Defend Your Blue Box from Contaminants

Take a look at your recycling bins and bags. Have any contaminants snuck in?

Recycling contamination is when unaccepted items are included in your recycling bins on collection day. This can be the result of intentionally including items not accepted for recycling, or simply mixing up which bin an item belongs in. Although most Township residents do a great job at ensuring their recycling remains free from contamination, some contaminants continue to sneak their way in. When levels of contamination become too high, it puts the entire load at risk of not being recyclable.

In the Township, some of the most commonly confused contaminants include:

  • Glass Bottles and Jars in the Blue Box – Although removed from the blue box in 2018, glass bottles and jars continue to disguise themselves in some homes’ blue boxes. When placed in the blue box with plastic and metal containers, glass shards can contaminate other materials and prevent them from being recycled. Glass bottles and jars are still accepted for recycling at the curb but must be separated into the grey box for pickup. Grey boxes are available at the Township’s Civic Facility (20338 – 65 Avenue) or via free delivery.
     
  • Scrap Metal – Just because something is made of metal doesn’t mean it belongs in the blue box. The Township is a member of Recycle BC, a provincial not-for-profit responsible for residential packaging and paper recycling. Only metal packaging items such as tin cans, foil trays, and empty aerosol containers are accepted in your blue box. For other metal items such as pots and pans, cutlery, or pipes, please repurpose them or recycle them at a scrap metal yard.
     
  • Hard Plastic Items – Similar to metal, just because something is made of plastic it doesn’t mean it’s recyclable, even if it has the recycling symbol and number on it. The recycling symbol and number only indicate the type of plastic an item is made from, not that it’s recyclable. In the Township, only rigid plastic packaging such as detergent bottles, cups, and more are accepted at the curb, even if they don’t have a number. Donate plastic product items like Rubbermaid containers or kids toys, or dispose of them as garbage.
     
  • Hard Cover Books – Books are not accepted for recycling in municipal programs. Instead, donate books in good condition or repurpose their pages if they are a little worse for wear.

Learn more

Check your recycling bins and see if one of these top contaminants have made their way in. Unsure whether something is accepted for recycling? Review our recycling guide or try the What Goes Where tool.

Engineering Division
604-532-7300
opsinfo@tol.ca