When was the Capital Region’s recycling program established?

The region’s original Blue Box program was established in March 1989. At that time, only glass bottles, tin and aluminum cans and newspapers were collected. The program initially serviced only Oak Bay, Saanich, Victoria and Esquimalt.

Who is eligible to participate and is it mandatory?

The curbside program is available to Capital Region residents living in single family dwellings of up to four units – a total of 121,000 homes.

Depot programs are available to residents on Salt Spring Island, Southern Gulf Islands and in Port Renfrew.

While participation is not mandatory, the items accepted for recycling are banned from your garbage.

Who collects the materials for recycling?

All materials are collected by Emterra Environmental Ltd. using 16 trucks. The CRD pays Emterra on a per-household basis.

How is the program funded?

Collection and processing of residential recyclables is funded through the product stewardship program for printed paper and packaging, managed by Recycle BC.

Why do I need to use a CRD Blue Box or Blue Bag?

A CRD Blue Box (for containers) or a CRD Blue Bag (for paper) must be placed in a visible location at the curb to clearly identify the materials as recyclables for collection. The CRD standard size promotes efficient, safe lifting and limits items that are too heavy and too large. This makes a difference to the recycling truck driver, who carries and empties over 2,000 boxes and bags every collection day.

Do CRD Blue Boxes & Blue Bags contain recycled materials?

All boxes and bags contain a minimum 20% post-consumer recycled content or more.

What happens if my recyclables are not picked up on my designated day?

If your recycling has not been collected by 4pm on your collection day, leave your materials at the curb and call Emterra Environmental at 250.385.4399 by 11am the following day.

Is the same schedule in effect on holidays?

Yes. Collection days are unaffected by holidays (except for Christmas Day and New Year’s Day). Please refer to your schedule or our on-line schedule information for holiday changes.

Who can I contact if I have any additional recycling questions?

Please contact the CRD Hotline:

email 
Tel: 250.360.3030

Materials

What materials are not accepted in the Blue Box Program?

  • plastic bags and wrap
  • polystyrene (Styrofoam)
  • materials contaminated with food waste (grease spots on pizza boxes are acceptable)
  • containers which have held hazardous materials, like solvent or motor oil
  • window glass
  • light bulbs
  • drinking glasses, dishes or ceramics
  • plastic ribbons and bows, foil gift wrap
  • broken glass - you may wrap broken glass in newspaper or something similar, so that no one gets cut handling it, and place it inside your garbage bag, inside your garbage can. Alternately you may take broken glass to a recycling facility that takes pane glass. Go to Glass (pane) for more details on local facilities.

Where can I recycle plastic bags for free?

Plastic bags fall under the stewardship program for printing and packaging so can be recycled free of charge at designated facilities. Plastic bags are not accepted in the Blue Box Program. Many grocery and retail stores will accept plastic bags for recycling. Better yet, purchase cloth bags to reuse each time you shop. Here is a list of facilities that accept plastic bags from residents for free.

Where can I recycle Styrofoam for free?

Styrofoam is not accepted in the Blue Box Program. Here is a list of facilities that accept Styrofoam from residents for free.

Preparation

Why do containers need to be clean?

There are several reasons we need to ensure that containers are clean when placed at the curb, such as:
  • health risks to drivers and processing plant staff from pathogens and moulds that can become airborne
  • safety risks if a container has bleach residue or other potentially dangerous substances in it
  • dirty containers smell and may attract animals, rodents and insects (including wasps and bees)
  • contaminated items that can not be recycled may end up being sent to landfill
  • dirt and debris can damage recycling equipment and other manufacturing equipment

How should pizza boxes be prepared for recycling?

To prepare pizza boxes for recycling, empty them of all food waste, liners and inserts.

Tear off the lids or turn the boxes inside out, place out with your cardboard.

How should my materials be organized for collection?

Recyclables should be placed at the curb in three streams:

  1. Paper, Cardboard and Paper Packaging
  2. Metal and Plastic Containers
  3. Glass Bottles and Jars
More information on what is accepted and how to prepare your materials is available.

How can I prepare sensitive papers for recycling?

Remove any personal information and shred sensitive paperwork. Place shredded paper inside a paper bag or box (e.g. cereal box, shoe box) to keep is secure and prevent litter.

You may also want to place your recyclables at the curb as close as possible to the pick-up time of 7:30am on the morning on your collection day.

What do I need to do on my collection day?

Just ensure that your recyclables are at the curb by 7:30am on your collection day. Please note that the collection time may vary.

What if I missed my collection day or have more materials than will fit in my Blue Box or Blue Bag?

Be sure to utilize a least one CRD Blue Box or Blue Bag to indicate to the recycling truck driver the materials are intended for this program. For additional recyclables, other boxes or bins may be used. Look for receptacles that are a similar in size to a CRD Blue Box.

There is no limit to the amount of material you may place at the curb.

You can also drop off your recyclables at a recycling depot. Here is a list of free drop off locations.


Impact

Why should I recycle and does it make a difference?

Yes, you are making a difference!

To date residents of the region have recycled over 400,000 tonnes of material, saving valuable landfill space and resources.

All items collected in the Blue Box program are banned from your garbage.

What happens to the recyclable materials?

It’s amazing what can be made with used materials. Corrugated cardboard reappears as cereal boxes. Mixed paper is made into new boxboard products. Plastic can be recycled into shampoo bottles or plastic lumber.

Still have unanswered questions?

CRD Hotline

Email
Tel: 250.360.3030