Recycling Ambassadors return with recycling education

Are you putting the right things in your recycling cart? Do you know which items are depot only recyclables?  As part of the Regional Waste Reduction Office ongoing recycling education campaign, Recycling Ambassadors are back on the streets this fall checking what’s going into residential recycling carts.


Engineering Manager Travis Kendel says the Recycling Ambassador program, now well into its third season, has been extremely effective in helping residents to recycle right. “Through the remainder of the year our Ambassadors will be reaching out to residents through direct education and curbside cart checks. We’ve found that direct resident engagement is one of the most valuable and well received educational tools to encourage residents to recycle effectively.”


Kendel adds, “We understand that sorting waste and recycling can sometimes be confusing. Most residents are doing a pretty good job putting only what’s acceptable into their recycling carts. But our audits continue to show there is still a significant number of unacceptable items going into our recycling carts.”


“Plastic bags, plastic toys, clothing, garbage, books, food waste, garden hoses, electronics, construction materials, scrap metals, furnace filters, and even yard waste—items that have never been accepted in our curbside recycling program are still showing up and contaminating the recycling stream,” says Kendel.


“If we don’t significantly reduce and eliminate these unacceptable products from our recycling loads, we face financial penalties from Recycle BC. We all need to do a better job and that requires continuous education and monitoring.”


Kendel says the Recycling Ambassadors will have a quick look at the contents in recycling carts, if they find items that don’t belong, they’ll leave behind information explaining what went wrong.  In some cases, if there is significant contamination, carts won’t be picked up until the offending material is removed.


Here are some of the items Ambassadors will be looking for:

  • Garbage
    • Garden hoses, landscape edging and tarps
    • Paper towels and tissues
    • Non-packaging plastics such as toys, Tupperware type containers, laundry baskets
  • Items recyclable at depots and other locations (but not in the cart)
    • Plastic bags including bagged recyclables
    • Styrofoam
    • Glass
    • Soft plastics such as cling wrap, bubble wrap, chip and snack bags, zipper bags
    • Electronics and small appliances
    • Textiles such as clothes, fabric and pillows
    • Soft cover novels and hard cover books and textbooks
  • Hazardous waste
    • Hazards such as syringes, propane tanks, oil jugs


To find out more about what to recycle in your curbside cart or at a depot, visit, download the free Recycle Coach App, or call the Regional Waste Reduction Office at 250-469-6250.