Tips from the Recycle BC Team

Adjusting to spending more at home has inspired some creative recycling tips and tricks with BC residents. We loved hearing your stories and sharing them on our blog so much that the Recycle BC team wants to get in on the action.

Over the coming weeks, we’ll be posting recycling stories and advice from our team – join us!

What to Do With Peanut Butter Jars

By Carmen, Field Services Specialist

Tip: Re-use rinsed peanut butter jars as plastic containers for cookies, or frozen meals when camping

peanut butter jars one empty one full

“I save all my large plastic peanut butter containers, take off the labels, and use them as plastic containers for giving away treats like cookies. Then I don’t need to worry about getting the container back. They’re also great for freezing leftover soup, chili, etc., which are great to take camping. The frozen food helps supplement the ice packs in the cooler, and ensures the contents are kept safely refrigerated until ready to eat them.”

peanut butter jars used as storage

photo: Photo from Hip2Save

Sorting Strategy for Apartment/Condo Dwellers

By Bob, Collection Specialist

Tip: Use dedicated bags to keep your material sorted correctly

“We made our own material bags for paper and containers. These are more suited for those of us that live in multi-family, but could be used by residents in houses, too. The handles on top of the bags are perfect for hooking the bags onto something. Then when they fill up, we take them out to our recycling carts.”

An alternative to making your own bags could be giving re-usable grocery bags past their prime a new use, or putting one of the IKEA blue bags (you know the ones) to work. Hanging them frees up more home space, too!

Canvas bags painted with letter P and C to sort paper and container recycling

P for Paper, C for Containers – could be a fun weekend project!

Rinsing Your Recycling with Efficiency

By Maureen, Manager, Special Projects and Jordan, Director, Collection


  • Add some water and soap to containers with a lid and then shake for a thorough clean
  • Use dishwater to rinse containers

Maureen: “A little bit of water goes a long way when rinsing out my containers. I add a little water, put the lid on (maybe add a drop of dish soap), then give a good shake. It works to rinse out my items and saves me from running the water.”

Jordan: “Before you drain the sink after doing your dishes, grab empty containers and rinse them in the leftover dishwater.”

If you use a dishwasher, our peanut butter jar expert, Carmen confirmed that she’s filled empty space in her dishwasher with containers headed for the blue box.

Carton Check

By Lyndsey, Director, Marketing Communications

Tip: Recycle cartons and paper cups with your containers in the blue box

“Although it may seem counterintuitive, and we often naturally want to put them with paper recycling, resist the urge! The container sorting line, has the ability to sort these materials into their own material category and they have a separate end-market from other paper or containers so sorting them correctly ensures they are effectively recycled.”

You can find our accepted material list with icons and a list of examples to help guide you on our website.

Here’s some words of encouragement from Lyndsey: “Depending on what your at-home recycling system is, some items may require a little more effort to place in their dedicated sorting location. It’s extremely tempting to toss it in the closest bin instead of the correct bin. Take the extra time to do it right, or revamp your at-home system so it’s as easy as possible to do the right thing.”