What Can I Recycle? » Recycle BC - Making a difference together.

Most packaging and paper can be collected curbside or can be taken to depots for recycling. A few items are only accepted at depots.

Search for material using Recycle BC’s Waste Wizard, or scroll down to view a summary of accepted materials and where to take them.

Click below to view and download our full accepted material list

RECYCLE BC ACCEPTED MATERIALS

Recycle in Paper Bin or Reusable Yellow Bag or Curbside Cart

 

PAPER

Accepted paper recycling icons

Paper is recycled into new paper products, boxboard, the paper cover for drywall, moulded paper egg cartons and insulation.

 Accepted Materials
  • Newspapers, inserts and flyers
  • Magazines and catalogues
  • Telephone books and other directories
  • Writing and home office paper, paper envelopes, and notepads
  • Paper gift wrap and greeting cards
  • Single-use paper party décor (e.g., paper pennants, paper globes and ornaments, etc.)
  • Shredded paper (if your community separates containers and paper into different bins or bags for collection, set shredded paper out for collection in a paper bag or small box and place in your paper bin/bag; if your community collects paper and containers in the same bin, contain shredded paper in a clear plastic bag and place it in your recycling bin)
 Where Accepted
 Not Accepted
  • Hardcover or paperback books (donate or sell)
  • Paper towels, napkins, tissues
  • Non-paper gift wrap and foil gift wrap
  • Padded envelopes
  • Ribbons or bows
  • Musical greeting cards with batteries (contact the Recycling Council of BC for battery and e-waste recycling options)
  • Rubber bands
  • Plastic bags used to cover newspapers/flyers (recycle at a Recycle BC depot)

PAPER PACKAGING AND CARDBOARD

Icons for paper packaging and packaging like materials

Paper packaging is recycled into new boxes, paper towels, tissues, paper-based plant pots, the paper cover for drywall liner, Kraft paper, brown paper products including paper towels.

 Accepted Materials
  • Corrugated cardboard boxes used for shipping, grocery and liquor store boxes, pizza boxes, moving boxes and Banker’s boxes
  • Cardboard and boxboard boxes used for cereal, shoes, tissues, pizza, frozen entrees, desserts, detergent, etc.
  • Cardboard packaging for cannabis product
  • Carrier trays for bulk bottled water, soft drinks, cans, food, etc.
  • Cores for paper towels and toilet tissue
  • Molded boxboard packaging for egg cartons, take-out beverage trays, paper-based plant pots
  • Paper gift bags and boxes
  • Paper bags (also called Kraft paper) and envelopes
  • Multi-layered paper bags for flour, sugar, etc.
  • Compressed paper hangers included with clothing
 Where Accepted
 Not Accepted
  • Cardboard boxes with wax coating, such as empty boxes, made available for residents to transport their groceries home
  • Paper bags with multiple layers that include a foil layer
  • Paper bags with a plastic layer
  • Paper towels, napkins (include with green waste, if applicable)
  • Tissues
  • Padded envelopes with plastic or bubble layer

Recycle in Container Bin or Curbside Cart

PLASTIC CONTAINERS

 

Plastic is recycled into new packaging, broadloom, rope, brush bristles, car bumpers, household furnishings, decking, picnic tables, deck chairs and gardening supplies.

