City of Guelph Gold Star Program for Proper Waste Sorting

The City of Guelph is pilot testing a Gold Star recognition program as part of the city’s curbside waste cart inspection program

If your neighbourhood is selected for a curbside inspection, City staff will be looking in your waste carts to determine if you’re sorting your waste properly. Properly sorted carts these in neighbourhoods will get a Gold Star sticker on their carts to recognize their efforts in waste diversion.

Proper waste sorting is a crucial part of sustainability, as separating materials that can be recycled (blue cart) or composted (green cart) reduces the volume of material sent to landfill. This preserves landfill capacity for the future, recovers nutrients and valuable materials, and significantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

Questions about sorting? Visit the City’s Waste Wizard. For more information about waste management in the City of Guelph, visit


Is the City allowed to look in my waste cart?

Our Waste Management by-law (2019)-20392 authorizes City staff or contractors working for the City to look through waste carts placed at the curb to see if people are sorting their waste properly. Staff or contractors will always carry identification.

What are staff looking for in the waste carts?

We’re looking for anything that might be in the wrong cart. That includes items that don’t belong in any of your carts like household hazardous waste. We use this information to understand how often people mis-sort items and whether there are common items that enhanced communication could address. Proper sorting keeps the people who collect and sort your garbage safe, and helps avoid high tax increases by minimizing interruptions at the sorting facility due to mis-sorted items.

Do I need to remove the sticker?

No, please leave the sticker on your cart. It is meant to recognize your efforts in waste sorting.

Why are you running this program?

We are implementing additional programs to help improve waste sorting and diversion in the City. Other municipalities have similar programs and have found them to be successful and engaging for residents.

Who can I contact with more questions?

Please contact:

Solid Waste Resources
TTY: 519-826-9771
[email protected]