Blue Bin Audit Program – Summer 2023

Starting the week of May 22, 2023 and continuing to the end of August, our environmental students will be conducting our annual Visual Blue Bin Recycling Audit program. Here are some details about the program:

Why do we audit blue recycling bins?

Recycle BC has requested the City to lower our blue bin contamination by 25% by October 2023. If we do not reduce our contamination from 9.71% to 7.28% there is the chance that Recycle BC could implement a Service Level Failure credit which will reduce the funding provided by them for the City to collect recycling on their behalf. This would result in a higher cost for the City to operate curbside collection, we need to avoid this. This program is a key component to our Curbside Contamination Remediation Plan.


If you see a sticker on your recycling, it will be for one of the following reasons:

  • If your bins is found to have excessive contamination, it will be stickered and rejected. The top few items that were unacceptable will be written or circled on the sticker, the bin will then be placed back on the resident’s property near their garage or front door so that the collection contractor knows not to collect it.
  • If your bins has very minimal amounts of contamination, it will be stickered and the warning box checked on the sticker. These bins will not be moved away from the curb and will still be collected this time.
  • Bins with no contamination will be stickered with a ‘kudos’ star sticker.
  • Bins that have been given a warning sticker or rejected will be revisited. Those with no change will be rejected and issued a warning letter. If on the third visit contamination is still present it will be escalated on a case-by-case basis. This could be a suspension of service or potentially a fine.

Recycling Contamination Remediation Plan

A new education campaign set to help the City of Mission reduce contamination in curbside recycling by 25% and meet Recycle BC requirements kicked off in February of 2023. From educational videos to new social media and website content to in-the-field recycling bin inspections, the campaign is geared toward demystifying the recycling process by sharing practical and handy tips with residents. Currently Mission’s curbside and multi-family recycling program has a contamination rate of 9.71%.

What are the top 5 contaminants found in curbside and multi-family recycling?

Through audits regularly conducted by Recycle BC in Mission, they have shared the top five contaminants found in both the curbside and multi-family recycling programs:

  • garbage and food waste;
  • non-packaging plastic products (ex. plastic storage bins, laundry hampers);
  • non-packaging multi-material products (ex. binders, toys, car seats);
  • hard and soft cover books; and
  • textiles.

See the video:


If the City does not reduce contamination by 25% by October 2023 there is a possibility of receiving a service level failure credit, which could result in a decrease in the financial incentive the City receives for collecting material on behalf of Recycle BC.

According to Recycle BC audits of Mission’s recycling, approximately 207,211 kg of material placed in the recycling bins from May 2021 to August 2022 was material not accepted in the programs. This is contamination that presents significant operational and financial implications to the Recycle BC program by reducing the value of the recyclables and the ability to effectively recycle material.

How can you help?

Download the Recycle Coach App (at Apply Store or Google Play) and use one of these great features:

  • “What goes where?” search function is a great resource to search items by name and see how they should be sorted;
  • Image Search Feature allows you to take a photo of an item and the app will identify it and help you sort it.

Curbside Recycling Collection Program

New Recycling Items Accepted at Curbside and Depots

Newly Accepted Recycling Materials 2023

Visit Recycle BC for more information!

Mixed residential recyclables are collected weekly at the curb in a 121-litre blue recycling bin. Residential container glass (non-deposit bottles and jars) are collected separately every two weeks in a black box on your scheduled garbage day.

If you are a new resident and require a blue bin and black box, you can pick them up at Welton Common (7337 Welton Street) free of charge.

Blue Bins

The City is providing one free blue bin per dwelling unit that receives curbside collection. Homes with a recognized secondary dwelling unit, paying the additional utility user fees, are eligible for an extra bin.
Residents who need more than one bin per unit can purchase additional bins at local retailers. Curbside recycling bins must be designed for manual curbside collection, have a capacity between 75 and 121 litres, have two graspable D-handles, have a tight-fitting lid, and feature a blue sticker to designate them for recyclables collection. Blue stickers are available at no cost at Welton Common (7337 Welton Street), City Hall, and the Leisure Centre.

