Now that Santa has come & gone and all the presents have been opened, you may have been left with a little more recycling than usual. Here is a quick guide on how to properly recycle your Christmas waste in BC :)

Some Christmas items that need to be recycled properly. 

1. Wrapping paper 

  • Most 100% paper gift wrap can be recycled in your curb-side recycling program. 
  • Any foil lined or holographic paper is not recyclable and therefore must be put in the trash.
  • Make sure to remove any tape, tags, ribbon and bows that are not 100% paper before recycling your wrapping paper. Store any tags, ribbons or bows that can be reused in the future.

2. Paper gift bags & tissue paper

  • Gift bags that are 100% paper can be put in your regular curb-side recycling. However, all non-paper embellishments must be removed prior to recycling (gromets, plastic ribbons, tape, tags etc...). 
  • If you have plastic gift bags, they cannot be recycled, and will need to be put in the garbage. If you don't know whether or not your gift bag is plastic, a general rule is that if it's shiny, it probably cannot be recycled. Better to reuse it than throw it out!
  • Tissue paper can be placed in your curb-side recycling in BC.
  • The best way of recycling bags & tissue paper, is to reuse them. Store your used bags and paper to be reused for years to come!

3. Greeting cards 

  • Most greeting cards can be recycled curb-side. Again, any plastic components/any musical cards must be taken apart. Only 100% paper pieces can go in the recycling.

4. Foam packaging 

  • Foam packaging cannot be put in your curb-side recycling. You can recycle this type of packaging at your local recycling depot.

5. Old electronics & batteries

  • You may have gotten some fun new electronics for Christmas - but it's important that we dispose of our old used electronics properly. Tons of old electronics and batteries wind up in our landfills every year. They cannot be recycled curb-side and should not be simply thrown in the garbage. Old electronics & batteries should be brought to your local recycling depot. 

6. Old clothing & textiles

  • There are two types of textile recycling - (1) you can resell/donate your clothing in good condition or (2) you can recycle worn out clothing, bedding, shoes, curtains, etc.. that are no longer useable. 
  • Salvation Army & Return-It BC locations have a great partnership for textile recycling (details outlined later in blog). 

7. Soft plastic, overwrap & plastic bags. 

  • Soft plastics and overwrap cannot be placed in your curb-side recycling. These items must be collected separately & dropped off at your local recycling depot!
  • London Drugs is a great location for recycling your soft plastics. 

8. Christmas trees

  • There are a bunch of recycling/donating options for your used Christmas trees, including some great charities that you can support post holidays. In and around our neck of the woods in Victoria, BC, there are tons of Christmas tree recycling programs, all of which are outlined for 2021 here!
  • Christmas tree recycling differs by municipality, but most regions have some form of tree chipping service at the least. Check with your local municipality for your options!


Some great resources & locations for recycling programs in BC.

Van Isle

1. Recycling depot

  • A few locations around Victoria include (1) Return-it Esquimalt, (2) Hartland, and (3) Ellice Recycle.
  • Make sure that all of your items are clean and sorted prior to arriving at any recycling depot. 
  • If you're unsure about what each location accepts, check out their website before you go!

2. London Drugs

  • All London drugs locations accept beverage containers & soft plastics.
  • Keep in mind their electronic and appliance recycling applies only if the customer purchased the item from London Drugs

3. Staples

  • All Staples locations accept old electronics, printer ink and batteries (single use & rechargeable). 

4. Salvation Army

  • Textiles - both to be resold and to be recycled. Make sure all clothing to be donated is washed, even if it is to be recycled. 
  • Make sure if your items are not re-wearable that they are labelled as such!
  • Old cotton tees that are too ratty to be worn, make great reusable paper towels! Simple cut up your old tees and store them in a basket to be used to clean around the house :)


Mainland BC

All of the above locations also apply to the mainland, however there are a few stand-out recycling depots that are great for mainland BC residents!

  • Zero Waste Center, Vancouver - The best place to get all of your recycling done in one location is the Vancouver Zero Waste Center. They accept a long list of items not accepted in curb-side recycling. Check out their entire list of acceptable items here!
  • Return-It locations - There are tons of Return-it locations across BC, but what items are accepted differ by location. From electronics, large appliances, textiles, beverage containers, they have quite a large list of accepted items and they have tons of locations across BC. Their standout textile recycling program accepts a wide range of items including unused clothing, bedding, curtains, shoes, sleeping bags etc... This textile program has yet to be brought to the island however they have partnered with salvation army for their recycling programs across BC. Check out your local Return-It here!
Happy Recycling! xo 


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