St-Johns-recycling.jpgCanada’s Newfoundland province is the oldest English-founded colony in North America, discovered in 1583, and though its capital and largest city, St. John’s (pop. 106,172), was not incorporated until the 20th century, it has been inhabited for hundreds of years. The people of St. John’s love this land, so taking care of it by recycling whenever possible is commonplace here. Resident participation continues to soar: 71% of residents utilize the local Curb It! curbside recycling program, saving the city more than half-a-million dollars in landfilling fees and recycling more than 11,000 tons of materials. Though carts or bins are absent here — opting instead for uniform blue see-through bags — the program is diverse, collecting many items at the curb and offering plenty of nearby solutions for the rest.

Materials recycled

Containers bag Aluminum pie trays, aluminum baking trays, aluminum cans, steel/tin cans, milk/juice cartons, plastic trays and tubs, plastic food containers, plastic cleaning product containers, plastic toiletries containers, plastic bottles and Tetra Pak containers are accepted. All items must be rinsed and sealed in see-through blue bags. Paper items bag Newspapers, junk mail, flyers, magazines, catalogs, phone books, books (if hardcover, remove cover first), writing paper, computer paper, envelopes, paperboard, egg cartons, paper take-out drink trays and cardboard rolls can be sealed in see-through plastic bags. Corrugated cardboard can be sealed in the bag if it fits, or bundled to 2-foot by 2-foot by 1-foot size.


St. John’s recycles at the curb on a biweekly basis. Recycling bags must be placed at the curb between 6 and 8 a.m. on collection day (limit 10; each must weigh less than 50 pounds). A collection area lookup tool is available online.

Other programs

Though glass containers are not recycled at the curb, they can be collected and taken to any Green Depot in Newfoundland. For locations, click here. Bulky, recyclable metal items (including but not limited to bikes, appliances, pots and pans and lawnmowers) can be picked up free of charge at the curb from April to August. Appointment necessary — call 311 for details. The Residential Drop Off at the Robin Hood Bay Waste Management Facility (340 E. White Hills Rd.) is open to all St. John’s residents. Items that can be dropped off include recyclables, bulky metals and electronics. Open Tuesday through Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. For details, call 311. Household hazardous waste can also be taken to the RDO. Accepted items include motor oil, antifreeze, used cooking oil, oil-based and latex paints, fluorescent light bulbs, batteries, fire extinguishers, aerosol cans, propane tanks and much more. HHW items can be dropped off Wednesdays and Saturdays, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Residential leaf waste can be taken year round to the RDO as well. A leaf-collection pilot program that ran in 2013 is currently being assessed. Christmas trees can be dropped off at the RDO from December 31 to the second week in January. They can also be dropped off at the Quidi Vidi Lake parking lot for the two weeks following the holiday. More information
Visit the Curb It! St. John’s website for more recycling program info.