What goes in the blue bin?

All recycling must be placed loose in the blue bin (except for shredded paper in a translucent bag). Bagged recycling will not be accepted. 

Mission’s recyclables collection program falls under Recycle BC’s stewardship plan. As such, it covers residential retail packaging and paper only. Product categories include:

  • Specific Single-use products (see the full updated list here
  • Rigid plastic packaging (e.g., yoghurt cups, detergent bottles, take-out clam shells, but no Styrofoam™)
  • Metal and tin containers (e.g., soup cans, aluminum take-out trays, metal lids)
  • Aerosol cans (e.g., hairspray bottles, air freshener cans, cooking oil spray, but no spray paint)
  • Mixed paper (e.g., newspaper, magazines, office paper)
  • Box board (e.g., cereal boxes, tissue boxes, toilet paper cores)
  • Corrugated cardboard

Please make sure containers are emptied and rinsed before placing them in the blue bin. Bring excessive amounts of cardboard, containers and/or paper products to the Mission Recycling Depot.

Black Box

The City is providing one free black box per dwelling unit that receives curbside collection. Homes with a recognized secondary dwelling unit, paying the additional utility user fees, are eligible for an extra black box.

What goes in the black box?

Mission’s container glass collection program falls under Recycle BC’s stewardship plan. As such, it covers residential container glass packaging (bottles and jars) only, such as pickle and jam jars, glass ketchup and salad dressing bottles, but does not include drinking glasses, ceramics, glass panes, mirrors, and the like.

Please make sure bottles and jars are emptied and rinsed before placing them in the black box. Bring excessive amounts of container glass to the Mission Recycling Depot on Mershon Street or the Bottle Depot on Park Street. The Bottle Depot also pays refund on deposit beverage containers.

More information is also available online at Recycle BC’s website. Check out Recycle BC’s online “WHAT CAN I RECYCLE?” Recycling Materials List, or enter an item into the free Recycle Coach app to see where to recycle it.

Where do I get more information?

Please consult the City’s Curbside Collection Guide for collection limits and information on what can be included in the curbside waste collection.

District of Mission Curbside Collection Guide
Click on image to enlarge it.

Recycling FAQs


When is my recycling collected?

Recycling is collected weekly. Please see the Curbside Collection Calendar or download the Recycle Coach app to find out when your scheduled recycling pick-up day is.



What materials can go in blue bins?

Mixed Recyclables” – the dry recyclable waste that is free from contaminants such as construction, food, or garden waste.

  • non-deposit containers (plastic, aluminum, steel, etc.)
  • paper cups
  • cartons (coffee cups, milk cartons etc.)
  • paper and packaging (shoes, crackers, etc.).

See Recycle BC’s online “WHAT CAN I RECYCLE” Recycling Material List to see how to recycle or safely dispose of it in Mission.



What materials CANNOT go in blue bins?

The main materials that are not accepted in the blue bin curbside recycling are:

  • Styrofoam
  • all stretchy plastic bags (black bags, bin liners, shopping bags, bread wrappers, crisp bags)
  • Plastic film & non-recyclables (chip bags, wrappers, cling film, bubble wrap, etc.)
  • glass containers (accepted in the black box)
  • Coal bags, compost and fertilizer bags, pet-food bags or pouches
  • Hard plastics (toys, etc)
  • Tin-foil or tin trays (disposable barbecue trays, take-away food containers)
  • No meat, poultry or fish (raw or cooked) wrappers, trays or packaging
  • Ashes
  • Vacuum cleaner bags and contents
  • Rocks, bricks, gravel & timber
  • Glass/ceramics
  • Clothes/shoes
  • Green waste (kitchen or garden)
  • Dryer sheets and lint
  • Personal hygiene products
  • Medical waste
  • Paint, motor oil, wax or petroleum
  • Cigarette butts
  • Animal Waste



Can Styrofoam be recycled?

Styrofoam is not accepted in our curbside collection system, but it can be dropped off at a depot to be recycled at these locations:

  • Mission Recycling Depot
  • Mission Landfill Recycling
  • Mission Recycle Centre

For additional information on Mission’s recycling depots, please visit our online Drop-offs Depots & Landfill page section.



