Recycling in the RDEK

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The Recycle BC program is an Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Program aimed at printed paper and packaging. It is funded by producers, like retailers and manufacturers that supply packaging and paper product to BC residents, keeping the costs away from homeowners. By opening Recycle BC Depots, the RDEK is classified as a collector, and gets paid per tonne directly from Recycle BC for all materials collected at the Depots.

The benefit to residents is that the Recycle BC Depots take all the same materials as can go in the yellow bins - plus over 76 additional items! PLUS, the RDEK gets paid per tonne collected (we have to pay per tonne for all materials collected in the yellow bins). It saves your taxpayer dollars and you can recycle WAY more...it's a win, win!

Recycle BC Depots are now open at the following locations:

  • Cranbrook Transfer Station - 2405 22nd St N
  • Kimberley Transfer Station - 800 Jim Ogilvie Way
  • Cranbrook Bottle Depot (non RDEK Recycle BC Depot) - 1125 Industrial Rd. #3
  • Fernie Transfer Station - 6000 HWY 3
  • Elkford Transfer Station - 6 Inkaneep Rd
  • Sparwood Transfer Station - 1001 HWY 3
  • Invermere Transfer Station - Industrial 1 Rd in Athalmere

In addition, there is now a Regional Household Hazardous Waste Depot at the Cranbrook Transfer Station.

  • To view or download information on the new Recycle BC Depots: click on the "Recycle BC Depot Guide" in the document library.
  • For more general information on how to recycle things outside the Recycle BC program (such as oil, electronics, household hazardous wastes and medications): check out the "Recycling Directories" links in the Document Library.

You can also try the Provincial recycling database here: https://www.rcbc.ca/recyclepedia/search or use the Q&A tool below to ask your recycling questions or view the questions / answers from others!


The Recycle BC program is an Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Program aimed at printed paper and packaging. It is funded by producers, like retailers and manufacturers that supply packaging and paper product to BC residents, keeping the costs away from homeowners. By opening Recycle BC Depots, the RDEK is classified as a collector, and gets paid per tonne directly from Recycle BC for all materials collected at the Depots.

The benefit to residents is that the Recycle BC Depots take all the same materials as can go in the yellow bins - plus over 76 additional items! PLUS, the RDEK gets paid per tonne collected (we have to pay per tonne for all materials collected in the yellow bins). It saves your taxpayer dollars and you can recycle WAY more...it's a win, win!

Recycle BC Depots are now open at the following locations:

  • Cranbrook Transfer Station - 2405 22nd St N
  • Kimberley Transfer Station - 800 Jim Ogilvie Way
  • Cranbrook Bottle Depot (non RDEK Recycle BC Depot) - 1125 Industrial Rd. #3
  • Fernie Transfer Station - 6000 HWY 3
  • Elkford Transfer Station - 6 Inkaneep Rd
  • Sparwood Transfer Station - 1001 HWY 3
  • Invermere Transfer Station - Industrial 1 Rd in Athalmere

In addition, there is now a Regional Household Hazardous Waste Depot at the Cranbrook Transfer Station.

  • To view or download information on the new Recycle BC Depots: click on the "Recycle BC Depot Guide" in the document library.
  • For more general information on how to recycle things outside the Recycle BC program (such as oil, electronics, household hazardous wastes and medications): check out the "Recycling Directories" links in the Document Library.

You can also try the Provincial recycling database here: https://www.rcbc.ca/recyclepedia/search or use the Q&A tool below to ask your recycling questions or view the questions / answers from others!

  • Memorial Arena Recycling Bins to be Removed

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    20 May 2020
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    The yellow recycling bins at the Memorial Arena in Cranbrook will be removed at the end of the month.

    Both the RDEK and City of Cranbrook have had increasing concern regarding the bins at the arena and the City has formally requested the bins be removed. “One of the primary issues at this site is safety as our drivers routinely encounter people inside the bins. In spite of repeated warnings and the drivers’ best efforts to check the bins, we are concerned about the potential for someone to get trapped in a bin as it is being dumped,” explains RDEK Environmental Services Manager Kevin Paterson. “In addition, we have had numerous and ongoing complaints as people routinely abuse the site by leaving recyclables and garbage in and around the bins, smashing glass in the parking lot and leaving the lids open so recyclables blow into neighbouring properties. While we recognize that the bins are sometimes full, there is never an excuse to leave things on or around bins.”

    To try to address this issue, the contractor increased the pick up schedule, the RDEK installed litter fencing behind the bins and had a staff member visit the site once per day Monday through Friday to do a litter pick. “We have stressed to the public that if we aren’t responsible in how we use these bins, we may lose them and that is where we find ourselves today,” adds Paterson.

