Solid Waste

Where do I get a new Blue Box, Red Box and Yellow Bag?

City recycling receptacles can be picked up at any one of the following locations:

  • City Hall (15322 Buena Vista Avenue)
  • Municipal Operations Yard (877 Keil Street)
  • Centennial Arena (14600 North Bluff Road),
  • White Rock Community Centre (15154 Russell Ave.)
  • Kent Street Seniors Activity Centre (1475 Kent Street).

These items are free of charge to White Rock residents.

My recycling, garbage, yard or green can wasn't picked up on my regularly scheduled day - who should I call?

Call the Engineering and Municipal Operations Department at (604) 541-2181.

What do I do with used paint and other hazardous substances?

Leftover paint can be dropped off at the Semiahmoo Bottle Depot, 15515 24th Avenue, Surrey, (604) 531-7669.

For information on disposal of solvents and other hazardous waste, please call the BC Recycling Hotline at (604) 732-9253. Never dump chemicals in storm drains, creeks, on the road, or in your yard.

Why can't we recycle more plastics?

The difficulty is that in order for plastics to be recycled, there must be an end market for the materials and they must be separated into the same resin type. Each different type of plastic is usually indicated with a number stamped on the bottom of the container (inside a recycling triangle).

Where can I refund my refundable beverage containers?

Please take your refundable beverage containers to the Semiahmoo Bottle Depot, 15515 24th Avenue, Surrey, (604) 531-7669. You can visit the Encorp website at www.encorpinc.com for additional locations.

What kinds of containers are returnable for refund?

Call Encorp Pacific at 1-800-330-9767 or (604) 473-2400 or visit their site www.encorpinc.com.

Do I need to wash and squash the plastics and metal containers I put in my Blue Box?

Rinsing or washing the containers before recycling them will help reduce odour and pests. Squashing the containers frees up more space in your curbside recycling box and in the collection vehicle, enabling more houses to be serviced before unloading, thereby saving the municipality money, fuel, truck maintenance costs and greenhouse gas emissions.

What does 'contamination' mean?

This is when unacceptable material is placed for recycling. For example, window glass placed with glass bottles. The window glass is a different type of glass and is considered a contaminant resulting in contamination that increases the program cost and ultimately the cost to the taxpayer.

Is it true that all of the recyclables collected are just thrown in the landfill?

Absolutely not! All recyclables collected through your municipal program are sorted and only the contaminants (materials not accepted for recycling in that program) are removed and sent to landfill (about 2% by weight).

The City of White Rock and Metro Vancouver make every effort to ensure that recyclable materials are not land filled or incinerated. This is carried out through disposal bans, assistance and endorsement of local recycling markets and an integrated approach to solid waste management (reduction, reuse, recycling, composting, etc.).

Why are the materials collected in my Blue Box not the same as other municipalities in the Lower Mainland?

In 2014 businesses that supply packaging and printed paper to BC residents became responsible for collecting and managing these materials so they can be recycled. Multi-Material BC (MMBC), a non-profit organization is working on behalf of these businesses., MMBC is responsible for residential recycling programs in many areas across BC. The City of White Rock participates in the Multi-Material BC program. For more information on MMBC please visit their website www.RecyclingInBC.ca.

Do I need to remove the label from metal cans?

Labels are okay to leave on. Remove lids, drop into can and squeeze top slightly.

Do I need to remove the label from glass bottles?

No, you do not need to remove the label from glass bottles. First, the labels are often very difficult to remove. Second, the process for recycling the glass bottles has developed to enable the label to be removed prior to the heating phase. The recycling process for glass bottles involves smashing the glass into particles and then screening the pieces. The screens remove metal and paper.

Why can't I recycle light bulbs, window panes and Pyrex with my glass?

These glass products all have different physical properties and therefore different melting points, making it impossible to make glass bottles or other glass products from the recycled material without imperfections. For more information please call the BC Recycling Hotline at (604) 732-9253.

