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Changes to Recycling in BC

MMBC Recycling

Changes to recycling in BC

A province-wide stewardship program for managing end-of-life Packaging and Printed Paper (PPP) was implemented across BC on May 19, 2014.

This program is the first of its kind in Canada. The businesses that supply packaging and printed paper to BC residents are now responsible for managing these residential products, according to the provincial regulation.

Why is the residential recycling system changing?

Over the past two decades, more than twenty Product Stewardship programs were introduced in BC. Through these programs, industry is responsible for end-of-life management of items such as beverage containers, electronics, paint, used oil, tires and batteries.

In May 2011, the BC Provincial Government introduced legislation that holds industry responsible for the collection and recycling of Packaging and Printed Paper products sold and distributed within the province. Businesses obligated under the regulation are known as ‘producers’ or ‘stewards’.

A non-profit organization called Multi-Material BC (MMBC) was established to develop and implement a residential stewardship program for PPP products on behalf of the producers.

What materials are included in the recycling program?

Most items that were already accepted in your recycling cart previous to the changes will continue to be collected.

Materials you are now able to recycle in your Recyclables Cart:

  • Paper food packaging coated with plastic, such as milk and soup cartons, and ice cream tubs
  • Paper and plastic take-out drink cups and lids
  • Aerosol cans and caps (containing materials such as food items, air fresheners, shaving cream, deodorant and hairspray)
  • Spiral-wound paper cans and lids (containing materials such as frozen juice, potato chips, cookie dough, coffee, nuts, etc.)
  • Plastic containers, trays and caps (such as bakery containers and deli trays)
  • Plastic plant pots and trays
  • Microwavable bowls, cups and lids

For a complete list of acceptable items, download our Recycling Guide, available in English, Korean, Punjabi and Chinese

In addition, recycling drop-off depots are accepting more items, including certain kinds of film packaging (e.g. plastic shopping bags), plastic foam packaging (e.g. Styrofoam) and glass packaging. 

What About Glass Containers?

Multi Materials BC (MMBC) has identified two categories for glass:

  1. Refundable Beverage Bottles:  This category includes items such as refundable glass beverage and spirits bottles, i.e. wine, beer, pop, juice bottles, etc.

MMBC’s preference is that Refundable Beverage Bottles not be placed at curbside for collection mixed in with your other recyclables. In this regard we encourage residents to dispose of these bottles at retail centers or drop-off depots to receive back their deposit; and

  1. Category 8 Glass (non-refundable glass):  This category includes glass packaging containers such as pickle jars, pasta jars, cosmetic jars, etc.

MMBC requires that Category 8 Glass be either collected at curbside in a separate receptacle or taken to a depot for disposal. In Surrey, our total annual residential curbside recyclables tonnage in 2013 contained less than 1% of glass material. With such a small quantity of glass contained in Surrey’s recyclables waste stream, collecting this material in a separate container is not a cost effective or practical option.

Follow MMBC’s requirements and take Category 8 Glass to a depot near you for disposal.

For more information on MMBC’s Printed Paper and Packaging Recycling Program, visit Multi Material BC or email info@multimaterialbc.ca.

Where can I get more information?

A complete list of acceptable items is provided in our Recycling Guide. The guide is available in

For more information on the types of packaging and printed paper that can be recycled in Surrey or to find a recycling drop-off depot near you, visit Metro Vancouver Recycles, contact the Recycling Council of British Columbia at 604-732-9253 or check Recyclepedia.

More information on the province-wide changes can be found on the Province of BC's website.