    Users will be able to use the Recycle BC Depot at the Cranbrook Transfer Station or any of the other yellow bins around the City.

    The Recycle BC Depot accepts a wide range of items that are not accepted in the local yellow bin program. Plus, the RDEK is paid by Recycle BC for every tonne of product collected, which saves tax dollars. Some of the items that are accepted at the Recycle BC Depot include Styrofoam, #7 plastics, milk substitutes, zippered bags like Ziplocs and pet food bags, aerosol cans and more. None of these items can be recycled in the yellow bins.

    “While the Recycle BC Depot does require some sorting, the reality is, everything that currently is accepted in one yellow bin goes into one of two bins at the new depot. The rest of the bins on site are for new items that cannot go in the yellow bins. So, if people don’t want to access all the new recycling opportunities, it’s not that much different,” adds Paterson.

    The yellow bin system only accepts paper, cardboard, tin/aluminum cans, grocery/shopping bags and plastics #1-#6.

    The yellow bins at the arena site will be removed May 29th. For more information on the Recycle BC Depot system, visit engage.rdek.bc.ca/recycle.

  • Funding Announcement Moves Regional Composting One Step Closer to Reality

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    30 Jan 2020
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    The RDEK will now begin more detailed planning for a regional composting program after its application for 2/3 funding was approved by the Province through the Organics Infrastructure Program.

    “Over the past year and a half, we have been undertaking a review of our Solid Waste Management Plan. We are all committed to reducing the amount of waste we bury and organics currently represent 29% of the waste going into our landfills. Developing a regional program that gives people an option to keep organics out of the landfill presents a significant opportunity to move us forward in our waste management,” says RDEK Board Chair Rob Gay. “This would not be possible without the funding support we are receiving today and we want to acknowledge and thank the Provincial and Federal governments.”

    In cooperation with its Community Energy Manager, the RDEK has previously undertaken two pilot composting projects. During the SWMP review, the RDEK also received strong support from the public for composting options. In the recycling services surveys, over 81% of respondents supported centralized composting of yard waste and 78% supported centralized composting of food waste. “We received over 500 comments from people supporting composting in some capacity,” adds Gay. “We recognize there is a desire in the region and a benefit in terms of the impact on our landfills; however, we also understand the importance of keeping any new service as affordable as possible, which is why today’s funding announcement is so significant.”

    The regional composting project will establish the capital infrastructure to support a composting facility in each of the three subregions. The total project cost is estimated at just under $3,000,000 and has received 2/3 funding through the Organics Infrastructure Program grant. The RDEK will continue to seek additional funding to help offset its 1/3 portion of the project cost.

    “This is just the beginning. Now the real work will begin,” says Gay. RDEK staff will work with the Community Energy Manager, member municipalities and regional partners in 2020 to complete detailed planning and determine an operational model. Once detailed design has been completed, construction would follow, likely in 2021.

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  • New Recycling Depot Opening February 3 in Fernie

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    27 Jan 2020
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    The RDEK will be officially opening its newest Recycle BC Depot at the Fernie Transfer Station next Monday, opening up dozens of new recycling opportunities for residents and visitors.

    “The new Recycle BC Depot at the Fernie Transfer Station provides residents with the ability to recycle a wide range of items that are not accepted in the local yellow bin program or Fernie’s curbside recycling,” says RDEK Environmental Services Manager Kevin Paterson. Some of the items that will be accepted at the new Depot include Styrofoam, #7 plastics, milk substitutes, zippered bags like Ziplocs and pet food bags, aerosol cans and more.

    And, while being able to recycle over 76 additional items at the Recycle BC Depot provides residents with a host of new options to reduce their overall waste, the benefit doesn’t end there. “Because we are operating a regulated Recycle BC Depot, we are classified as a collector,” explains Paterson. “That means every tonne of product the RDEK collects at this depot, we will be compensated by Recycle BC, which will save tax dollars for the public.” By contrast, the RDEK has to pay for every tonne of recyclables collected in the yellow bins.

    Recycle BC – and the RDEK’s new depot - are part of an Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) program for printed paper and packaging. Many people will be familiar with some of the older EPR programs for things like tires, oil and electronics, where you pay an eco or environmental fee at the store when you buy. That fee is intended to support a system for that product to be recycled and managed through the end of its life. This packaging EPR program is managed by Recycle BC and the eco-fees are charged directly to the producers rather than consumers.

    “The Recycle BC Program requires depots to be run with very specific guidelines, including gated and staffed locations and a bit more separation of materials,” explains Paterson. “Our existing yellow bin program does not meet their program specifications, so we have had to get creative as we are committed to increasing recycling opportunities for our residents without costing taxpayers extra.”

