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.Learn More
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Established in 1990, the RCBC Recycling Hotline is a free, province-wide live information service for recycling, pollution prevention, waste avoidance, safe disposal options and regulations.
Our Environmental Advisors answer over 80,000 inquiries each year, providing information to BC residents from our comprehensive database containing over 120 product and service categories and 4,000 listings of businesses, services, organizations and programs. It covers a wide range of topics and options including drop-off locations, pick-up companies, municipal curbside information, reuse options, and special events. Our team provides each caller with personalized information because our database cross-references materials, services and communities in every region of the province.
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Call or email our Environmental Advisors with your questions.
Here are the top 10 materials we received questions about in 2021.
Disposable Propane Tanks
Disposable propane tanks are small, single-use canisters commonly used for camping stoves and small BBQs. Because they are under pressure, these tanks should be handled carefully and never disposed of as garbage.
Refillable Propane Tanks
Refillable propane tanks range in size from 5lbs to over 100lbs and are used in a wide variety of applications. Because they are under pressure, these tanks should be handled carefully and never disposed of as garbage.
Ferrous metals are metals that contain iron and are usually magnetic. They are routinely recycled at landfills, transfer stations, scrap metal recycling facilities, and some recycling depots.
Household Hazardous Waste
Household Hazardous Waste includes a range of materials that require special handling for safe disposal and cannot go into the garbage.
Our Environmental Advisors put together answers for the questions we commonly receive in these FAQs.
No. Broken glass is hazardous to the workers who collect and sort your recyclables.Learn More
Empty refillable and non-refillable propane tanks are accepted at most landfills and transfer stations for recycling as scrap metal.Learn More
Empty aerosol spray cans, including those for food, air fresheners, shaving cream, hairspray and textile sprays, are included in a provincial recycling program, managed by Recycle BC. To ensure that any excess residue is eliminated, hold down the can’s nozzle and spray out the contents into an old rag until you do not hear any sound, not even air. Once the aerosol can is empty, many municipalities accept these items in the curbside recycling bin. For residents who do not have this option, these cans can be recycled free of charge at a number of recycling depots across the province. For more information on this program, visit the Recycle BC website, or contact the RCBC Recycling Hotline.Learn More
Many municipalities provide blue boxes or bags to their residents, provided that the recycling pick-up service is provided by your city. Many multi-family complexes receive pick-up from a private contractor due to different property tax structures.Learn More
Phone books are fully recyclable. All curbside recycling programs accept phone books as mixed waste paper.Learn More
Residential polystyrene foam packaging is included in a provincial recycling program managed by Recycle BC. This includes foam polystyrene packaging (styrofoam) to protect appliances as well as foam take out and meat containers. For a complete list of accepted products, visit the Recycle BC website.Learn More
Crinkly wrappers and bags are included in a province wide recycling program for packaging and printed paper under a category called “Other Flexible Plastic Packaging.” This program is managed by an organization called Recycle BC. This category would include wrappers for candy and cookies, cereal bags, potato chip bags, and other products. For a complete list of included items, please visit the Recycle BC website. These plastics are not included in the curbside recycling program, but can be dropped off at a participating depot free of charge. Visit RCBC’s Recyclepedia for drop-off options or contact the RCBC Recycling Hotline for all options available in your community.Learn More
Environmental Handling Fees (EHFs) reflect the cost of recycling the item you are purchasing. The collection of EHFs funds the recycling program, including depot operation, shipping and storage of collected electronics, and public education. For a complete list of the different Environmental Handling Fees charged on electronics, visit the Return-It website.Learn More
Our Environmental Advisors put together these guides for questions and topics that require more in-depth discussion.