Increased cardboard creating curbside collection service disruptions

Residents asked to ensure cardboard is flattened and meets size requirements


The City of Nanaimo’s curbside collection service is experiencing delays, resulting in late evening or next-day pickups. The delays are mainly due to higher volumes of waste being set out, compounded by mechanical issues. The COVID-19 pandemic has shifted residential waste and disposal habits with online orders (and subsequent disposal) surging.

Sanitation drivers are seeing increased volumes of recycling - especially very large quantities of cardboard boxes being discarded. Much of the cardboard in the blue carts does not meet size guidelines (no larger than two feet in any dimension). Unflattened or oversized cardboard overloads the trucks’ compactors and decreases the number of carts that can be collected before diverting to the depot to empty. Overloading results in more frequent trips to and from the City's recycling facility, more operating time, vehicle maintenance and increases pollution and the cost to deliver the user-funded curbside collection service.

More information on recyclables accepted in the blue cart can be found at To stay up to date with curbside collection, download the free Nanaimo Recycles app from the AppStore or Google Play or visit

Link to Strategic Plan: Encouraging efficient collection of curbside waste supports the priority to deliver cost-effective services.

Key Points

  • One impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is an increased amount of garbage, organics and recycling.
  • Blue carts containing oversize cardboard larger than two feet in any dimension may not be collected.
  • Ensure cardboard in your blue cart is flattened and does not exceed two feet in any dimension.
  • Use the free Nanaimo Recycles app to be notified in the case delays affect your collection route.


"When setting out cardboard in your blue cart, please ensure it is flattened and no larger than two feet in any dimension. This will help our staff collect in a timely fashion and reduce delays, and help keeps costs in check. We appreciate the public's patience during this time and encourage you to sign up to our Nanaimo Recycles system to be notified if there are delays on your route."

Manager, Sanitation, Recycling and Cemeteries
City of Nanaimo


Cardboard Breakdown
Cardboard Breakdown


Taaj Daliran
Manager, Sanitation, Recycling & Cemeteries
City of Nanaimo

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