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Long list of plastics now banned from curbside recycling

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Cowichan residents have been forced to adjust their recycling habits in the wake of the new province-wide recycling program.

The biggest change is that plastic grocery bags and other film plastics were banned, effective May 19, from all curbside recycling in Cowichan. That’s when provincially sanctioned firm Multi-Materials B.C. began governing B.C.’s recyclables.

But several items that were formerly off-limits at the curb are now being accepted.

Various plastics — including biodegradable and compostable — are banned as they have zero recycled value; pose problems in recycling-plant gear; and are labour-cost heavy to pick from huge loads of recyclables.

Some of these plastics are accepted at some local stores, and at the Bings, Meade Creek, and Peerless Road depots.

These stores take single-use plastic bags: Thrifty Foods, Mill Bay and Duncan; Country Grocer, Cobble Hill and Lake Cowichan; Duncan’s Save on Foods, Walmart Supercentre, and London Drugs; Chemainus Foods.

Other stuff goes into garbage cans until profitable markets are found or developed, regional staff explained, urging cloth-bag use and plastic reduction.

But these products are now taken curbside: hot/cold paper beverage cups and lids, milk cartons, Tetrapak boxes and cartons, frozen dessert boxes, aerosol cans and caps, spiral-wound cans and lids (eg. frozen juice), plastic garden plant pots and seed trays.

Most Cowichanians should have received lists explaining the plastics.

Those looking for more information can click here.

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