Where Does It Go? Did You Know? Ask Me Anything! » Recycle BC - Making a difference together.

So, you’ve got questions about recycling?

We get plenty of messages every day from curious recyclers! Whether you’re not sure about which bin to use, or where your flattened box ends up, we’ve got more than a few answers for you!

Starting now, we’ll be posting new weekly programming to help with all your recycling riddles! Click the weekday below to jump its section on this page:

Mondays: Where Does It Go? #WDIG

Wednesdays: Did You Know? #DYK

Fridays: Ask Me Anything! #AMA


Where Does It Go?

You might be surprised about the journey key recycled materials take. From the blue bin, to processing, to new product – you’ll find out WHERE they end up, and HOW are they transformed.

Illustration of life cycle of plastic shampoo bottle in the recycling process

Hard plastic containers are one of the most common materials we recycle, and it gets recycled to be used in a number of ways! Your shampoo bottles, detergent jugs and food containers can eventually make a comeback as cleaning product containers, garden nursery pots and…more food containers! Cue *Circle of Life*.

#WDIG #RecycleBC

Graphic that reads Where does glass go?

Ever wonder what happens to glass after you recycle it? In BC, glass is recycled to make new bottles, sandblasting materials, and construction aggregate. FYI: singing “99 bottles” in any of our processing centres has been formally banned.

#WDIG #RecycleBC

That bundle of paper you just recycled might end up close to home or it might make a longer journey!

#WDIG #RecycleBC

Wonder where metal cans go? They’re recycled in North America into sheet metal that can be made into new products and packaging. Maybe the next time you’re at the hardware store, you’ll pass something you contributed to!

#WDIG #RecycleBC

Did You Know?

Every time you recycle paper or packaging you are contributing to preserving the environment. Find out more about BC’s paper and packaging recycling program and how your participation is making a difference.

Woman and man sitting in car waving with text that reads Did You Know Wednesdays

The Recycle BC team is everywhere! Our collection partners regularly visit over 1.4 million households served through our curbside or multi-family collection services. So next time you see one of the team emptying your bin, give a wave and say hello!

#DYK #RecycleBC

So you have a plastic envelope – now what? For things like delivery packaging (plastic envelopes, plastic air padding, rigid foam), you can stop by a partner recycling depot or drop-off location, and we’ll take care of them!

#DYK #RecycleBC

Recycle BC has put in many pre-COVID-19 travel kms to visit where our materials end up to ensure they’re managed responsibly. So you can feel comfortable about what happens AFTER you put your materials in the bin.

#DYK #RecycleBC

Recycle BC serves the entire province! That’s why our list of recyclable materials is available in multiple languages! We want to provide access to the instructions for recycling at home.

#DYK #RecycleBC

Ask Me Anything?

We asked you for your most pressing recycling questions. This is knowledge we can all reuse!

Ask Me Anything Friday picturing an empty clean plastic clamshell container and a peanut butter jar that looks mostly full

Q: Do I have to clean my containers? Will they go to a landfill if I don’t? 

A: If you do your best to rinse out your containers, we’ll recycle them! They don’t have to be spotless, just make sure they aren’t still full of food.

A little cleaning up really helps us help the environment!

#AMA #RecycleBC

Q: What do I do with my glass jar lids?

A: Short answer: all lids go into the container bins – metal and plastic! This means separating lids from your glass containers – it’s best if only glass goes in the glass bin. It might seem like a little thing, but it’s better for the recycling process and easier for us to recycle glass (and the lids) when there aren’t any lids mixed in. (If you miss one, don’t sweat it, the glass will still be recycled.)

#AMA #RecycleBC

Q: Can I recycle batteries, propane canisters, or lighters in my blue bin? 

A: Absolutely not, hazardous materials like these can’t be put in your blue bin. They need to be dropped-off at an appropriate Recycling Council of BC return location to keep everyone safe. Some of these items can be recycled and doing this is MUCH better than throwing them in the garbage, so you can always make a difference with them!

#AMA #RecycleBC

Q: Do I have to take the labels off of containers before recycling them?

A: Nope! As long as you empty them and give a rinse, you’re good!

#AMA #RecycleBC