For those living in Vancouver, recycling as much waste as possible is one of the first steps people can take to help protect the environment. Recycling reduces the amount of trash sent to landfills, helping to decrease pollution rates and the need to constantly manufacture more plastics and other items.

Vancouver has steadily improved its recycling rates over the years. Statistics taken from across the first two decades of the 21st century show a steady improvement from 2000, which saw an approximate recycling rate of 45%, to 2018, when that rate had grown to 64%. However, the city, like the rest of the world, still has tremendous potential for improvement.

Many residents want to improve their contributions to the recycling initiatives. However, recycling can be a bit of a confusing process. Many people wonder which items they can and cannot recycle. This Vancouver recycling guide can help answer those questions and make it easier for people to implement across the city. 

Vancouver Recycling Guide

Across Canada, you will find a few universal standards related to what items can and cannot be recycled:

  • Glass bottles and other items can be recycled
  • Paper and newspapers can be recycled
  • Cardboard should be recycled, but watch out for cardboard mixed with plastic, as this can be a bit more challenging 
  • Aluminum, such as from soda cans, can also go into the recycling

Recycling can get a bit more confusing when you start to discuss plastics. 

In Vancouver, some items can be recycled by curbside pickup, while others need to be dropped off at depots.

  • Plastic containers, such as rinsed milk jugs or shampoo bottles, can be recycled
  • Most rigid plastic packaging can be recycled
  • Plastic utensils and other items can be recycled 

However, plastic used to store hazardous materials, such as motor oil, and plastic toys or hoses are not acceptable for recycling.

As you begin to improve your recycling in Vancouver, it is recommended that you check whether the item being recycled can be included in your curbside pickup or if you need to bring it to the depot. Some of the items that will need to be brought to the depot include:

  • Foam containers, such as those from take-out trays or egg cartons
  • Flexible packaging, such as wrappers from electronics or plastic shopping bags

Those who recognize the importance of recycling these items might wish to create personal collections of these items that have to be brought to the depots so that they can make bulk drop-offs from their personal household items.

How Can Vancouver’s Residents Improve their Recycling?

With the importance of recycling in the environmental plan of ‘reduce, reuse, recycle,’ all residents should look for ways to improve their personal recycling habits. Reviewing this Vancouver recycling guide is one of the first steps. Knowing what you can recycle from home to the curbside can help you properly sort your waste so that you do not relegate recyclable items to landfills.

Businesses and homeowners alike can also improve the availability of recycling bins. Businesses of all types can improve the prominence of the recycling bins around their property so that people can easily dispose of their waste in the proper receptacle. 

Recycling bins can come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Space-saving options can help you place it in smaller areas, so it remains accessible to people without decreasing the natural flow of space. Sturdy outdoor bins can enhance accessibility for people when they move around outdoors or even have picnics and other activities outside.

Celebrating Recycling in Vancouver

Vancouver continues to perform well with recycling rates. However, room for improvement always exists. Consider how investing in well-built, clearly labeled recycling bins can help you and the people around you work towards improving the local recycling rates.