Recycling Resources

Does your recycling contain contaminants?

Recycling contamination is the inclusion of any items that are not accepted for recycling, as well as items that are incorrectly sorted (such as glass in the blue box). When recycling contamination levels become too high, recycling processors can refuse the load, leading to it being disposed as garbage. This makes it equally important to know what is accepted for recycling, and what isn’t.

Some of the most common contaminants are listed below. Please ensure they are correctly handled once you are finished with them.

Are there glass bottles or jars camouflaging themselves in your blue box? Glass in the blue box is considered a contaminant as broken shards can prevent accepted plastic or metal packaging from being recycled. As a result, glass bottles and jars must be separated into a grey box for collection (glass cart for centralized collection). Grey boxes are available for pick up at the Civic Facility (20338 – 65 Avenue) or via delivery through tol.ca/greybox.

Note: Ceramics, dishes, and any other glass items that are not bottles or jars are not accepted for recycling. Please dispose of these items as garbage.

Take a look in your yellow bag. Has a book or two snuck in? Unfortunately, hard and soft cover books are not accepted for recycling in curbside municipal recycling programs. Instead, books in good condition should be donated to local thrift stores. Those in poor condition can have their pages repurposed for use around the house, such as in arts and crafts.

Metal products can be recycled, scrap metal yards run their whole business on the topic, but did you know just because something is made of metal, it doesn’t mean that it’s accepted in your blue box? Only metal packaging items such as tin cans, foil trays, or empty aerosol containers are accepted in the municipal recycling program. Other metal items such as pots and pans, coat hangers, or hinges can be recycled at a scrap metal yard, otherwise they should be disposed as garbage.

Many hours have been spent searching for the recycling symbol and number on plastic items. However, just because it has the symbol on it, it doesn’t mean it’s accepted for recycling. The recycling symbols and numbers only indicate the type of plastic an item is made from, not its recyclability.

The good news is that it’s no longer about the numbers. The Township’s recycling program is part of Recycle BC, a not-for-profit organization responsible for residential packaging and paper product recycling. As a result, only rigid plastic items that are packaging are accepted in your blue box. Plastic items that are products, such as plastic sand toys, are not accepted for recycling.

Hazardous items such as propane tanks, paint cans, lighters, and more are not accepted for recycling and pose a serious safety risk to both collection and processing staff. Search the What Goes Where? tool below to find drop-off options near you, or bring these items to the annual Household Hazardous Waste event.
Clean wood is not accepted as part of the curbside recycling program, but can be dropped off at a Metro Vancouver Recycling and Waste Centre for recycling (fees apply). Treated, stained, or painted wood must also be disposed of at a Recycling and Waste Centre but is considered garbage.
Recyclable at local depots and London Drugs retailers. Search the What Goes Where? tool below. Note: Expanded Polystyrene, the type of foam found around new electronics, is prohibited from landfill and must be dropped off for recycling. 
Soft plastic items can become tangled with processing equipment or tangle up accepted recyclables, resulting in the whole ball being pulled out and disposed as garbage. Take these items to local depots for recycling or dispose of as garbage at home.

What Goes Where?

Not sure how to recycle or dispose of something? Search in the What Goes Where? tool below. 

Note: This web-based service is provided by Recollect/Open West Systems Inc. Visit the Recollect Privacy Policy.

Still can’t find what you’re looking for? Click on the “Suggest as a New Item” button then search for your item using one of the websites below. We regularly update the What Goes Where? tool with top suggestions we receive.

Recycling Guides

Looking for an old-fashioned recycling guide? Find copies in EnglishPunjabiChinese, and Korean

Rinsing Recyclables

Rinse ContainersYou’ve already made a point of keeping recyclables out of the garbage, now take it all the way and ensure they get recycled.

Rinsing recyclables of food residue before placing them in your blue box or grey box is an important step to ensure they are recycled. Recyclables that are too dirty may be removed from the load and disposed as garbage. Rinsing recyclables also helps reduce them acting as an attractant to urban wildlife when set at the curb on collection day.

Refundable Beverage Container Recycling

Return-It Express Logo You paid the deposit. Don’t miss the refund.

Rather than recycling your refundable beverage containers at the curb, drop them off for refund. It’s easier than ever with the Express system. Simply collect refundable containers in a clear bag, tag it, and go – no sorting required! Your refund will be credited to your account shortly after.

Taking refundable containers back to depot helps discourage scavenging and associated litter on collection day.

UPDATE: On February 1, 2022, milk and plant-based beverage containers (i.e. soy milk, almond milk, oat milk, etc.) joined the provincial deposit-refund system. Once empty, these containers should be taken back to the retailer they were purchased from or a Return-It site for refund. Please note, only “ready-to-drink” beverages are part of this program. Milk products that are not “ready-to-drink” such as coffee cream, yogurt, etc. are not subject to deposit.