By Tera Grady –

Residents who receive curbside recycling collection have the convenience of mixing their fibre and container packaging and printed paper items together. However, did you know that foam packaging (Styrofoam), plastic bags, and glass are not allowed in curbside collection? These items need to be collected separately and taken to a Recycle BC depot. In Williams Lake, the Recycle BC depot is located at the Frizzi Road transfer station; in 100 Mile House, residents can use Gold Trail Recycling.


Recycle BC is the organization that provides depot and curbside recycling in the Cariboo. They are a non-profit organization responsible for residential packaging and printed paper (PPP) recycling throughout British Columbia. The producers of PPP, such as grocery stores, retailers, and restaurants, fund Recycle BC. This means consumers are now paying for recycling rather than taxpayers.

Local governments can partner with Recycle BC to become collectors of PPP. By partnering with Recycle BC, local governments have committed to collect PPP items as prescribed in their contract, which is the reason the contamination in curbside material concerns the Cariboo Regional District (CRD), the City of Williams Lake, and the District of 100 Mile House.

We recently completed an audit of curbside recycling in a CRD community and found that 63 per cent of households had some type of “contamination” in their recycling. Contaminating items are any items not included in the Recycle BC PPP curbside program. This includes foam packaging, plastic bags, glass, electronics, toys, hangers, pots and pans, scrap metal, clothing, food, yard waste, and pet waste.

Many people have questions about deposit beverage containers. While glass containers are always contamination, Recycle BC does not consider non-glass deposit beverage containers as contamination. However, if deposit beverage containers are disposed of in curbside recycling, the deposit money is not recovered. The deposit money will not go towards supporting a local bottle depot, assisting a needy charity, or putting money back in your pocket.

Encorp Pacific and the Brewers Recycling Container Collection Council are the stewardship agencies who charge deposits on beverage containers. If deposit beverage containers are not returned to a depot, these companies keep the deposits. Please consider returning your deposit containers for the refund or donating them to a charity of your choice.

Do your part to put a stop to contamination in Recycle BC’s curbside and depot recycling programs. For more information visit, visit the Recycling Council of BC at or call them at 1-800-667-4321 with specific questions.

Join the Cariboo Regional District by resolving to become waste wise and make a difference. Learn more by following us on Facebook at, visiting us online at, or looking for our waste wise articles in your local paper. For more information on the Waste Wise Program, call (250) 398-7929. You can also find more details on Waste Wise activities and events at

The CRD wants to see how the “Cariboo Cares.”WR-Waste-Wise-Photo


Email and tell us where you recycle your glass, foam packaging, and plastic bags (or how you avoid these items so you don’t have to recycle them).

The first five emails will receive a free Cariboo Cares re-usable travel mug!







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