Recycling FAQs

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.

Where can I get recycling bags/containers?

Yellow recycling stickers for containers (free) and yellow bags ($2.00 each) are available at North Cowichan's Municipal Hall (7030 Trans-Canada Highway).

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 be no more than 120 L (30 US gallons) 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. Recycle containers need to be clearly labeled  to avoid confusion. Municipal Hall has yellow recycling stickers for containers free of charge and yellow bags for $2.00 each. Acceptable recycle containers must:

  • be designed to be manually lifted (no commercial totes/carts);
  • have capacity no greater than 120 litres (30 US Gal);
  • not to exceed 20 kgs or 44 lbs (including contents) when placed at the curb for collection.

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. Download our "MNC Curbside" app from the App Store or Google Play store to receive 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 "MNC Curbside" app and use the Waste Wizard function to search for ways to properly dispose of materials. You can also use the Waste Wizard tool on our Curbside Collection webpage.

Does North Cowichan coordinate the commercial collection of Recycling?

No, all apartment, strata, business, and institutional complexes within the municipality must arrange their own recycling services. Buildings may either self-haul recyclables to drop-off depot locations or utilize the services of a private waste hauler.