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Party products and single-use plastics among new recyclables in BC

New items added to New Westminster’s residential blue box program
Starting Jan. 1, 2023, a number of new items can be recycled in BC blue box programs or at participating depots.

New West residents can now recycle more products through curbside collection – including single-use plastics and party items like piñatas and red Solo cups.

Aluminum foil, gift bags and boxes, party décor, plastic pot plants, plastic cutlery and straws, and sandwich bags are also among the items that can now be recycled in residential blue box programs or at participating recycling depots.

The City of New Westminster is spreading the word about the new additions to the recycling stream, which was announced by the province after the city had already published and sent out its 2023 solid waste and recycling collection brochure.

Starting Jan. 1, the province added more items to B.C.'s recycling system, including packaging products and items that are often disposed of after a single use, such as plastic sandwich bags or throw-away party cups, bowls and plates.

According to the province, single-use plastics are one of the most common items found on B.C. shores.

"Our government is working to ensure that people in B.C. can help to keep their communities and the environment healthy. By expanding our nation-leading recycling system to include more products, we are keeping more plastic out of our waterways and landfills," said Richmond-Queensborough MLA Aman Singh, who is B.C.’s parliamentary secretary for environment. "People across the province can now recycle a wider array of single-use plastics and other materials in their blue bins and at recycling depots."

Newly accepted blue-box items include:

* Plastic plates, bowls, cups, cutlery and straws

* Plastic food storage containers

* Plastic hangers (that come with clothing)

* Paper plates, bowls and cups (with thin plastic lining)

* Aluminum foil, aluminum-foil baking dishes and pie plates

Flexible plastics are now accepted at depots across the province, including the United Boulevard Recycling and Waste Centre at 995 United Blvd.

Examples of flexible plastics now accepted at depots-only include: plastic sandwich and freezer bags; plastic shrink wrap; flexible plastic drop sheets and covering; flexible plastic bubble wrap (no bubble wrap-lined paper); plastic recycling bags (blue, clear bags, or yellow or blue bags used for curb-side collection); and flexible plastic carry-out shopping bags (reusable).

"This expanded materials list will allow more material to be recycled, keep it out of landfills and stop it from littering the environment," Tamara Burns, executive director of Recycle BC, said in a news release. "Residents play a key role in recycling this material by enabling it to be collected — by putting it into their bins or taking materials to a depot."

Recycle BC is the agency responsible for residential blue-box recycling programs in British Columbian. For a detailed list of products now accepted in the blue box program or at recycling depots, visit Recycle BC at