Bylaws and Issues affecting Hawkwood – Recycling (Blue) Bins

Bylaws and Issues affecting Hawkwood

Starting this month in the Hawk Eye, we will explore various Bylaws and what they mean to residents of Hawkwood.  This is not meant to replace the actual definition of those Bylaws discussed, but rather to inform in laymen’s terms, what the Bylaws mean, examples and implications and how they will be enforced.  When in doubt, use the 3-1-1 service, either by phone or online/app, to enquire about a specific issue.  However, excessive 3-1-1 calls can put a strain on the system and cost the taxpayer in the long run.  We are better served to be self-enforced, that is, to be aware of the rules ourselves and police each other.  Often times, when people break the law, they may not know they are breaking the law and if a neighbour politely corrects them, it saves all of us money and hassles down the road.   If you have a particular Bylaw or issue that you are curious about, please send an email to Because we are limited by space in the Hawk Eye, sometimes we will expand on certain topics on our website:

Recycling (Blue) Bins

Ever since the Blue Bins or Carts were introduced in 2009, roughly 10 truckloads of recyclable materials are sent EVERY DAY to companies to turn them into useful products.  Here are some tips and tricks that you may have not known about when you put out your Blue Bin every week, including what you CAN put in the bins.

  • Paper & Cardboard such as cereal, pizza and tissue boxes (flattened or broken down, please!), magazines, newspapers, flyers, paper, envelopes (including window envelopes), cards, non-foil gift wrap and paper bags. Put shredded paper in a clear plastic bag and tie closed – loose shredded paper will not sort properly.
  • Clean Plastic containers with recycling symbols 1-7 (no foam packaging), plastic bags, wrap and bubble wrap. Only plastic bags that stretch (like a grocery bag) should be bundled together in one bag (preferably a clear bag) and tied closed.  If the plastic bag crinkles (like a cereal box liner) it is NOT recyclable.  If a plastic lid has a recycling symbol AND is larger than a business card, it can be recycled.  Smaller than that, it can’t be properly sorted at the recycling facility.
  • Clean metal cans, lids, aluminum foil, plates and containers as well as clean glass jars and bottles. Make sure they are rinsed out and contain no left over food before putting them in.
  • Refundable beverage containers (but try not to put those in – more on this later).

The list of items you CANNOT put in your Blue Bin is expansive, but here are some that you may not have known about:

  • Polystyrene foam packaging, cups, containers and trays, even if it has the recycling symbol #6, must be placed in the garbage.
  • No garbage bags or blue recycling bags. Anything that isn’t in a clear bag will be treated as garbage and disposed of, so place all plastic bags and shredded paper in a clear bag and tie off.
  • Multi-material packaging such as deodorant sticks, foil from yogurt or sour cream containers, frozen juice containers and single-serve coffee packages must go in the garbage.
  • Miscellaneous plastics such as forks, spoons, knives, straws, pens and laundry baskets (even if they have a recycling symbol) must go in the garbage.
  • Disposable paper and foam (coffee & soft drink) drinking cups should be also placed in the garbage regardless of how clean they are.

Here are some other tips that you should know about when it comes to recycling and the Blue Bins:

  • If your Blue Bin is too full so that the lid cannot close properly, consider saving some materials for next week or break/cut down any cardboard boxes that are too large. If the lid can’t close it creates a couple of problems: 1) it exposes the material to snow, rain and wind making the materials more difficult (and costly) to handle at the recycling depot, and 2) if the lid is open, loose materials in the bin can be blown out by our ever-present Hawkwood wind causing littering issues in our community.  Do NOT put excess recyclables in a bag beside the Blue Bin – it will be considered garbage and not picked up by the recycling truck.
  • All Blue Bins should be placed out for collection, no later than 7:00AM on the day of collection, and for those with front street collection, the bins should be put out after 7:00PM the day before and pulled back to the house within 24 hours.
  • Make sure you have enough space between your bins so that the automated trucks can easily pick them up. You should be able to walk between the bins and not touch either with your arms at your sides.  Any excess garbage bags should not be placed between the bins.
  • It is illegal for anyone to collect refundable containers from your Blue Bin while it is on your private property. In Hawkwood, there are bottle pickers who typically arrive on foot or in vehicles early in the morning and scavenge bottles and cans.  This is a practice that is not condoned by the Calgary Police and Bylaw Services, as some of these people are not savory characters and can often lead to crimes of opportunity such as theft from vehicles.  There are better options for these refundables including school and sports groups and the Hawkwood Scouts do regular bottles drives in the community.  If you witness a bottle picker arriving at a consistent time on collection day, please call 3-1-1 and report it.  If they do not show up consistently, or in the same vehicle, there is very little that Bylaw Enforcement can do.

Also, remember that you have until May 29th to take your grass clippings and tree branch trimmings to the Spyhill Landfill free of charge.  And that if you do take any loads to Spyhill in a truck or trailer, make sure your load is properly covered and secured to avoid a possible fine by Bylaw Services doing random spot checks on the road to the landfill.

Helpful Links

Click on the following links for more detailed information.

Having trouble deciding what is recyclable (and where to take it) and what is not?  Click here:

Want to know what specifically can go in your Blue Bin and how to prepare the items?

Curious about how what happens to your recyclables after they’re picked up?

Do you know where the Spyhill Landfill is and when they are open?

What are the hazardous household materials and what can you do with them?