Can I put broken glass bottles and jars in my Blue Box?

No. Broken glass is a handling hazard for the recycling truck operators. As well, once glass is broken it is very difficult to determine what type of glass it is, thereby creating the possibility of contamination and necessitating its disposal as garbage. Wrap the broken glass well in paper. Place wrapped glass in cardboard box and completely seal the cardboard box with packing/masking tape and label the box "BROKEN GLASS" and put out with regular garbage (this is included as part of your 2 can collection limit and should not over 50 pounds).

Can I recycle Styrofoam?

The City does not collect styrofoam curbside. Plastic foam containers and plastic foam cushion packaging can be taken for recycling at the Semiahmoo Bottle Depot, #28-15515-24th Ave., Surrey, (604) 531-7669. Contact directly for hours.

Where can I purchase a composter?

Composters are available to purchase at many local hardware and home improvement stores, such as Rona Revy and Home Depot.

I would like to learn more about composting.

Call the Metro Vancouver Compost Hotline at (604 )736-2250.

Green Can FAQs

What is a Green Can?

A Green Can is any garbage type can weighing 50 lbs or less with a Green Can sticker, which is used to collect food scraps and yard trimmings.

What do I put in my Green Can?

You can put all of the following items into your Green Can:

  • Any kind of cooked or uncooked food scraps, including meat, poultry, fish, seafood, bones, eggshells, dairy, vegetables, fruit, bread, pasta, and grains. Include all leftovers and plate scraping.
  • Coffee grounds in their used paper filters, tea leaves and tea bags.
  • Food-soiled paper towels, napkins, paper plates and pizza delivery boxes.
  • Yard trimmings, such as plants, flowers, grass cuttings, leaves and small branches.

* Please note that clean paper products are to still be recycled in your yellow recycling bag.

What can't go in the Green Can?

Do not place the following items in your Green Can:

  • Anything made of glass or plastic, including biodegradable plastic.
  • Paper cartons or containers, such as juice boxes, milk cartons, coffee cups, plastic wrappers or take-out containers that are accepted in your curbside recycling  blue box.
  • Anything made of metals, including aluminum foil, cans and twist ties.
  • Anything made of paper except products specifically listed above as acceptable, including toilet paper or magazines.
  • Grease or liquids.
  • Animal waste or kitty litter
  • Used kleenex/tissue products

What can I use as a kitchen container?

To store your food scraps in the kitchen you can use the mini kitchen bin supplied by the City or if your prefer, you can reuse a large yogurt container, ice cream bucket, jug, or any container with a lid that you have handy. Since you'll be emptying it in your Green Can on a regular basis, make sure it's something you can easily carry outside. To help keep the container clean, you may want to line it with a small Kraft-type paper bag. If you did not receive a mini kitchen bin, contact the Engineering and Municipal Operations Department (604) 541-2181.

Should I line my kitchen container and bin?

You don't need to line your bin, but you can use a Kraft-type paper bag or other paper liner if you wish. Newspaper, paper bags and paper towels are acceptable to use. Do not use plastic or compostable/biodegradable plastic products as a liner as the composting facility does not accept them.

What about animals getting into my bins?

You were already putting food scraps in your garbage, now you're just putting them in a different bin. If you secure the bin as you secured your garbage cans, there shouldn't be a problem.

If you've had issues with animals getting into your garbage bins, here are some tips to help prevent that: wrap fish & meat in newspaper, store scraps in the freezer until collection day, keep your Green Can in a secure enclosure and put it out only on the morning of collection.

What if I have too much for my bin?

Put all food scraps in your lidded Green Can. You can put excess yard trimmings in an additional labeled can(s) or in Kraft-type paper bags, or you can save excess trimmings for the next collection day.

Please note the weight limit for each bin/kraft bag is 50 lbs. There is a limit of 10 (combined cans/bags) weekly per residence.

Where does all the food and yard waste go?

