Recycling Something Other than Packaging and Printed Paper

The Multi-Material BC (MMBC) residential packaging and printed paper recycling program accepts only packaging and printed paper, and there are other materials that can be recycled elsewhere.

First some background. MMBC’s program was established in response to changes to the provincial Recycling Regulation that require the producers of packaging and printed paper to be responsible for collecting and recycling those materials. Producers pay fees to MMBC based on the amount of packaging and printed paper they provide to BC residents.

Packaging is anything that contained a product or was used to transport the product from the shop to your home. (A full list of materials is available here). When you prepare packaging for recycling it should be empty and rinsed (if applicable), but keep in mind that some packaging isn’t accepted (we explain why here).

According to the Regulation, printed paper is “printed with text or graphics as a medium for communicating information, and includes telephone directories, but does not include

  1. other types of bound reference books,
  2. bound literary books, or
  3. bound text books.”

To help keep the MMBC program running as efficiently as possible, please add only packaging and printed paper to your curbside, multi-family household, or depot recycling. Other materials may be harmful to machinery or workers, or be incompatible with the recycling process for packaging and printed paper.

Many other materials are recyclable, but not collected in MMBC’s program (though many depots that accept MMBC materials also accept materials from other stewardship programs). In BC we have the Recycling Council of BC (RCBC), a great resource for information about how to dispose of these items. RCBC provides a web-based search tool (, a mobile application, and people who can be reached at 1-800-667-4321 or to answer your questions about recycling these materials.