Is food packaging or soiled paper accepted in the curbside organics bin?

Most often food packaging belongs in your recycling bin rather than your organics bin. There are some cases, however, where paper packaging gets too soiled to go in with clean paper for recycling. If you get curbside collection for food scraps, some soiled paper products can go into your curbside organics bin. If you are not sure if your community has a food scraps collection program, please contact the RCBC Recycling Hotline.

Here are some examples of soiled paper items accepted in curbside organics bins in communities that receive food scraps collection:

  • Pizza boxes
  • Food soiled paper napkins and tissues (tissues or napkins with any bodily substances such as mucus, blood, or feces should go into the garbage and not the organics bin)
  • Paper egg cartons
  • Food soiled newspaper (often used to line a kitchen catcher container)
  • Paper bags
  • Wax coated paper or cardboard (Please Note: what appears to be wax is often actually polyethylene film. To test if it is wax, use the fingernail test: wax coatings will shave off if scratched with a fingernail. If it is not wax, your curbside recycling program may accept this item instead)

It is important to keep many items out of the organics or green bin to avoid costly contamination. Any packaging containing plastic, glass or metal does not go into the organics bin. Also, paper that is coated with plastic or foil is NOT accepted. Plastic coated paper includes coffee and cold drink cups, most types of paper plates, dairy or juice cartons, most paper to-go containers, and any paper packaging designed for the freezer or refrigerator. To determine if a paper is plastic-coated, look to see if it has a shiny surface especially where it comes into contact with food or liquids.

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