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Here at Product Care Recycling, we get puzzled looks sometimes, especially from kids, when it comes to recycling household items like cans of paint, light bulbs, and smoke/CO alarms in BC. If not the blue bin, then where?

This is understandable given we generally associate our curbside blue bin system with the wider spectrum of recycling. However, there are many products that require their own special diversion. Here are some ideas to get you started on recycling beyond the eponymous blue bin.

  1. Start with the basics
    Although recycling 101 may start with sorting plastic containers from pop bottles, there is so much more that can be recycled. Get the right information about what your municipality picks up and what they don’t and even get your kids and other family members involved in the process. Reserve a spot in your house for sorting curbside recyclables, compost, and depot recyclables and get everyone in your household to share the responsibility of taking them to the right place.
  2. Acknowledge other recyclables and collect them too
    Burnt out light bulb? A handful of dead batteries? A can of paint left from a regretful colour choice? Recycle it! Okay, these items are not generally accepted in municipal pickups, but there are many recycling depots, bottle depots, and retailers that are happy to recycle these products for you. Regional Recycling even offers a handy box that you can keep all light bulbs, batteries and cords in.
  3. Check out your local recycling depot
    Many depots across BC are set up to take all types of recyclables. The next time you are cashing in those bottles and cans, take a good look around. What other materials do they accept? You’ll be surprised find bins for whole light fixtures, plastics, styrofoams, stereos, paint products, kitchen appliances – you name it. Use our recycling locator to find your nearest one.
  4. Buy what you need, use what you can, dispose of it safely
    The best way to become a pro-recycler is to think about how the product can be recycled before a new one is even purchased. “Can I use all of the product?” “How will I dispose of it when it breaks or I no longer want it?” “How can I keep this material out of the landfill?” All great questions to ask when buying a new item so you’ll be ready to dispose of it responsibly and reduce potential clutter in the future.

With so much that can be recycled these days, we hope these tips bring some clarity to your recycling system at home! For more information about recycling in your local area, select your province’s page from our menu.


Find a Recycling Location