sorted recyclables

What Can I Recycle?

Recycle BC Resumes Collection of Glass Bottles, Jars, Foam Packaging Collection at Recycle BC Depots

Updated: December 27, 2021

Due to the unprecedented flooding resulting in transportation challenges and limited access to end markets, Recycle BC implemented a temporary change to the collection of some materials. The collection of all materials has now resumed.


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.

Accepted in Curbside Collection, Recycle BC Depots and Unstaffed CSWM Depots

The following recyclable categories are accepted at Recycle BC depots, unstaffed CSWM depots (Quadra Island and the Black Creek Old Fire Hall locations) and through municipal curbside recycling programs.

Paper, Paper Packaging and Cardboard

Put into a blue bin or labelled recycling container for curbside collection or bring to a Recyle BC or CSWM depot.

Accepted

Newspapers, inserts and flyers

Paper egg cartons

Paper bags

Magazines, catalogues and phone books

Household paper

Shredded paper (contain in paper bag or box first)

Boxboard boxes

Paper Envelopes

Cardboard boxes
  • 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

Not Accepted

Hard and soft cover books (donate or sell)Paper towels, napkins, and tissues
  • Rubber bands, ribbons, and bows
  • Greeting cards with batteries (contact Recycling Council of BC for battery and e-waste recycling options)
  • Cardboard boxes with wax coating
  • Paper bags that include a foil or plastic layer

Plastic bags used to cover newspapers and flyers can be recycled at Recycle BC depots.

Cartons and Paper Cups

Put into a blue bin or labelled recycling container for curbside collection or bring to a Recyle BC or CSWM depot.

Accepted

Cartons and boxes for soup, milk, sauces, etc.
  • Paper cups for hot and cold beverages
  • Frozen dessert boxes for ice cream, frozen yogurt, etc.

Not Accepted

  • Plastic straws

Juice cartons and boxes can be returned to depot for deposit refund or included in container recycling.

Plastic Containers

Put into a blue bin or labelled recycling container for curbside collection or bring to a Recyle BC or CSWM depot.

Accepted

Plastic bottles, jars and jugsCaps, tops, lids and pumps
Plastic trays and clamshellsPlastic take-out cups, bowls and lids
Plastic garden pots and seedling trays
  • 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, ice cream, etc.
  • Plastic tubs for yogurt, margarine, etc.
  • Plastic jars for peanut butter, nuts, condiments, vitamins and supplements, etc.
  • 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)

Beverage bottles or jugs for flavoured tea, juice, or other beverages can be returned to depot for deposit refund or included in container recycling.

Not Accepted

  • Packaging labelled biodegradable or compostable
  • Liquid-absorbing pads like in trays of meat, poultry, fish, etc.
  • Plastic kitchen/food wrap/film
  • Plastic blister packs, like 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
  • Pails larger than 25L
  • Microwavable bowls with metal rims
  • Plastic or foil lids from coffee and tea pods

For recycling options to properly dispose of containers for motor oil, vehicle lubricant or antifreeze products, pails for lubricants and oils or plastic paint cans, call the RCBC Hotline 1-800-667-4321 or check Recyclepedia.

Aluminum and Steel Containers

Put into a blue bin or labelled recycling container for curbside collection or bring to a Recyle BC or CSWM depot.

Accepted

Metal cans and lids
Empty aerosol cans used for food, bathroom body products, foam insulation, etc.
Foil wrap, pie plates and take-out containers

Empty and rinse cans, then drop lid into can and squeeze slightly. Labels are okay.

Not Accepted

  • Aerosol cans with any contents remaining
  • Foil-lined cardboard take-out containers and lids
  • Steel paint cans
  • Coat hangers (return to dry cleaners)
  • Pots, pans and baking trays
  • Propane cylinders
  • Metal toys
  • Appliances
  • Metal hardware or other scrap metal
  • Wiring or metal cords, extension cords

Aluminum and steel beverage containers can be returned to depot for deposit refund or included in container curbside recycling.

For information on disposing of spray paint cans and propane cylinders call the RCBC Hotline 1-800-667-4321 or check Recyclepedia.

Accepted at Recycle BC Depots Only

The following recyclable categories are accepted at Recycle BC depots in Comox, Courtenay, Campbell River, the Comox Valley Waste Managment Centre, the Campbell River Waste Management Centre, as well as the Denman, Hornby and Cortes Island recycling depots. These items are not accepted at the unstaffed CSWM depots on Quadra Island or at the Old Fire Hall location in Black Creek.

Glass

Accepted

Put all lids in with metal container recycling

Glass jars – clear and coloured
Glass bottles - clear and coloured 

Not Accepted

  • Dishes and cookware
  • Windows and mirrors
  • Light bulbs and fixtures
  • Ceramic products
Plastic Bags and Overwrap

Accepted

Plastic bagsOuter bags & protective wrap
  • Bags for groceries, produce, dry bulk foods, frozen vegetables,
  • Bags for dry cleaning, bread, newspapers and flyers, water softener, salt, garden products, etc.
  • Overwrap for diapers, feminine hygiene products, paper towels & soft drink flats
  • Overwrap on mattresses, furniture and electronic equipment

Not Accepted

  • Kitchen stretch wrap
  • Shrink wrap
  • Packaging labelled biodegradable or compostable
  • Lumber or construction wrap
  • Garbage bags (all colours)
  • Any bag sold as a product
Other Flexible Plastic Packaging

Accepted

  • Zipper lock pouches for frozen foods like prawns, berries, vegetables and fresh foods like fruit, deli meat, etc.
  • Zipper lock and tear-open pouches for cannabis product
  • 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
  • Packaging for dry pasta, pre-packaged deli meats
  • Net bags for avocados, onions, citrus fruit
  • Padded protective plastic like plastic shipping envelopes, bubble wrap, plastic air packets
  • Flexible packaging with plastic seals for fresh pasta, cheese, deli meats
  • Plastic seals, like those used on yogurt containers, are also accepted

Not Accepted

  • Plastic squeeze tubes
  • Plastic-lined paper
  • Cellophane wrap
  • Plastic strapping
  • 6-pack ring
  • Biodegradable plastic
  • PVC/vinyl
  • Squishy foam
  • Plastic blister packs e.g. plastic/foil protective packaging for chewing gum and pills
Foam Packaging

Accepted

Foam meat trays (remove absorbent pad)Foam take-out containersFoam cushion packaging used to protect electronics, etc.

Not Accepted

  • Blue or pink foam insulation, packing chips and peanuts
  • Squishy or flexible foam and foam noodle
Hazardous Materials

For more information about what to do with any waste from your home that you consider to be dangerous or of which you are unsure, please visit Comox Strathcona Waste Management’s Hazardous Waste page.

Recycling Tips

You can help ensure that more materials are recycled by following these steps:

  1. Please follow sorting instructions at the depot.
  2. Empty and rinse containers.
  3. Contain shredded paper inside a paper bag or box.
  4. Flatten cardboard and remove plastic wrap from cardboard flats (staples and tape are OK).

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Know Before You Throw Do you ever wonder if you’re sorting your recyclables properly? You’re not alone! This video provides some tips for sorting your recyclables at home. Think Before You Throw Have you ever found yourself 'wishcycling'? What seems like a helpful habit can actually negatively impact the recycling process. What is Contamination? Contaminated curbside recycling is a serious problem. Learn what shouldn't be in your curbside recycling bin. Helpful Resources Unsure of where and how to recycle an item? Recyclepedia has the answer: Recyclepedia Search For more information about how to recycle electronics visit the Stewardship Agencies of BC.