Municipality of North Cowichan.

Municipality needs help to improve recycling

Too many unaccepted items turning up in curbside bins

There are too many unacceptable materials turning up in curbside collection bins and North Cowichan is asking residents to help by learning more about what can’t go in curbside recycling bins.

North Cowichan is currently seeing a seven per cent 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 per cent, 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 North Cowichan 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 people 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. This will include region-wide inspections of curbside recycling bins in January 2022, with stickers placed on bins to provide guidance on sorting.

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 like plastic bags or plastic wrappers; styrofoam; glass; and electronics

Common items being found in curbside bins that should go to other streams are: food waste (organics) and hard and soft cover books (garbage).

Residents can download the MNC Curbside app for more sorting tips. 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

Municipal Government