Waste FAQ's

 Are coffee cups recyclable?
No, they are a household garbage. The material they are made out of makes them non-recyclable. This includes with fountain drink cups from fast food places.
Where do I buy recycling bins?
You can purchase recycling bins from our Engineering Office located at 944 James Street, Woodstock.
Why do I have to separate my recyclables?

The City’s recycling trucks do not have one single compartment where all recycling materials are dumped.  They are equipped with three separate compartments, one for fibres-paper products, one for containers-glass, tins, plastics, and one for corrugated cardboard boxes.

By mixing items, each section becomes contaminated and there for yields a lower revenue fee the city receives from our vendors for the disposal of these items.

Can I use clear plastic bags for recycling?
Yes.  Be sure you do not mix fibres and containers in one bag.  These must still be separated in bags.  If items are mixed, your recycling will not be collected.  You will need to separate these items for the next collection week
Where can I drop off my recycling?

The city has a Recycling Depot located within the Enviro Depot.  Residents may bring curbside acceptable recyclables all year long on Wednesdays to Fridays from 10am to 6pm and Saturdays from 7:30am to 3pm.  The Recycling Depot is closed on Sundays and Holidays.  

 I just moved here, what do I do for waste?

Each garbage bag you place out must have bag tags in order to be collected. Bag tags are $2.00 each and can be purchased at the Engineering Office located at 944 James Street or at any other valid locations within Oxford County.  Garbage bags/containers must not weigh more than 20kg/44lbs.

Garbage collection is weekly while recycling collection is bi-weekly and must be separated into fibres and containers.

Information on when your collection day is can be found in the City Services Calendar or the Wasteline App.

Is Styrofoam recyclable?
Styrofoam cannot go into your regular curb side recycling. If you would like to recycle Styrofoam, bring it to the EnviroDepot. This is an independent recycling program, therefore it is only accepted at the EnviroDepot and not in your regular recycling.
Why did my garbage get tagged and not picked up?
 There are a few reasons your garbage may have been tagged and not picked up:
  • Your bag was overweight. If your bag is over 20kg (44lbs) it will not be collected. You must divide your bag up into smaller, lighter bags.
  • Your container or garbage bag was damaged and unacceptable for collection.
  • Your garbage did not have a bag tag on it.
  • You did not use your bag tag properly, either your bag tag was ripped, both ends were not visible, or you did not use enough bag tags. Remember larger size bags require more tags, and still must weigh under 20kg (44lbs).
  • You applied your bag tag directly to the reusable container. Bag tags must be placed on your garbage bag.
  • You put out material that is not accepted in our waste program.
Why did my recycling get tagged and not picked up?

There are a few reasons why your recycling was tagged and not picked up:

You mixed your items

  • Fibres or paper products must all go in one bin, and Containers or plastics/tins/glass all go in another bin. 
  • drink box/milk & juice cartons go into the container's bin.  Some times these are mixed in with the fibres bin.
  • Check out the city website for acceptable items.

You placed your recycling out on the wrong week

  • Recycling is collected every other week.  Collection is divided into two routes - Route A and Route B.  
  • Check out the city services calendar to see when your week is for recycling or call the Engineering Office at 519-539-2382 ext. 3104 or 3102 for assistance.
  • You may also download the Wasteline App to see when your collection days are and sync this to your smartphone.

You placed out items that are not acceptable recyclable materials

  • Some items may have the recycling logo on it, but it may not be an item that the city picks up.  Some manufacturers may put the recycling logo on if only some of the materials used is recyclable but not all.  
  • If you are not sure if an item is recyclable, use or download the Wasteline App from our website to type in the item and see where it should go, or you can call the Engineering Office at 519-539-2382 ext. 3104 or 3102 for assistance.

