In BC, we are some of North America’s best recyclers, but we can do much better! We want you to rethink the way you recycle and ensure the correct items are being put in your recycling bins so everything we collect can be recycled.

Recycling tips

There are a number of things we can all do to ensure as much material as possible is recycled. When recycling, keep the following tips in mind!

Not everything should go in your recycling bin

You can recycle packaging and paper, including containers (plastic packaging, metal containers, and cartons and paper cups), paper (newsprint, magazines, paper packaging and cardboard), and glass bottles and jars (separated in curbside or multi-family recycling in some communities and at the depot in others).

You can also recycle plastic bags and overwrap and foam packaging at the depot only.

Things like food, wood, clothing, textiles, electronics, books, metal products (like pots, pans, hangers, etc.), and toys shouldn’t be included in your recycling bin. If you’re not sure if something should be included, use our waste wizard or check our material list to find out. For items that aren’t packaging or paper, check RCBC.ca to find a recycling location.

Plastic bags don’t go in your recycling bin

Plastic bags can be returned to a depot for recycling, but when they are included in your recycling bin it causes big problems in the recycling system. They get mixed with other recyclables making it very difficult to meet the standards of both local and international recycling markets, potentially affecting the recyclability of all the material.

Only put clean items in your recycling 

Half-full food containers should not go in your recycling bin. Empty containers and give them a quick rinse to ensure food or other product doesn’t get all over the other materials in your recycling bin.

What can I recycle?

We have a consistent material list around the province, so residents in each area that is part of our program can put the same materials in their recycling bins. Material can be searched online with our search tool or on the go with our mobile app.

Depot only items

Certain items can only be returned to the depot for recycling. Things like plastic bags and overwrap, foam packaging (like Styrofoam) and, in some communities, glass should be returned to depots to be recycled.