Recycling SOS

Reducing contamination in North Cowichan’s recycling

We need your help!

North Cowichan residents work hard to recycle – but currently, too many items that are not accepted are being put in curbside collection bins. This contamination can lead to recycling loads being rejected or increases in service fees.

Let’s work together to make sure we’re recycling correctly and ensure our efforts are helping – not harming – the environment.

Common Recycling Mistakes

Some of the items currently found in curbside recycling need to be diverted to other waste streams or sent to the depot. 

Common items that are currently being found in curbside bins that should instead be recycled at a depot such as Bings Creek Solid Waste Management Complex are:

  • Film and soft plastics (ie: plastic bags or plastic wrappers)
  • Styrofoam
  • Glass
  • Electronics 

Common items that are currently being found in curbside bins that should instead go to other streams are:

  • Food/yard waste – compost using green organics cart
  • Hard and soft cover books – donate to a second-hand store, or dispose of in garbage.
  • Clothing - donate to a second-hand store, or dispose of in garbage

Recycling Resources

Wondering what goes where? There are some great tools available:

  • Check out the Waste Wizard sorting tool: type in the material and get information about whether it belongs in your blue bin, the recycle depot or the landfill.
  • Download the MNC Curbside app (available in Google Play or Apple App Store) to check the Waste Wizard on-the-go, sign up for collection reminders and more.
  • Check out our FAQ here.
  • Download and post our handy Quick Reference Guide to Recycling [PDF - 2 MB]

Contamination in North Cowichan

Currently, North Cowichan is seeing a 7% contamination rate (by weight), through the monitoring and audits of our collected recyclables, by Recycle BC.

This level of contamination is significantly above the required 3%, which means we have some work to do improve as a community and make our recycling program work.

Over the coming months, we’ll be offering ongoing information, resources, events and other recycling-related activities for residents in North Cowichan.

To help with sorting, the municipality will also undertake inspections of curbside recycling bins in January, 2022. Residents can expect to find stickers on their bins with guidance on sorting as needed – continued infractions may result in unacceptable material or bins left behind.

Contact Us

Operations Department