Once collected, food and yard waste go to Harvest Fraser Richmond Soil and Fibre in Richmond (8th Road and Blundell) for composting.

How does the processing facility process the waste?

The process is called windrow composting, where the waste is piled on to a negative aeration system, meaning it pulls air into the pile (this helps the composting process by pulling oxygen in and also "pulls" odours in to minimize the smell). The material is piled and turned with huge tractors/loaders. Once broken down, it gets mixed with varying amounts of sand (depending on the type of soil desired) to sell to landscapers and farmers. It should be noted that there is no pre-treatment of this material (no de-baggers or shredders) which is why it cannot handle any contaminants (like plastic bags).

Can I place wood waste in my Green Can?

No. Yard trimmings are fine but lumber or other wood waste is not accepted. 

Why does the City not provide residents with bins to use as the Green Can?

Most residents already had containers for the yard waste program so we are not asking residents to get new bins. They can simply add food scraps to their existing bins that they have been using for their yard trimmings.

Why should we wrap up our green waste?

Wrapping your food scraps before putting in your green can will help keep it clean, keeping pests and odour to a minimum. Residents can add their food scraps loose if they wish to their green can.

Harvest Fraser Richmond Soil & Fiber will not accept string, rope or twine at their facility since some brands contain plastic and they are not able to screen incoming loads. These plastic materials cause problems to the machinery therefore no rope, string or twine is accepted.

Can I put my food waste in my Kraft brown paper bags then?

It is not advisable to use a Kraft-type paper bag on its own. In order ensure that food waste is inaccessible to wildlife, a plastic garbage can should be used.

Who is going to clean out the bins?

Bins are the responsibility of the resident which is the current arrangement with garbage cans, blue boxes and yard trimming cans. Nothing has changed with the Green Can program. If the food scraps are wrapped up in newspaper, or if a Kraft bag is used as a liner, this should not be a problem. Residents can easily rinse out the bins with a hose if there is liquid.

What about the garbage that gets stuck on the bottom of the bins? Is this going to be left behind half full? Is the rest of the stuff in the bottom going to be dumped in my driveway?

The cans will be dumped out as normal. Residents can help to ensure the material is easily removed by using a Kraft-type paper bag as a liner, or adding newspaper or other green material (twigs, branches, etc) to prevent the material from sticking to the bottom of the can.

How often will the City collect the Green Can?

Food scraps and yard trimmings are collected weekly.

Should I continue to use my backyard composter?

Yes! Home composting is the most cost-effective and environmentally friendly way to dispose of food scraps (fruit and vegetable only), not to mention the 'black gold' compost you'll get as a result. If you have a home composter, please continue to use it, think of the food scraps recycling program as a compliment to what you are already doing, as it includes food items that are not acceptable for backyard composters.

If you haven't started composting yet and are ready to get started, composting units are available to White Rock residents at cost ($29.10) and can be purchased/collected from the Municipal Operations Department at 877 Keil Street. Composters come complete with a screen, base, and composting manual.

Who is included in the Green Can Program?

Single family detached homes and multi-family residences with less than 6 units that currently receive City collection.

Multi-Family and Commercial Locations

The City does not provide solid waste collection services to multi-family or commercial locations. Contact your strata or service provider about the green waste collection program for your location.

Excess Yard Waste

Have extra yard waste that you wish to dispose of quickly? Please contact the Vancouver Landfill 604-873-7000 or Surrey Transfer Staion 604-521-1715  for information on their yard waste drop-off, preparation requirements, rates and hours of operation.

Green Can Program Supplies

Green Can decals are free of charge and Kraft bags can be purchased at the following City facilities: 

 

Address

Working hours

City Hall

15322 Buena Vista Avenue

Monday to Friday: 8:30am - 4:30pm

Centennial

Arena

14600 North Bluff Road

Click here for office hours

Kent Street Activity Centre

1475 Kent Street

Click here for office hours

Municipal Operations Yard

877 Keil Street

Monday to Friday: 8:00am - 4:30pm