Beyond the Blue Box

Village Vancouver has started a monthly recycling event in Kitsilano to recycle materials that the City blue box program doesn’t accept. It was inspired by the Beyond the Blue Box event at Britannia Community Centre. It has been an education for me to learn about all the different types of plastics that can be recycled. Like the plastic tube that some soft cheeses come in, or those one serving peanut butter and jam containers you get at restaurants (and slip into your purse for the camping kit). Not only is the plastic recyclable, but so is the little foil top.

Right now the Kits event is focusing on the plastics, including polystyrene food containers (clam shells) and foil lined bags. But Britannia also takes styrofoam, electronics, CDs, milk and juice containers and much more. Both groups partner with Pacific Recycling Mobile Depots and charge a small fee.

It would be great if all community centres offered this type of event; currently my Kits Community Centre only provides battery recycling. I have discovered some other great resources though. Let me know if you have others.

London Drugs Green Deal

They take a wide range of household materials including small appliances whether or not they were purchased from London Drugs. They also collect packaging from their own products; compact fluorescent bulbs and tubes.

Recycling Council of BC

The non-profit group has run the recycling hotline for many years. They have several great resources on their web site too including reuse exchanges.

  • Recyclepedia. From the RCBC home page, enter the item you want to recycle and find out where you can take it.
  • Materials Exchange. Both a residential and industrial, plus an electronics exchange.
  • The Reuses Network. A cooperative online exchange system.

Safeway takes plastic bags, tins and bottles with deposits.

Shared Harvest lets you find locally produced food or donate food to those in need, groups around BC.

And don’t forget Craig’s List and Free Geek, wonderful reuse resources. Just post a free notice to get rid of items you don’t want. A woman scooped up a cupboard full of jars I had and used them for candle holders for her wedding. Now I’m hoping someone might want all that Christmas wrapping paper I’ve been saving for the last decade. Beyond belief!

7 Replies to “Beyond the Blue Box

  1. We use WCS recycling in North Van. For $6 I bought a huge clear plastic bag. Into it we put all the #3,6 and 7 that don’t get picked up. Also we can recycle styrofoam, soft foam, plastic bags, foil and pretty much anything else. Their system is very efficient and the facilities are spotless – makes it easy to sort. It’s $6 for each drop off. I kind of resent paying for doing ‘the right thing’ but I’d still rather pay than just dump the stuff into the landfill.

    1. That’s great – what does WCS stand for? I just finished cleaning out my Xmas paper, etc and found some very old Xmas cards and letters from you! Will save them to show you. A moment in time.

  2. Way to go!! So glad you’re doing this.

    We are hoping to start such a plastic recycling event in our 146 unit West End high rise this year. Wish us good luck!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *