Spring Cleaning: Recycling Options in Ottawa

Written by guest blogger Eloise Collison. Eloise is a freelance writer, organic gardener, and fibre fanatic who lives and writes in Westboro.

photo by Ian Collison

With the return of warmer weather I have been seeing more of my neighbours as we start to come out of hibernation. We’re outside, nose down in the garden or clinging to a ladder washing windows. It is our urban spring ritual; raking the lawn, tuning up the bike and cleaning out the garage. But if you’re like me, you’ll find the junk in your basement has multiplied over the winter. Here are a few options for places to recycle and reroute your garbage.


The Ottawa Public Library has started collecting household batteries at six library branches: Carp, Cumberland, Greenboro, Main, Manotick and Rosemount. This is a pilot project sponsored by the City of Ottawa.
They are accepting alkaline batteries (D, C, AA, AAA and 9-volt), lithium batteries (with their ends taped), zinc air button cell batteries, and silver oxide button cell batteries. They won’t be accepting rechargeable batteries or car batteries.


On Saturday, April 25th from 9 am until noon Waste Management Ottawa is accepting electronic trash at the WM Facility on Carp Road. They will be taking: keyboards, computers, laptops, printers, phones, light electronics including toys and Game Boys, alarm clocks, PDAs, VCRs, DVD players, and heavy electronics including photocopiers. No TVs or microwaves please.

Please note, WM is requesting $10 (cash) per vehicle to offset the costs associated in processing the materials. For every $10 collected, $1 will be donated to the local food banks.

[Editor’s note: Sorry for not posting this on time for the e-waste pick-up.  Heartwood House has a regular electronics drop-off: see my previous post.]

Take It Back

If you miss the e-cycle event you may be able to divert some of your garbage through the City of Ottawa’s Take it Back program. The site lists businesses that will take specific unwanted items. Call ahead to confirm that your items will be accepted. I found a place for my unwanted plastic garden pots, and those Styrofoam chips I was sent in the mail. A few years ago I managed to recycle my old dented aluminum shed at Cohen’s.

Hazardous Waste

The city has scheduled several hazardous waste recycling depots for the year. The next one will be on Saturday, May 2 in the Natural Resources Canada Parking Lot, between 405 Rochester Street and 550 Booth Street, just south of the Queensway. The disposal sites are open to City of Ottawa residents with household hazardous waste.

Hazardous waste includes such things as lightbulbs, thermometers, and oven cleaners. Anything corrosive, flammable or poisonous is considered hazardous, and shouldn’t be put into your regular garbage or poured down the drain.

I try to team up with another family, or an elderly neighbour and offer to take their waste in to the depot too. I often end up with a few extra jars and bottles that I know would have been slipped into the garbage.

3 thoughts on “Spring Cleaning: Recycling Options in Ottawa

  • Thanks for the tip about the OPL branches that take old batteries. I’ve had a box in my basement for years and had trouble with retailers in the “take it back” program who would not accept certain types.

    Not everyone has a vehicle and can make it the few days of the year when drop-off sites are open.

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