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Recycling contamination occurs when material that is not accepted for recycling is put in recycling totes. The CVRD must keep contamination rates low (3%) as it can present itself as a major obstacle in the recycling process. In an effort to reduce current contamination rates of about 15%, the CVRD is reaching out to residents when unaccepted materials are identified in the curbside tote assigned to their address.
Please review the curbside accepted materials list to learn what materials are accepted in the curbside recycling program, and what materials can be brought to a Recycling Centre. If you have questions, or if you believe that you have received a notice in error, please contact the Recycling Hotline at 250 746 2540.
If you would like to review your notice, go over the materials that are accepted in the curbside recycling program, or believe that you have received a notice in error, please call the Recycling Hotline at 250 746 2540.
The curbside recycling program accepts clean household packaging and paper only. Hard plastics are products (eg., Rubbermaid totes, Tupperware containers, toys, plastic lawn furniture), which are not accepted in the curbside program.
People often think that the chasing-arrows symbol on plastic items means the item is recyclable but unfortunately, this code (called the resin identification code) is actually just indicating the type of plastic the item is comprised of. Within these codes, there are different manufacturing processes, dyes, additives and melting points that make each item unique. For example, within resin code #2, the items can vary from plastic bags and water bottles to your CVRD recycling tote!
Plastic packaging materials (e.g. plastic containers, plastic bags, and plastic bottles) are the most commonly recycled plastic materials due to their consistent composition, single-use nature, and established end-market. As such, the CVRD curbside recycling program accepts household packaging, not products.
To learn more, watch our Hard Plastics Recycling Mythbuster video!
The curbside recycling program accepts clean household packaging and paper only. When collected at curbside, these materials often get tangled in sorting machinery which delays the sorting process. Clean textiles/clothing without rips, stains or holes can be donated to various charitable organizations and Recycling Centres. Please put all items that cannot be donated in the garbage.
When your curbside recycling is collected, the truck driver has a matter of a few seconds to review your material and identify contaminants. When a bag is identified, it is difficult to determine if it is garbage or bagged recyclables, so the driver tags it to the closest possible item that it resembles.
The CVRD asks that all recyclables be kept loose within your tote. Recyclables that are bundled or bagged cannot be properly recycled because the equipment at the sorting facility cannot access the materials to effectively sort them. For safety reasons, staff do not open these bags.
Film plastic material (plastic bags, plastic wrap, bubble wrap) and snack wrappers (potato chip bags, cookie bags) are not accepted in the curbside recycling program. These materials get tangled in sorting equipment requiring lengthy shut-downs and expensive delays. Plastic bags also tangle with other materials making it difficult to separate and sort recyclables.
These materials can be taken to a CVRD Recycling Centre to be properly handled, sorted, and recycled.
The curbside recycling program accepts clean household packaging and paper products only. When your curbside recycling is collected, the truck driver has a matter of a few seconds to review your material and identify contaminants. Packaging and paper products have a fairly uniform appearance, which makes other materials stand out when they are collected. While it is not always possible to identify exactly what the material is, the drivers flag the item as a contaminant that should be reviewed.
If you would like to review your unidentified recycling contamination notice, please call the Recycling Hotline at 250 746 2540.
Glass (jars, bottles, refundable drink containers) is not accepted in the curbside recycling program. When placed in automated curbside totes, glass breaks into unrecoverable pieces which intermixes with and contaminates the other recyclables and can create potential health and safety issues at the sorting facility.
Please take glass to a CVRD Recycling Centre to be properly handled and recycled.
Styrofoam material (foam meat trays, takeout containers, foam packing) is not accepted in the curbside recycling program. When placed in curbside totes, these materials break into unrecoverable pieces which intermix with other recyclables which contaminate the load.
Please take all of your foam material to a CVRD Recycling Centre to be properly handled and recycled.