 Accepted Materials
  • Plastic jugs with screw tops used for cooking oil, laundry detergent and fabric softener, cleaning solutions, cleaning products, body care products, windshield washer fluid, etc.
  • Plastic bottles with screw caps, spray pump, or pull-up tops for food, dish soap, mouthwash, shampoos, conditioners and other personal care products, pills and vitamins, laundry products, etc.
  • Plastic jars with wide mouths and screw-top lids for peanut butter, jam, nuts, condiments, vitamins and supplements, personal care products, etc.
  • Plastic packaging for cannabis product
  • Plastic clamshells with hinged or click-closed tops for baked goods, fruit, produce, eggs, etc.
  • Plastic black-bottom trays and clear tops for deli chicken, single-serve meals, prepared foods, baked goods
  • Plastic tubs and lids for food such as margarine and spreads, dairy products such as yogurt, cottage cheese, sour cream, ice cream, etc.
  • Plastic cold drink cups with lids for take-out beverages
  • Plastic garden pots and trays for bedding plants, seedlings, vegetable plants, etc.
  • Plastic pails less than 25L for laundry detergent, ice cream, pet food, etc.
  • Microwavable bowls and cups
  • Empty single-use coffee and tea pods; remove lids and do not include lids with recycling
  • Rigid plastic packaging for toys, toothbrushes, batteries, etc.; remove paper backing and recycle separately
  • Plastic straws
  • Plastic stir sticks
  • Plastic utensils
  • Plastic plates, cups, and bowls
  • Non-durable plastic food containers
  • Rigid plastic gift bags or boxes
  • Disposable plastic hangers included with clothing
  • Plastic tape dispensers
  • Plastic dental floss containers
WHERE ACCEPTED
 Not Accepted
  • Containers for motor oil, vehicle lubricant or antifreeze products (call the RCBC Hotline 1-800-667-4321 or check Recyclepedia)
  • Packaging labelled biodegradable or compostable, or oxo-degradable
  • Items that are not packaging like
  • Long-term storage containers such as heavy-duty plastic boxes or totes
  • Durable hangers: wire, sturdy plastic, metal, wood
  • Tool boxes or power tool cases
  • Liquid-absorbing pads, e.g., in trays of meat, poultry, fish, etc.
  • Plastic wrap
  • Plastic blister packs e.g. plastic/foil protective packaging for chewing gum and pills
  • Ceramic plant pots
  • Lawn edging, tarps, plastic furniture or toys
  • Garden hoses
  • Plastic string or rope
  • Plastic paint cans (call the RCBC Hotline 1-800-667-4321 or check Recyclepedia)
  • Pails larger than 25L
  • Pails for lubricants and oils (call the RCBC Hotline 1-800-667-4321 or check Recyclepedia)
  • Microwavable bowls with metal rims
  • Plastic or foil lids from coffee and tea pods
  • Beverage bottles or jugs for flavoured tea, juice, or other beverages can be returned to depot for deposit refund or included in container recycling

CARTONS AND PAPER CUPS

Paper packaging is recycled into new boxes, paper towels, tissues, paper-based plant pots, the paper cover for drywall liner, Kraft paper, brown paper products including paper towels.

Download a full list of materials in English, French, Chinese, Punjabi,  Korean or Farsi.

 Accepted Materials
  • Paper cups for hot and cold beverages
  • Cartons and boxes for dairy, cream, substitute eggs, broth, sauces, etc.
  • Frozen dessert boxes for ice cream, frozen yogurt, etc.
  • Coated paper plates and bowls
 Where Accepted
 Not Accepted
  • Paper straws or stir sticks
  • Cartons and boxes with a deposit can be returned to depot in BC’s deposit program for a refund or included in container recycling

ALUMINUM CONTAINERS

Aluminum is recycled into new aluminum containers, road signs and window frames.

Download a full list of materials in English, French, Chinese, Punjabi,  Korean or Farsi.

 Accepted Materials
  • Aluminum cans and lids used for food
  • Aluminum foil
  • Aluminum foil pie plates and baking trays
  • Aluminum take-out containers
  • Empty aluminum spray containers
 Where Accepted
 Not Accepted
  • Spray paint cans (call the RCBC Hotline 1-800-667-4321 or check Recyclepedia)
  • Propane cylinders (call the RCBC Hotline 1-800-667-4321 or check Recyclepedia)
  • Aerosol cans with any contents remaining
  • Foil-lined cardboard take-out containers and lids
  • Aluminum beverage containers can be returned to depot for deposit refund or included in container recycling
  • Electronics and appliances
  • Pots, pans, and other scrap metal
  • Durable storage containers (e.g., metal food storage containers)

STEEL CONTAINERS

Download a full list of materials in English, French, Chinese, Punjabi,  Korean or Farsi.

