What Can I Recycle?
This page provides information about items that can be recycled curbside and at Recycle BC depots and CSWM depots in the Comox Strathcona Waste Management service area. Please note that curbside recycling programs are managed separately within the municipalities of Campbell River, Courtenay, Comox, Cumberland and Royston. For questions about curbside pickup schedules and operations in your community, please contact your municipality directly.
For detailed information on common holiday packaging and what can be recycled, visit recyclebc.ca/seasonal-packaging. Common items that get mistakenly put in blue boxes this time of year include:
- String lights
- Ribbons and bows
- Foil gift wrap
- Food and/or organics
Find out where to responsibly recycle your items using the the Recyclepedia website or app. Here are some additional holiday recycling tips:
- Break down cardboard boxes and remove any foam or plastic from inside before putting at the curb. Excess cardboard boxes can be placed neatly next to your recycling bin.
- Avoid wrapping paper, tags and cards with glitter. These items cannot be recycled and must go in the garbage, as the glitter is plastic and contaminates the paper stream.
- Broken holiday light strings cannot be put in your curbside recycling, but can be taken to certain depots or retail locations for recycling. Use the Recyclepedia website or app to find a location near you. Search for ‘Christmas string lights’.
Put into smaller blue box and recycle at curbside or at a Recyle BC or CSWM depot.
Newspapers, inserts and flyers
|Paper egg cartons|
Magazines, catalogues and phone books
Shredded paper (contain in paper bag or box first)
Envelopes (unless padded)
- Gift cards
- Paper gift wrap
- Paper gift bags
- Paper bags for pet food, flour, sugar, etc.
- Paper carry-out beverage trays
- Cores from paper towel and toilet paper
|Hard and soft cover books||Paper towels, napkins, and tissues|
- Non-paper gift wrap and foil wrap
- Rubber bands, ribbons, and bows
- Padded envelopes
- Bags and boxes with foil liners
- Plastic bags used to cover newspapers/flyers
Put into blue box and recycle at curbside or take to a Recycle BC or CSWM depot.
|Plastic bottles, jars and jugs||Caps, tops, lids and pumps||Metal cans|
|Plastic trays and clamshells||Plastic or paper take-out cups, bowls and lids||Aerosol cans (empty)|
|Plastic garden pots and seedling trays||Cartons for soup, milk, etc.||Foil wrap and take-out containers|
- Plastic packaging for toys, batteries, etc. (separate plastic from paper backing)
- Spiral wound cans and lids for frozen juice concentrate, chips, etc.
- Plastic pails less than 25L for laundry detergent, etc.
- Plastic tubs for yogurt, margarine, etc.
|Plastic bags and overwrap||Glass||Toys & games|
|Hazardous waste||Electronics and appliances||Hangers, pots, pans and other scrap metal|
- Foam packaging
- Chip or foil bags and candy wrappers
- Stand up pouches
- Packaging labeled biodegradable or compostable
- Wiring, metal cords and hardware
- Clothing, textiles and shoes
- Food and yard waste
Drop-off only. Please take to a Recycle BC depot. Note: CSWM depots do not accept glass.
Put all lids with containers!
|Glass bottles – clear and coloured||Glass jars – clear and coloured||Return deposit containers for a refund|
- Dishes and cookware
- Windows and mirrors
- Light bulbs and fixtures
- Ceramic products
Learn more about recycling glass with this how-to video:
Drop-off only. Please take to a Recycle BC depot. Note: CSWM depots do not accept plastic bags and overwrap.
|Plastic bags||Outer bags & protective wrap|
- Bags for groceries, produce, dry bulk foods, frozen vegetables, water softener, salt, garden products, newspapers, etc.
- Overwrap for diapers, feminine hygiene products, paper towels & soft drink flats
- Crinkly wrap for tea, floral arrangements, etc.
- Pasta and cereal bags, chip and snack bags, stand-up pouches
- Zipper lock bags, garbage bags and kitchen stretch wrap
- Plastic shipping envelopes and bubble packaging
Learn more about recycling plastic bags with this how-to video:
Other Flexible Plastic Packaging
Other Flexible Plastic Packaging includes stand-up and zipper lock pouches, crinkly wrappers and bags, flexible packaging with seal, woven and net plastic bags, and non-food protective packaging.
- Zipper lock pouches for frozen foods like prawns, berries, vegetables; fresh foods like fruit. deli meat, etc.
- Stand-up pouches for dried fruit and nuts, quinoa, grated cheese, dish detergent pods, etc.
- Bags for potato chips, wrappers for cheese slices and candy bars, cereal bags, cellophane for gift baskets and flowers
- Packaging for dry pasta, pre-packaged deli meat
- Net bags for avocados, onions, citrus fruit
- Padded protective plastic like plastic shipping envelopes, bubble wrap, plastic air packets
Drop-off only. Please take to Recycle BC depots at the Comox Valley Waste Managment Center, Campbell River Waste Management Center, Hornby and Cortes Island recycling depots or the Courtenay Return-it Depot.
Note: CSWM depots do not accept Other Flexible Plastic Packaging.
- Plastic squeeze tubes
- Plastic-lined paper
- Plastic strapping
- 6-pack ring
- Biodegradable plastic
- Squishy foam
Drop-off only. Please take to Recycle BC depot. Note: CSWM depots do not accept foam packaging.
|Foam meat trays (remove absorbent pad)||Foam take-out containers||Foam cushion packaging used to protect electronics, etc.|
- Blue or pink foam insulation, packing chips and peanuts
- Squishy or flexible foam and foam noodle
Learn more about recycling foam with this how-to video:
Please note that none of the following items can be included with your blue box recycling
- Medical Syringes
- Bleach or aerosol containers with any contents remaining
- Compressed gas cylinders (e.g. used propane cylinders)
- Containers for paint, motor oil, vehicle lubricants or antifreeze
- Containers for pesticides with the words DANGER, WARNING or POISON and precautionary octagon or diamond symbols with skull and crossbones
- Medical Syringes
For more information about what to do with your household hazardous waste, and for hazardous waste collection dates, please visit Comox Strathcona Waste Management’s Hazardous Waste page.
You can help ensure that more materials are recycled by following these steps:
- Please follow sorting instructions at the depot.
- Empty and rinse containers.
- Contain shredded paper inside a paper bag or box.
- Flatten cardboard and remove plastic wrap from cardboard flats (staples and tape are OK).
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