The Municipality of North Cowichan Needs Your Help to Improve Recycling

(North Cowichan, BC) – With too many unaccepted materials turning up in curbside collection bins, North Cowichan is asking residents to help out and learn more about what can – and can’t – go in curbside recycling bins.

Currently, North Cowichan is seeing a 7% contamination rate (by weight) in curbside recycling collection - measured through the monitoring and audits by Recycle BC. This level of contamination is significantly above the required 3% - an overage that can result in recycling loads being rejected or increases in service fees.

“Our goal is to work together as a community to reduce the level of contamination in our recycling stream,” said Mayor Al Siebring. “By doing this we can ensure a successful program, do our part for the environment and avoid increases in fees.”

To help refresh the community on what should go in recycling bins, and give advice on some of the unaccepted materials that are most commonly found, the municipality is undertaking an education campaign to help residents. This will include region-wide inspections of curbside recycling bins in January 2022; where stickers will be placed on bins with guidance on sorting, as needed.

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

Common items being found in curbside recycling bins that should be recycled at a depot are: 

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

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

  • Food waste (Organics)
  • Hard and soft cover books (Garbage)

For more sorting tips residents can download the “MNC Curbside” app (available in Google Play or Apple App Store). The app allows users to search items with the Waste Wizard tool, sign up for collection reminders, access schedules, and more. The Waste Wizard is also available online at

To learn more about the recycling education program visit


Media Contact:         
Shawn Cator, Director, Operations
Municipality of North Cowichan
T: 250.746.3146