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Frequently Asked Questions

On Recycling Changes Effective January 1, 2019

Q: Why is the RDNO no longer accepting “Blue Bag Recyclables” at RDNO Recyclng Drop Centres (RDCs)  as of Janauary 1, 2019?
A: The world’s largest recyclable commodity purchasers have started implementing strict regulations on imported materials. Markets for Blue Bag Recyclables has been significantly impacted by these regulations.  Secondary markets are too small to absorb the glut of material produced in North America.  A contamination level of 0.5% ha also been implemented.  The Blue Bag recyclables from RDNO RDFs is consistently at a contamination level of 3% or higher.  Because of the restrictions, the contractor that manages Blue Bag Recyclables no behalf of the RDNO will no accept material from RDNO RDCs as there is no market for the contaminated material.  The only material that will be accepted at RDNO RDCs after January 1, 2019 is clean, flattened Old Corrugated Cardboard (OCC) and boxboard (cereal boxes).

Q: What can I still drop off at RDNO Recycling & Disposal Facilities?
A:  Garbage, wood waste, yard & garden waste,  construction and demolition waste, drywall,  logs and stumps, mattresses/box springs, propane tanks, refrigerated appliances, scrap metal, . If you are unsure, check the RDNO website at www.rdno.ca or contact the RDNO at 250.550.3700 or by email at [email protected]

Q: Why can't the RDNO monitor people at the recycling bins better?
A: The RNDO simply doesn’t have the staff resources to monitor every customer using the RDC bins.  There are other recycling options available for RDNO residents.  The RDNO RDCs represent a duplication of a service that is provide by the private sector under the Recycle BC Printed Paper and Packaging (PPP) stewardship program.

Q: What are my alternate recycling options?
A: RDNO residents are encouraged to utilize Recycle BC Curbside Blue Box Collection program or to use Recycle BC Depots located in Vernon, Lumby and Armstrong.    Businesses are encourage to utilize existing programs or to contact private waste management contractors to see what their options are for recycling services.

On General Solid Waste & Recycling

Q: Why is my recycling day different than my garbage day?
A: The residential blue box recycling program is provided by Recycle BC.  Garbage collection services are provided by your municipality.   Please contact Recycle BC for residential curbside recycling information or your municipality for more information about residential garbage collection.  If you are a resident of the District of Coldstream or one of the Electoral Areas and wish to receive curbside residential garbage collection, you must engage the services of a private contractor as there is no municipally provided garage collection in these areas.

Q: Is there a place I can drop off my recycling?
A: Recycle BC provides Recycling Depots in Vernon, Armstrong and Lumby.  For more information contact the BC Recycling Hotline at 1.800.667.4321 or download the Recyclepedia App from the App Store or on Google Play.  

Q: Does Regional District of North Okanagan (RDNO) still manage the residential, curbside recycling program?
A: No, as of May 19, 2014 the RDNO is no longer responsible for managing the residential, curbside Blue Bag Recycling Program. Recycle BC is responsible for the curbside residential Blue Box Recycling Program.  For more information about this program contact Recycle BC

Q: What types of plastic are accepted at RDNO Recycling and Disposal Facilities for recycling?
A: None. Residents will have to use their Recycle BC curbside collection program or nearby depot to recycle these items.

Q: I have a lot of cardboard boxes. Do I have to put it in bags when visiting a Recycling and Disposal Facility?
A: No, the RDNO only accepts loose cardboard at each of the Recycling and Disposal Facilities.

Q: What type of metal can I bring to an RDF for recycling?
A: None. Residents will have to use their Recycle BC curbside collection program or nearby depot to recycle these items.

Q: Does the RDNO accept agricultural plastic for recycling at its Recycling and Disposal Facilities?
A: No.  Agricultural plastics such as twine, irrigation tubing and silage wrap are not widely recyclable and are treated as garbage.

Q: Can I recycle milk and milk substitute cartons?
A: These containers are accepted in the Recycle BC curbside collection program, at Recycle BC depots and at specific Return-It bottle depots. These containers are NOT accepted for recycling at RDNO RDF recycling drop centers. All empty milk, cream, and milk substitute (soy & rice) beverage containers (plastic, cartons, and jugs) are included in these programs. Please rinse and flatten before returning. These items do not have a deposit at the point of sale, and therefore do not have a deposit paid back upon return. For more information visit www.recyclebc.ca.

Q: Where can I recycle Styrofoam?
A: Residents with Styrofoam products may also utilize a Recycle BC depot, at no charge, in Vernon at Interior Freight and Bottle Depot, and Venture Training Centre, the Venture Bottle Depot in Lumby, and the Armstrong Bottle Depot in Armstrong.
Businesses and residents with clean, stickerless Styrofoam blocks, containers, cups, egg cartons, meat trays and peanuts can be taken to Recycling and Disposal Facilities in Vernon and Armstrong for a minimum charge.

Q: Where can I recycle batteries?
A: Batteries are included in the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) programs and are accepted free-of-charge for drop-off recycling at many other locations. To find a depot or find out what is accepted, go online to www.call2recycle.ca.

Q: Where can I go to find out about all the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) drop-off recycling programs?
A: To better understand all of the drop-off recycling programs that currently exist for North Okanagan residents and businesses, go online to www.bcrecycles.ca.

Q: Where can I dispose of paint?
A: Paint, and paint aerosols can be taken to Chasers Bottle Depot at 4702 31Street or Interior Freight & Bottle at 4205 24 Avenue in Vernon. Armstrong Collision and Glass in Armstrong, and KBM Autoworks and Towing in Lumby are paint exchange depots. Chasers Bottle Depot also accepts flammable liquids, flammable aerosols, domestic pesticides, and gasoline. For a complete listing of accepted products and locations visit www.productcare.org

Q: How do I properly dispose of my old, unused or unwanted medicines safely?
A: You may return expired or unused medications to your pharmacist for environmentally responsible disposal. For more information on medication returns go to www.healthsteward.ca.

Q: Can I recycle electronic waste?
A: Computers and peripherals (i.e. mouse, keyboard), monitors, TVs and many more items can be taken to an Encorp drop site. To find the most up to date locations and accepted items go online to www.return-it.ca/electronics. Small appliances have also been added to the growing list of drop-off recycling items. Now you can recycle items in the following categories; kitchen countertop, floor cleaning, power tools, time and weight measurement, garment care, air treatment, personal care, sewing and textile, exercise equipment, sports and leisure, and very small items. For a complete list of accepted items and to locate a depot near you go online to www.electrorecycle.ca. *Note - not all locations will be able to accept large products.*

Q: Where can I take non-labeled hazardous waste for recycling and disposal?
A: Hazardous waste can be taken free of charge, year round, during regular hours of operation to Interior Freight and Bottle Depot in Vernon.