I sit on the City’s Waste Diversion committee. Markham residents recycle at remarkable rates, of which we can all be proud. Nonetheless, it can be confusing to understand what goes where. You can check here to determine what goes where. (At the same spot you can also check your collection schedule.) Remember that the rules in Markham are a bit different than what you might find in Toronto, Durham or even Vaughan and Richmond Hill.
Markham is only one part of a provincial waste management system, which includes York Region. Over the next 5 years an organisation funded by industry is expected to take over the blue bin recycling system across the province. Watch for changes in how you sort your recyclables. Markham will continue to manage garbage and green bins.
And don’t forget our recycling depots. Styrofoam, polystyrene (foam trays, plates and take-out containers), bags, scrap metal, large quantities of cardboard, lightbulbs and batteries can all be taken to your nearest recycling depot. In Ward 3 that is likely the depot at Main Street Unionville and Station Lane.
Hazardous waste (paint, oil, solvents, surplus detergents, electronics . . . ) should never be poured down the drain or thrown in the garbage. Please take this sort of waste to one of the Region’s Hazardous Waste Depots. The nearest one to Ward 3 is on Rodick Road, north of 14th Avenue. The Elgin Mills depot in Richmond Hill also takes demolition waste, concrete, unfinished lumber, other bulk items and garbage.
Used tires can now be taken to just about any tire retailer. When you get new tires, the retailer should keep the old ones. As a result, tires are no longer accepted at Markham recycling depots.
And of course, Markham’s textile waste system is fabulously successful. Look for blue and white bins around the city. You can recycle clothing and other textiles in any condition. Even shoes are included.
The Waste Diversion Committee is working with staff on a new and updated recycling and waste diversion policy. It will deal with topics like single use plastics (if the federal government doesn’t beat us to the punch), improved recycling strategies in public places and other issues.