You are not using a proper recycling container

  • Containers must have proper drainage holes.
  • Containers larger than 24" must have a fixed handle and pocket handle for lifting.
  • Containers larger than 122L must have an integrated lift bar.
  • Containers must be in good condition and not broken or cracked.
  • Containers must not weigh more than 20kg/44lbs.
  • Maximum opening dimensions/diameter is 20".
Why did my cardboard get tagged and not picked up?

Cardboard must not be larger than 75 x 75 x 20 cm (30” x 30” x 8”).

If cardboard is any bigger and it can’t fit in our trucks, therefore it is tagged and left behind.

Please break down your cardboard and bundle any large quantities set out.  Smaller quantities can be placed in your fibres container.

What do I do with broken glass or ceramics?

Please do not put these items loose in your garbage bag! These can cut and injure our operators. Instead, place it in a cardboard box, or puncture proof plastic container and label it “caution broken glass” and set it out for collection and be sure to place a bag tag on the container/box, or place the container box in your garbage bag.

You may also bring these items to the EnviroDepot.

What do I do with empty paint cans?
Empty paint cans can be placed in your regular curbside recycling. Just make sure that the lids are off the cans so our operators know that they are empty. If you have partially full paint cans please bring them to our EnviroDepot.
My garbage/recycling got missed. Now what?

We are human! If we miss your property for garbage collection and you have placed it out before 7:00 a.m. and have followed our collection guidelines, please contact the Engineering and Public Works Department by calling 519-539-2382 ext. 3104 or 3102. 

If your garbage/recycling was set out incorrectly and tagged, you will have to set it out properly the next collection week.

I missed my garbage day and don’t want to wait until next week. Where can I take my garbage?

You can take excess waste to the Oxford County Waste Management Facility located at 384060 Salford Rd, Salford, ON N0J 1W0.

The City of Woodstock EnviroDepot does not accept any household garbage.

My bulk items didn’t get collected during Bulk Item week, why?

There are many reasons why your bulk items may have not gotten picked up.

  • You placed the wrong items at the curb. Only acceptable large items are collected at the curb. See the Large Item Curbside Collection webpage for a list of acceptable materials.
  • You placed too many items out. There is a five (5) item limit.  If you have more than five items you may bring them to our EnviroDepot located at 944 James Street.
  • You placed your items out too late, or on the wrong week. Items must be placed out by 7:00 a.m. on the weekend or Monday of your collection week.  We only go through your neighbourhood once and will not back track to pick up items set out late.
 What do I do with Food Waste?

Unfortunately, the County and City does not have a composting program that is offered to our residents. To help reduce how much food waste goes to landfill, consider buying a green cone digester, or back yard composter from our Engineering Office, located at 944 James St, Woodstock, ON.

What is a Green Cone?

The Green Cone is an in-ground composting system.  You may compost almost all kitchen waste.  It requires no stirring as it produces no compost.  90% of waste is decomposed into nutrient rich water that is absorbed into the soil.  It must be in direct sunlight, so the sunnier the better it decomposed waste.

How does a Green Cone work?

The Green Cone requires a very sunny location and surrounding soil must drain well. Do not place in a shaded or partially shaded area.  Sunlight is required to create an aerobic condition, meaning oxygen is required to break down waste.

The black basket is buried around 24 inches underground.  The soil filters any odours and prevents access by flies.  Micro-organisms and works migrate freely in and out of the basket aiding in the breakdown of waste.

The Green Cone is designed to handle 1 full kitchen caddy every 1-2 days during the summer and 2-3 days during the winter.

How does a Green Cone accelerator powder work?

This powder is a combination of environmentally friendly active micro-organisms, a powerful blend of beneficial enzymes, super catalyzing co-enzymes and co-factors with the ability to fully digest a wide range of compounds. 

Use it the first week of your cone installation to encourage the initial growth of bacteria, especially when it is not in full sun or during the winter months. Add the powder into the cone before adding your food waste.

What can I place in my Green Cone?