Are stretchy plastics recyclable?

Stretchy plastics are not accepted in our curbside collection system, because they can easily damage the sorting equipment/machinery by getting stuck. Instead, they can be dropped off at a depot to be recycled at these locations:

  • Mission Recycling Depot
  • Mission Landfill Recycling
  • Mission Recycle Centre

For additional information on Mission’s recycling depots, please visit our online Drop-offs Depots & Landfill page section.



Can cardboard food containers be recycled?

If the container is clean with no oil residue or food, it can be recycled in your blue bin. If the cardboard is greasy with food still stuck to it, it should be composted.



Should I clean out containers before putting them into my recycling bin?

Yes, please empty containers and clean them out before putting them into your blue bin. This helps minimize contamination from food residue spoiling the recyclability of materials, and reduces smells to prevent attractions of bears.

For additional information on how to prevent attraction of bears, please visit our online Bears & Wildlife page section.



Do I have to remove labels from containers before recycling them?

No, you can leave labels on contains, but please ensure they are empty and rinsed.



Why do I have to sort my curbside recycling?

When recyclables are sorted into three streams (glass, fibres, and containers), we can ensure that more of the materials that are collected are recycled, and improve the performance of your recycling program.



How should I sort my recycling?

Please sort recyclables as follows:

  • Use the blue container for non-deposit containers (plastic, aluminum, steel, etc.), paper cups, cartons (coffee cups, milk cartons etc.), paper and packaging (shoes, crackers, etc.).
  • Corrugated cardboard that does not fit in containers can be flattened.
  • Think outside the kitchen – shampoo bottles, bubble bath, lotions and potions all come in containers that can be recycled. Pop a small bin in your bathroom to remind you to collect all of them.
  • It really helps if you thoroughly rinse all items before placing them in your bin, as dirty or unsuitable items could contaminate the entire contents.
  • Use the black container for non-deposit glass bottles and jars.

See Recycle BC’s online “WHAT CAN I RECYCLE” Recycling Material List to see how to recycle or safely dispose of it in Mission.



Why were glass and film plastic collected previously, while other materials were not collected, but will now be?

Glass can break during collection and is then difficult to sort from other recyclables, resulting in other materials, such as paper, not being accepted by recycling markets. Film plastics, such as shopping bags and bread bags, can get wrapped up with other recyclables during collection and are then difficult to separate. The Recycle BC program is a Province-wide program and needs to be consistent across the Province to ensure maximum collection.

The larger scale of the program requires certainty of markets, and therefore must address market concerns with glass and film plastic, while at the same time, providing economies of scale for accepting additional materials.



Where can I get more information?

Additional information can be found on Recycle BC’s website, or by emailing or calling the City of Mission’s Engineering Department at 604-820-3736.

Recycle BC (previously MMBC) FAQs, April 2017

Extended Producer Responsibility (ERP) Drop-Off Programs

Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) programs are industry-driven initiatives for waste reduction and recycling, which cover materials not included in the curbside collection service. The cost of recycling is funded by producers and consumers at the time of purchase of these products, so that there are no charges at the time of drop-off.

For more information about recycling the products listed below through an EPR program, please visit the Ministry of Environment’s Product Stewardship online website:

Beverage Containers
Electronics & Electrical
Lead-Acid Batteries
Packaging and Printed Paper
Paint Solvents, Pesticides & Gasoline
Used Oil & Antifreeze
Annual Reports and Stewardship Plans

Download the Recycle Coach App & Sign-Up for Free Recycling and Garbage Reminders!

Find everything you need to know about waste management in Mission. Set reminders in your app so you never miss your curbside collection day and get helpful info on sorting recyclables and compostables to help reduce your garbage.

You’ll also get calendar notifications for events like spring cleanup and the Rot Pot compost giveaway, and there’s a great what-goes-where feature to help you figure out where to drop off those hard-to-recycle items.

Add the app to your iOS or Android smartphone device today.

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