requires professional assistance. Find out how to go about recycling less common items in Toronto by reading the rest of the entry - we've done all the research for you. So please, don't forget to add "recycle more" on to your new years resolutions list!

Asbestos is a hazardous insulation material that needs extra care. Be sure to use a facemask and gloves when handling. Put it in secured double plastic bags to prevent fibres from flying. For more information and asbestos removal services contact Blazetech, who are the official contractors in Toronto.

Building material
The first thing to do here is to separate material that might be sorted to other, more common categories - glass, plastic, wood, metal. You also have the option to sell coherent and reusable material (bricks, wood) at a salvage yard. For more information visit

Christmas tree
If you haven't disposed it already, remove all ornaments and place it outside with the regular garbage.

CRT monitors, televisions and other e-waste can be partially reused when recycled. Your best bet is to contact a company that will buy out these materials and simultaneously wipe all personal data from the devices such as hard drives from old computers. Call Toronto Recycling Inc. at 416-663-0333 for more details.

Cell Phones
Cell phones age quite quickly and with people renew them usually every two years thanks to popular subscriptions. Consider donating it to someone in your family (especially kids), or people without a home. They'll be happy to use them! If your old cellphone is out of order or cannot be used, take it with you next time to the Toronto Zoo and drop it off at the front entrance. Look for the the ECO-CELL program logo. If you don't feel like visiting, you can mail them in as well to the following address:

Toronto Zoo - Cell Phone Recycling Program
C/O Curator of Conservation Programs
361A Old Finch Avenue Scarborough, Ontario M1B 5K7

Bateries & Car Batteries
All bateries contain hazardous material, so please pay attention and recycle them properly. Be sure to use rechargable batteries as they're much more friendly towards the environment due to the possibility of lasting several hundred cycles instead of just one. For battery recycling in Toronto, contact The Battery Broker | Battery Drop-Off Directions

Did you know that old cars, buses or other vehicles can be recycled up to 80%? If it isn't repairable anymore, call Carcone at their toll free number 1-800-263-2022 and schedule a pickup. Don't forget that you'll need documents of car ownership. If you know about an abandoned car, alert the local council first.

Motor Oil, Gasoline, Turpentine
If you have more than 10 litres, call Toxic Taxi at 416-392-4330 and schedule a pickup.

Fluorescent Tubes & Compact Lightbulbs
No matter how much energy you save by using them, these lighbulbs contain dangerous materials such as mercury and poisonous heavy metal. Take them to a Toronto Solid Waste Depot, call 416-338-2010 to find out where is the nearest.

Metal & Appliances
Old refridgerators, washing machines, stoves, etc. are picked up by Toronto City's Solid Waste Management program. You have to call the customer service at 416-338-2010 and schedule a pickup.

Consider selling it or taking reusable parts (such as the lock) to an architectural salvage yard. Otherwise, unused furniture may be placed outside one item at the time with the regular garbage collection and it will be picked up as usual.

Medical Supplies & Pills
Old medication and used medical supplies fall under the category of Household Hazardous Waste. They have to be disposed in a securely sealed box and label it. Call the HHW Hotline for more information at 416-392-4330.

Do you have some more suggestions or updated information? Please send us an e-mail and refer to this post.

24 comments on “Toronto Recycling – How to Recycle Unusual and Hazardous Materials

  1. We organize pickup all type of Metal Scrap from Commercial, Industrial, Farms and Residential (No Appliances). We pay for reasonable quantity to justify the cost to pickup.

  2. Hi
    I have about 500 8′ foot fluorescent light bulbs to get rid of. Is there some where that I can send them to be recycled?


  3. We have lots of lost combination locks at our gym. I hate the idea of just dumping them in the trash. Is there any place in Toronto that can reuse them or melt them?

    1. Hi Linda,
      I would log onto the City of Toronto’s website to look up waste and or recycling and see if they have any information on this type of material.

    2. Hi Linda,
      I would log onto the City of Toronto’s website to look up waste and or recycling and see if they have any information on this type of material.
      Have a great day!

  4. Hi Anita,
    The Community Environment Days are coming soon. You can take used and unwanted household items, including batteries, to any of the Community Environment Day events. Please go to link to for locations and dates, or call 311.

  5. Where Ii dipose AA Batteries?? Main intersection Dundas/ Winston Park Dr or Uppermiddle/ Winston Park Dr ( Border od MIssissauga/Oakville……Anita

  6. Our firm is the last firm to recycle washing machine transmissions. We employ 5
    persons down from 21, We need scrap washers to remove & recycle the transmissions.We have tried to access the free washers the city gets & pay them up to $10.00 each($100.00) a ton . They are too lazy to do anything. The site supervisor replied they crush on site & send to a scrap yard. What happens to the Hazardous waste oil ? 160 OZ does is spew all over the ground . Toronto the green… says who?

  7. To answer Nikki Dobrzanski’s question: you can collect the rubber bands that hold your office mail together in a bag and then give them back to Canada Post. Giving them back to a depot-type location will increase the chances that they will get back to the “source” (the sorting facility).

    To answer Cynthia Gabo’s question: you can put bathroom tissue (e.g. toilet paper, “Kleenex” and paper towels) into your Green Bin, if you have one. If you live in a condo then this stuff goes in the garbage for now…Green Bins are coming to condos soon.

    Toronto Solid Waste Management has a great team of people who I find are very helpful with answering these types of questions. You can reach them at 416-338-2010, as Vic mentioned above, but note that the lines are often busy.

  8. Hello,
    I have an old kitchen knife that I’d like to dispose. Do you know if there is any particular place (or bin) that I can put it in?

  9. What about bathroom tissues? The ones that you use to wipe hands or nose? Can they be recycled too? I hate throwing out a whole bag of that stuff.

  10. Our office throws away hundreds of rubber bands each week that come holding our mail together. I don’t know what else to do with them and I’ve tried to find info on line for recycling them but haven’t come up with anything. Do you know of a place I could donate them to or send for recycling. They’re blue and about 1 cm wide x 7 cm long approximately. Thanks!

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