Projects | Public Services | Materials Recycling Centre 


Region of Waterloo Materials Recycling Centre


Blue Box Architecture

The bright blue boxy building visible from afar is a fun reminder of the local origins of the Blue Box Program



The renovation of the existing Region of Waterloo facility and its expansion achieved better energy efficiencies, improved light levels, upgraded building systems and life safety systems. The recycling facility design included the accommodation of a state of the art optical sorter, and a rationalized operations floor. The site design separated different types of traffic circulation, allowing recycling trucks access from the side of the facility, and keeping personal/staff vehicles at the front. Walkways and crosswalks where implemented on the site to allow visitors to walk from the Visitors Centre to the Recycling Centre quickly and safely. A new interior elevated walkway allows educational tours to visit and circulate the facility while staff could continue to work safely and uninterrupted below. 


Our Role:

Process and building design, documentation, procurement and contract administration.


Did You Know?

The blue box idea originated in Kitchener, first tested in 1981. It was so successful that in 1983 it became the cornerstone of the new municipal waste diversion program. The Blue Box is now part of the every day life of Ontarians, and the program continues to expand.



“The experience that my staff and myself have with John MacDonald Architect has been formed over many years. JMA has provided conscientious and effective consulting services to the Region on a very wide range of projects both large and small. JMA provides conscientious services and follow- through during the construction phase, and is actively involved in the work of their subconsultants. We value JMA's open approach and understanding of technical building systems.”


— Ellen McGaghey

Director, Facilities Management Region of Waterloo



Project Data

Public Services

Alteration / Addition

Construction Management


Waterloo, Ontario

1,765 m² (19,000 sq. ft.)


Construction Completed 2009