Changes to Residential Recycling on the West Coast (Westerly News Article by Dan Harrison)

Changes to the residential curbside recycling program on the West Coast will be implemented on May 19, 2014 as a result of a new agreement with Multi-Material BC.

In response to changes to the residential recycling program (outlined below), SonBird Refuse & Recycling and the Raincoast Education Society have developed a new website for West Coast recycling information: The new website will provide residents with up-to-date information about recycling programs on the West Coast. The curbside recycling pick-up schedule, depot hours, information on how to recycle specific materials, and other recycling resources will be available at 

How will the changes affect residential recycling on the West Coast? 

—• The following items are now accepted in your curbside Blue Box: milk cartons, aseptic boxes (Tetra-Paks for soups, sauces, etc.), frozen juice cans, aerosol cans (except hazardous materials), paper bags with single and multiple layers, paper hot and cold beverage cups, frozen dessert boxes, plastic drink cups and lids, plastic garden pots and seedling trays.

• Plastic bags and plastic wrap will no longer be accepted in curbside recycling, but can be dropped off at the recycling depot. 

Curbside recycling will now be the only means of recycling residential materials free of charge.

• A service fee will be charged for all recyclables dropped off at the recycling depot, except for plastic bags and plastic wrap, which will be accepted free of charge as a community service provided by SonBird.

• Pickup dates will follow the same schedule as normal.

Why is residential recycling changing?

Multi-Material BC (MMBC), the agency representing the producers and suppliers of packaging and printed paper, will be taking over responsibility for residential packaging and printed paper in BC. The main idea behind the change is to make the producers and suppliers of recyclable materials in British Columbia responsible for dealing with the materials they introduce into the marketplace – this principle is called extended producer responsibility.

For links to more in-depth information on MMBC, and for other recycling resources, please visit