Acceptable materials: Fish, meat, poultry, bones, eggshells, bread, pasta, soup, fruit and veggie peelings, dairy products, cooked food scraps, tea bags and coffee grinds

Unacceptable materials: yard waste, grass clippings, glass, straw, bulk oils, household chemicals, plastic, wood, and metal.

Why is my Green Cone not working?

Some factors that lead to your Green Cone not working to its full potential:

  • It is in too much shade or not enough sun.
  • Surrounding soil is does not drain properly or contains heavy clay.
  • Black basket is below the water table or is in an area where water collects.

When the Green Cone turns anaerobic (without oxygen) it will stop working properly.  This can be seen by a wet slimy coating.  You will need to relocate your Cone if this is the case.

  • Periods of very cold weather will slow down or halt the decomposition.  If this is the case, adding the Green Cone accelerator should restore bacterial levels to restart the digestion process.
Will a Green Cone attract critters and flies?
  • If installed correctly, your Green Cone will not attract any animals.  The top of the black basket and the bottom of the green outer cone must be installed below ground level. 
  • Try not to spill food near or on the Green Cone.
  • If you already have a rat problem in your area, can wrap chicken wire around the black basket to prevent animals from gnawing their way through.
  • Flies should not be attracted to your Green Cone if you have installed it properly.  However, eggs of fruit flies in the skins of many fruits can hatch inside the cone.  Or if food waste is not kept covered prior to going into the cone houseflies can lay eggs before the food emptied into the cone.
  • If possible, freezing food before placing it in the cone will reduce the possibility of flies - should they occur at all.
Why do I have to pay for disposing of household waste.  Is this not part of our taxes?

The bag tag program was introduced by the County of Oxford to pay for the collection and land filling of the County’s residential waste.  The $2.00 bag tag helps offset the total cost of garbage collection program.  This program also reduces the individual costs for collection as it rewards residents who reduce as much packaging they throw out, along with reusable, recyclable and compostable materials.

 What is a backyard waste composter?

Composting is the natural breakdown of organic matter to produce a crumbly nutrient-rich soil. The resulting compost can be added to other soil types as fertilizer, forming an excellent growing medium for plants. By managing this natural process in your own garden, you can dispose of waste and produce an agent that will improve the look and yield of your plants or flowers. Please note, the green cone is not a yard waste composter. Scroll down to read more about the green cone food digester.

The black yard waste composter is an efficient, durable and economical tool that provides many benefits to homeowners and gardeners. The animal and pest resistant lid twists for variable ventilation control, and covers a large 51.43 cm (20.25 inch) opening that offers easy, generous access to add material and maintain the pile

You must have the correct ratio of brown materials (dried leaves, newspaper, paper-towels, twigs, chipped wood, dead plant material small amounts of dried grass clippings) to green materials (fresh leaves, fruit/veggies peelings) and a micro-organism material such as manure to help the composting process.

Bacteria starts the process of breaking down organic matter, with earthworms and other small insects aiding this process later in the composting cycle.

Why does my backyard waste composter smell?
  • Composting will produce a minimal odour like an earthly smell. 
  • If it has a bad smell, the compost pile may need air.  Turn the pile with a shovel or pitchfork.
  • If your pile is too wet, add brown materials such as dried leaves to absorb the excess moisture.
Nothing seems to be composting.
  • Compost pile may be too dry – add some moisture and mix thoroughly until it is as moist as a squeezed-out sponge.
  • Compost pile is too wet – if there is poor drainage below the composter, you’ll need to move the composter to another location.  You can also add dry materials such as dried leaves or saw dust or shredded wood.
  • Compost pile is frozen – you can insulate your container or wait for spring for the decomposition to begin again
How long does it take to produce compost?

This process may take anywhere from two months to two years depending on if you are following the process carefully or not. 

To accelerate the process, make sure the materials are chopped up into smaller pieces when adding them to your composter.

Contact Us

© 2017 City of Woodstock P.O. Box 1539, 500 Dundas Street, Woodstock, ON N4S 0A7


Phone: 519-539-1291
Email: General Information

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