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Soft plastics, plant pots among new items being accepted by Richmond recycling

New provincial regulations allow dozens of new items into blue boxes, green carts and at recycling depot
Richmond Recycling Depot
The Richmond Recycling Depot on Lynas Lane.

Items from aluminum foil plates to plastic dental floss containers can now be recycled in Richmond.

The city is adding a long list of items that are now being accepted in their recycling programs after the province made changes to its recycling regulations.

While some items – like soft plastic sandwich bags and bubble wrap – need to be taken to the recycling depot on Lynas Lane, other items can now be put in the residential recycling containers.

This includes uncoated and coated paper plates as well as plastic ones, straws and stir sticks – the wooden ones go in the green bin and the plastic ones in the blue bin.

As for those plastic food containers that come with DoorDash? They can now go in the blue bin as can aluminum foil and plates made from aluminum.

Other items that are now accepted in the blue bins are small thin-metal boxes, plant pots and saucers, plastic disposable hangers as well as plastic tape dispensers and the aforementioned dental floss containers.

As for soft plastic items, from Ziploc bags to plastic shrink, these need to be taken to the Lynas Lane recycling depot, not placed in the blue bins.

The following soft plastic items are now accepted at Lynas Lane: bubble wrap, cushion packaging blocks and sheets, plastic painting drop sheets, reusable plastic shopping bags, plastic shrink wrap, Styrofoam plates as well as food storage, sandwich, freezer and vacuum seal bags.

86% of collected materials recycled

According to Recycle BC, which handles the material collected throughout the City of Richmond, 86 per cent of all materials collected are recycled.

Ninety-seven per cent of plastics collected throughout the province are made into plastic pellets and used to make packaging and other products in Metro Vancouver.

As for recycled paper, this is being recycled into other products egg cartons.

Glass is collected and sent to the U.S.A where it’s made into new bottles or processed into sandblast grit or construction aggregate.

As for organics, they are largely sent to a processing facility in Delta, but some is kept in Richmond and used in city gardens and parks.

“In a nutshell, items collected for recycling are reused and repurposed as much as possible so we encourage residents and businesses to continue to recycle as many materials as they can,” said city spokesperson Clay Adams.

Currently, textiles are collected at donation bins, for example at various fire halls, and are managed by non-profits and private companies.

The city is looking at the feasibility of diverting clothing and other textiles from landfills, according to Adams.