Waste Collection

The following is a brief and legal summary of the City of Markham's Garbage Collection By-law taken from the City's By-law Guide for Markham Homeowners.

It explains, in plain language and with information links, what residents must know about specific City services and operations, which may affect a Markham homeowners' property.

Waste Collection and Mission Green By-law Summary

In Brief

Protecting our earth and its limited, valuable resources is what Markham’s Mission Green effort is all about. Markham is doing a great job of reducing the amount of garbage it sends to landfill, and that’s good for our earth, because there are limits to the amount of waste and pollution the earth can absorb.

Markham households are encouraged to reduce, reuse and recycle. Reducing the amount of garbage Markham produces begins with the choices each of us makes:

  • How many disposable items, from diapers to razors, does your household use, and how many can you choose to do without?
  • What can you recycle, and how?
  • Where can you reuse items you no longer want?

What You Must Know

Divide your garbage into three categories: organic materials (green bin); dry, mixed recyclable material (blue box); and garbage. Place it all close to the curb or at the foot of your driveway, by 7:00 AM on the day it is to be collected.

See collection schedules for waste information or call 905-477-5530 to find out when your collection day is.

There are clear restrictions as to what you can throw out. Hazardous waste, such as paint and other chemicals, non-rechargeable batteries, etc. cannot be placed at the curb. Call 905-477-5530 to find out where you can dispose of these.

Grass clippings are not collected, and yard waste such as twigs, leaves and branches up to 15 centimetres (6”) in diameter must be separated and put at the curb in Kraft paper bags or reusable containers on special days.


Garbage collection occurs every other week and is limited to a combination of three of the following: garbage bags, garbage cans, or groups of four grocery bags. Loose garbage in boxes will not be collected.

You must tie garbage tags on anything over this amount. Twelve garbage tags are distributed to your home every spring in your Mission Green Newsletter. You may purchase more garbage tags at the Markham Civic Centre (Monday to Friday 8 AM to 5 PM) and at Markham's Community Recycling Depots. Residents of apartments and condominiums may receive more information by calling 905-477-5530.

Markham offers No Tag Days twice a year (Spring and Fall), when there is no limit to the amount of garbage bags you can put at the curb. Tags are not required on these days, but appliances and scrap metal items are not collected. The City schedules other special collection days for Christmas trees or large appliances and scrap metal items and advertises them in the local newspaper and on this website.


Recycling is now required for households in Markham, and is collected weekly. Recyclable materials go in the blue box and include: books and printed papers of all kinds, flattened, unwaxed cardboard boxes, aluminum foil and cans, including empty paint and aerosol cans, aluminum and plastic food packaging and bakery trays, and all glass and plastic pails, bottles, containers and jars. Styrofoam products may be taken to the City’s recycling depot for disposal. Rinse out all cans, packages and jars before putting them out for collection. Various programs are now in place for apartment and condominium dwellers. For more information call 905-477-5530.


Organic materials go into the green bin and include food scraps, houseplants, wet paper products including food packaging, pizza boxes, egg cartons, used paper towels and tissues, diapers and sanitary products, and pet waste, including litter or bedding materials used for caged animals. Everything in this container must be put into bags--plastic, Kraft paper or biodegradable bags and tied without using twist ties.

Step By Step Waste Collection and Mission Green

Visit Waste Management for a list of items that belong in the blue box and the green bin. Waste collection schedules are available for pick-up at Markham's Community Recycling Depots, the Markham Civic Centre and Thornhill, Angus Glen, Centennial and Milliken Mills Community Centres.

Bulky items such as large furniture (sofas, chairs, mattresses) can be set out on regular garbage collection days. Some items require preparation before setting them out:

  • Carpets should be rolled up and tied with rope or string. Please ensure the rolled carpet is safe to handle, with no protruding nails or staples. Keep weight down by reducing the length of each roll of carpet. Carpet rolls can be no longer than 1.2 metres (4’) in length and weigh no more than 18 kilograms (40 lbs).
  • Wood must be bundled into similar lengths and tied securely with rope or tape. Each bundle must be under 1.2 metres (4’) and not heavier than 18 kilograms (40 lbs). Please ensure the bundles of wood are safe to handle; please remove all the nails or hammer them in.
  • Broken glass should be placed in a cardboard box, sealed and labelled "broken glass." Glass sheeting (from a window pane) must be taped with masking tape and completely covered with cardboard to cover any exposed or sharp edges to ensure it is safe to handle.

Reusable Household Items

Habitat for Humanity accept donations at their ReStore locations. For more information please call 416-755-7353 extension 5305.

When in doubt, check it out! Help is always available.

For more information call the By-law Enforcement and Licensing Department at 905-477-5530 or email customerservice@markham.ca.

Related information: