What goes in the recycling bin?

Upcoming changes to recycling starting May 19, 2014

As of May 19th, the rules are changing for recycling in Vancouver.

There are a number of new items you will be able to recycle in your blue box. The most common are:

  • Milk cartons
  • Paper containers (including most gable-top containers)
  • Tetra Paks ®
  • Paper cups
  • Ice cream tubs
  • Paper/metal containers such as frozen juice cans

There are also new items you will be able to bring to the Transfer Station and all recycling depots:

  • Styrofoam and plastic bags

Continue to recycle your glass as usual.

Why these changes are happening

The City of Vancouver entered into an agreement with Multi-Material BC (MMBC) and will continue recycling collection services curbside as well as apartments and strata complexes. We will continue to provide updates as the City's transition plan unfolds. 

Most commonly accepted items



  • Paper cups
  • Milk cartons
  • Tetra Paks ®
  • Aerosal cans
  • Ice cream tubs
  • Spiral wound paper and metal cans
  • Plastic jugs and containers
  • Glass jars and bottles
  • Cans
  • Blue box
  • Containers bin
  • Newspapers
  • Flyers
  • Blue bag
  • Newspaper bin
  • Phone books
  • Flattened boxes
  • Egg cartons
  • Envelopes and scrap paper
  • Yellow bag
  • Paper products bin


Take large amounts of recycling to the transfer station for free

If you have large amounts of recyclable items that will not fit in your recycling bin or recycling bags, you can drop those items off for free at the City's main recycling depot, located at the Vancouver South Transfer Station.

Can the City compost it?

Food scraps and yard waste

Find out what types of food scraps and yard waste you can put in your Green Bin, and how you set your Green Bin out to make sure it gets picked up by the City.

Should it go in the garbage bin?


To make sure your garbage gets collected by the City, keep banned items out of your bin and ensure that your bin is not overflowing. Learn more about what can go into your garbage bin, and how to set out your bin correctly.

What the city does not pick up

Dispose of other items

Not everything can go in to your garbage, recycling, and green bins. Many items can be recycled. Find out how to dispose of items that you do not want anymore.

Ask. Tell. Connect.

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Recycling tips

To ensure your recycling is picked up:

  • Do not include banned items in your recycling
  • Prepare recyclable items correctly
  • Put recyclable items in the right bin, box, or bag

Find disposal alternatives

Search by item or location on the Metro Vancouver Recycles website to find out where you can dispose of things.

Search Metro Vancouver Recycles

Keep items that are not accepted out

Unaccepted items notice

If the City's collection crew found unacceptable items in your garbage bin or Green Bin, you may find a note to explain why your items were left behind.

Remove the unacceptable items so that your garbage bin or Green Bin can be emptied next time.

Need supplies?

Get bins, boxes, and bags

Learn how to get the garbage, recycling, and green waste supplies that you need, including stickers for extra garbage. Find out how to get a different size bin for garbage and green waste.

Last modified: Fri, 16 May 2014 14:43:16

Prepare recyclable items for collection