 Accepted Materials
  • Cans and lids for food, pet food, etc.
  • Metal spray containers
  • Thing-gauge metal tins (e.g. cookie tins)
 Where Accepted
 Not Accepted
  • Steel paint cans
  • Durable hangers: wire, sturdy plastic, metal, wood
  • Pots, pans and other scrap metal
  • Propane cylinders
  • Metal toys
  • Appliances and electronics
  • Long term, heavy-duty metal storage
  • Metal hardware or other scrap metal
  • Wiring or metal cords, extension cords
  • Steel beverage cans can be returned for deposit refund or included in container recycling

Recycle at Depot or in Glass Only Bin (if applicable)

GLASS BOTTLES AND JARS

Glass bottles and jars are recycled into new glass containers, fiberglass insulation, paint for reflective signs, sand blast media and construction aggregate.

 Accepted Materials
  • Clear or coloured non-deposit glass bottles and jars. Check with your recycling collector for instructions.
 Where Accepted
  • Separately in curbside collection — confirm with your recycling collector
  • Separately in multi-family collection — confirm with your recycling collector
  • Recycle BC depots
 Not Accepted
  • Drinking glasses or dishes, cookware
  • Whole or broken window glass or mirrors
  • Ceramic products
  • Dishes and cookware
  • Light bulbs and light fixtures
  • Deposit glass can be returned to depot for deposit refund or included in segregated glass recycling

Recycle at Depot Only

FLEXIBLE PLASTICS

 Accepted Materials
  • Plastic shopping bags
  • Plastic bags for bread, produce, dry cleaning, newspapers/flyers
  • Bags for water softener, salt, garden products, etc.
  • Plastic overwrap on diapers, paper towel, feminine hygiene products, flats of canned beverages
  • Plastic overwrap on mattresses and electronics
  • Plastic food storage, sandwich, freezer, and vacuum seal bags
  • Plastic shrink wrap
  • Flexible plastic gift bags and boxes
  • Transparent single-use recycling bags
  • Reusable plastic curbside recycling bags (e.g. yellow bags for Paper)
  • Reusable plastic-only carry-out bags (provided with purchase or purchased)
  • Plastic drop sheet or covering
  • Squishy cushion packaging (polyethylene foam)
  • Plastic bubble wrap
  • Zipper lock pouches for frozen foods (e.g. berries, vegetables, prawns)
  • Zipper lock and tear-open pouches for cannabis product
  • Stand-up pouches for dried fruit and nuts, quinoa, grated cheese, etc.
  • Potato chip bags
  • Crinkly plastic bags for candy, cereal
  • Plastic wrappers for candy, cheese slices, granola bars, etc.
  • Crinkly plastic packaging for dry pasta, pre-packaged deli meats, etc.
  • Flexible plastic packaging with plastic seal (e.g. deli and cheese packaging)
  • Plastic net bags for fruit, onions, avocados, etc.
  • Woven plastic bags for rice
  • Non-food protective packaging (e.g. all-plastic shipping envelopes, air packets, etc.)
 Where Accepted
 Not Accepted
  • Items that are not packaging like
  • Long term heavy-duty storage containers like plastic totes
  • Plastic bags with cloth, rope, or ribbon handles
  • Carry-out bags with PVC/vinyl
  • Packaging labelled biodegradable, compostable, or oxo-degradable
  • Lumber or construction wrap
  • Items designed for disposal (e.g., garbage bags, compost/leaf bags)
  • Flexible 6-pack rings
  • Plastic squeeze tubes
  • Plastic-lined paper
  • Crinkly wrap for tea, floral arrangements, etc.

FOAM PACKAGING

White and Coloured (collected separately at depot)

Plastic foam packaging is recycled into picture frames, construction trim, moulding, park benches and fence posts.

 Accepted Materials
  • Plastic foam containers and trays used for meat and produce
  • Foam egg cartons
  • Foam clamshells, cups and bowls for take-out food
  • Firm foam cushion packaging to protect electronics, small appliances, etc.

 

 Where Accepted
 Not Accepted
  • Liquid-absorbing pads used in trays for meat, poultry, fish, etc.
  • Labels, tape, paper and cardboard on foam packaging
  • Foam peanuts and packing chips
  • Blue or pink foam board insulation
  • Napkins, cutlery
  • Protective and squishy cushion packaging
  • Foam noodles
  • Furniture cushions