Processing For Remanufacturing

After materials are sorted, and baled, they are sold to end markets as a commodity. We have a local BC end market for plastic and glass. Metal and a significant amount of paper also stays in Canada and North America. We approve and verify each of our end markets, keeping material as local as possible whenever we can.

Changes in global markets have made it more difficult for some recycling programs to market collected material. You may have watched or read news stories that show the effects of these changes around the world, including Canada. Despite high standards for recycling markets, we have been able to ensure most plastic packaging, paper products, glass, and metal containers collected through our program are recycled due to our concentrated effort to reduce contamination.

The design of Recycle BC’s program produces a very high quality of recycled commodities from a residential source, from collection through to post-collection. This is important to ensure the collected materials can be responsibly recycled as close to home as possible.

The province-wide standardized list of accepted materials, promotion and education, and an emphasis on source-separated and depot-only materials, ensures good quality material is delivered to the post-collection network. The post-collection network, with its new sorting technology and the ability to sort both paper and container streams into a wide range of high-quality commodity grades, ensures the material collected in the Recycle BC program is desired by recycling end markets both locally and overseas.

In 2022, 75% of all material from the Recycle BC program was sent to a domestic North American recycling end market, with the majority staying within the Pacific Northwest, building on 2021’s record year and marking the highest percentage of material Recycle BC has ever sent to North American end markets.

Recycling markets are continually changing so it’s very important that residents do their part help us collect empty and clean material that can be recycled. For a full list of recyclable materials and how to recycle them, click here for our What Can I Recycle? page. You can also download our app to search materials and find your nearest depot.

Learn more about our recycling end markets.

See the other stages of the recycling process