Frequently Asked Questions


Who do I call if I have collection related concerns or questions?

The Municipality's curbside recycling is collected by a contractor. Questions can be directed to them at 250-715-0955. Since they are directly involved in the curbside recycling collection issues, they can normally answer your questions the best. The CVRD Recycle hotline (250-746-2540) can also help you with other recycling questions.

Why is glass not collected in the curbside recycling program?

Glass can easily break during collection. When broken glass mixes with paper and other containers it becomes difficult to properly recycle these materials, meaning that less glass—and less of the other material—is recycled. Broken glass is also a safety hazard.

What do I do with film plastics?

Film plastics are accepted at Island Return-It Bottle Depots Bing’s Creek and Peerless Road Recycling depots at no cost.

Island Return-It Duncan (6476 Norcross Road, Duncan)
Bings Creek Solid Waste Management Complex (3900Drinkwater Road, Duncan)
Peerless Road Drop-off Depot (10830 Peerless Road, Ladysmith)

 Additionally the following grocery stores accept single use grocery bags for recycling at no cost:

  • Thrifty Foods ( Duncan & Mill Bay) – Bin at front of store
  • Country Grocer (Cobble Hill) – Bin at front of store
  • Save on Foods (Duncan & Laysmith) – Bin at front of store
  • Walmart Supercentre (Duncan)
  • London Drugs – Bring them to the counter
  • Chemainus Foods – Will donate to local thrift store

Please make sure that the bags are clean before taking them to be recycled.

What goes in the recycling bags/containers?

All recyclables can be placed into the yellow bag or a clearly marked container. See our recycling information on this website (, download our curbside collection app,  or check the back side of your collection calendar.

Where can I get recycling bags/containers?

Yellow recycling stickers for containers (free) and yellow bags ($2.00 each) are available at the Municipal Hall.

Is there a limit on recyclable material I can put out?

There is no limit on the amount of recyclable materials you can put out on your collection day; however, each container should generally be no more than 77L in size so the collection contractor can easily lift the materials into the truck. 

Some other jurisdictions allow much larger bins (up to 240L) as their recycling trucks are equipped with hydraulic arms that can lift these heavier recycling containers. North Cowichan's recycling contractor trucks are not equipped with these arms, so recycling containers must be lifted by hand, necessitating smaller bins.

What type of container can I use for my Recyclables?

North Cowichan does not supply containers for recycling. We allow residents to use the re-usable containers of their choice provided they are generally less than 77L in size and are clearly labled  "recyclables."   We offer free "recyclables" labels to place on your containers and reusable yellow recyclables bags ($1.00 each) at the Municipal Hall.

Why is my recycling day different than my neighbour's?

The recycling routes are not the same as the garbage pickup zones. Your recycling day is identified by your colour zone and whether it is a “A” zone, or a “B” zone. Your neighbour's may differ from yours, as he may be in opposite “A” or “B” zone. Recycling is collected on an alternating cycle; normally every two weeks. Your calendar shows which days include both refuse and recycling.  Download our Curbside Collection app from the App store or Google Play store and get reminders sent to you before your collection day!

Is recycling voluntary or mandatory?

Recycling is a mandatory program as garbage collection may be refused should it contain recyclable material.

Where can I dispose of old applicances, paint, cardboard, etc?

Download our curbside collection app and use the Waste Wizard function to search for ways to properly dispose of materials.  You can also use the waste wizard function on our website.