Quick tips to keep our waste collectors safe


One garbage bin filled with waste can weigh up to 20.4 kilograms (45 pounds). Now imagine lifting a dozen of those bins – heavy stuff, right? What about 100 bins a day? Our waste collectors lift thousands of bags and bins each day to keep our communities clean and safe.

It’s important to dispose of your waste properly to prevent you and your waste collector from potential risks. If the garbage bin is too heavy for you, it means that it’s too heavy for collectors to lift too. If you could get cut from sharp objects in a bag, our collectors could also get cut.

Collectors face these risks if garbage is not disposed of properly and they need your help to make their job safer. Here are some reminders when it comes to throwing out waste and recyclables to prevent injuries from happening.

Use proper containers

Only waste materials in proper containers will be collected. Your garbage container must have handles and a removable lid. Handles help collectors safely lift heavy loads and removable lids prevent hands from getting snapped or closed on.

Ensure that the maximum diameter is 0.5 metres (19 inches) and the maximum height is 0.9 metres (35 inches).

You can purchase green bins, blue boxes and garbage tags at the Joint Operations Centre and select community centres.

Don’t make it too heavy

Back and muscle injuries can result from garbage containers that are too heavy. The weight limit for garbage containers is 20.4 kilograms (45 pounds), including content inside your bags/bin and/or bundled material.

Label broken glass and sharp objects

Waste collectors grab and lift every bag with their own hands. Sharp objects and broken glass can puncture garbage bags and severely injure our collectors. These items must be placed in a cardboard box that is safely secured and labelled “broken glass” or “sharp materials.” This box counts as one garbage item.

Make sure your waste can be safely reached

Collectible materials should be placed on the right side of your driveway. The “right” side is the right side of your driveway when you stand at the curb facing your house. Please keep this area clean and tidy all year round so collectors can access your waste easily and quickly.

Disposing of household hazardous waste (HHW)

Anything in your home that is labelled poisonous, corrosive, explosive or flammable must be disposed of safely. Residents can drop off hazardous waste free of charge at the York Region HHW Vaughan Depot on 2840 Rutherford Rd.

During winter months…

Waste materials must not be placed behind or on top of snowbanks. Make sure it is placed on the right side of your driveway and clear of snow and ice. It’s unsafe for you and waste collectors to retrieve bins or bags from snowbanks as you risk a slip or fall onto icy pavement.

Following these guidelines will allow collectors to do their jobs quickly and safely.

Do you have additional tips to help our waste collectors? Leave your feedback below.


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  • 3 thoughts on “Quick tips to keep our waste collectors safe

    1. It new to Vaughan. Before I lived in a condo. No recycling involved. Now I would like to be a responsible citizen. How do I get from the city green bins and blue

      1. Hi and welcome to Vaughan! You can find all the information you need about blue boxes and green bins on our website at vaughan.ca/waste. You can also call Access Vaughan at 905-832-2281 and one of our citizen service representatives would be happy to assist you.

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