    The yellow bin system remains in place; however, it only accepts paper, cardboard, tin/aluminum cans, grocery/shopping bags and plastics #1-#6. “It is very important to understand is that this is a new option and a totally separate program from the yellow bin system or City of Fernie curbside recycling. People will have to use the Recycle BC Depot at the Transfer Station if they want to access these new recycling opportunities as we do not have access to the same markets through our yellow bin system,” stresses Paterson.

    The new depot will have separate bins for:

    • Paper/cardboard
    • Containers (metal, plastic, lids, hot/cold beverage, cartons)
    • Styrofoam – both white and printed/coloured
    • Flexible plastic packaging
    • Plastic bags and overwrap
    • Glass

    “We have had the yellow bin system for over 20 years, so there will be an adjustment for users the first few times at the site; however, we’ve found after people visit the site once or twice, they start to develop a system that works for them and we’ve had really good feedback overall,” adds Paterson.

    The RDEK will be launching a comprehensive education campaign over the next few weeks to provide information on all aspects of the new Depot system and other recycling opportunities in the region. You can access tips, download copies of brochures, ask questions, and read through the Q&As on https://engage.rdek.bc.ca/recycle.

    The Recycle BC Depot will open at the Fernie Transfer Station at 6001 Highway 3 on Monday, February 3. Depots will be opened at the Elkford Transfer Station on February 18 and Sparwood Transfer Station on March 2.

    -30-


  • 2019 Holiday Hours - RDEK Transfer Stations, Landfills and Offices

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    20 Dec 2019
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    Here are the holiday hours for RDEK Transfer Stations, Landfills and Offices.

    Click here to view a downloadable version.


  • Cranbrook Transfer Station Recycling Area Closed Dec.9 (Dec.8.19)

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    09 Dec 2019

    The recycling area at the Cranbrook Transfer Station will be closed Monday, December 9 to allow staff to set up the new Recycle BC Depot, which will open at 8:30am Tuesday, December 10. The rest of the transfer station will be open as usual - only the recycling area will be affected by the one-day closure.

  • New Recycling Depot Set to Open in Cranbrook (Nov.29.18)

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    09 Dec 2019

    The Cranbrook Transfer Station will soon be home to a host of new recycling options as the RDEK opens a Recycle BC Depot on the site.

    “This will be our third Recycle BC Depot to open at our facilities and we are excited to provide residents with an opportunity to easily recycle so many more items than are accepted in the yellow bin system,” says RDEK Board Chair Rob Gay. Some of the items that will be accepted at the new Depot include Styrofoam, #7 plastics, milk cartons, tetra containers for soup and milk substitutes, zippered bags like Ziplocs and pet food bags, aerosol cans and more.

    “We will have the Depot open at 8:30am on December 10th and will have staff on hand to help provide information and tips to residents as they adjust to the new system on the site,” explains Environmental Services Manager Kevin Paterson. The recycling area at the Cranbrook Transfer Station will be closed on Monday, December 9th so that the new depot can be configured and set up.

    In addition to the new Recycle BC Depot, which accepts over 76 additional items than can be put in the yellow bins, the Cranbrook Transfer Station is home to the regional Household Hazardous Waste Depot, which takes everything from oil and antifreeze to mercury and old household cleaners. “We have heard from residents there is a desire to have more opportunities, and we are excited that the Cranbrook Transfer Station is not only going to be able to accept more recyclables, but will become more of a “one-stop” destination for recycling, garbage and household hazardous waste disposal,” adds Paterson.

    Recycle BC pays the RDEK for every tonne of recyclables collected at the Recycle BC Depots. “So, not only are residents able to recycle more, the more recycling we can direct into the Recycle BC Depots, the more taxpayer dollars will be saved,” says Paterson. By contrast, the regional yellow bin program is funded through taxes and costs the RDEK for every tonne collected.

    The yellow bin system remains in place; however, it only accepts paper, cardboard, tin/aluminum cans, grocery/shopping bags and plastics #1-#6. “It is very important to understand that this is a new option and a totally separate program from the yellow bin system. People will have to use the Recycle BC Depot if they want to access these new recycling opportunities as we do not have access to the same markets through our yellow bin system,” stresses Paterson.

    The RDEK has Recycle BC Depots at the Kimberley Transfer Station and Columbia Valley Landfill and is aiming to open depots in the Elk Valley in early 2020.


  • Yellow Bin Program Contract Renewed for Five Years (Nov.18.19)

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    09 Dec 2019

    The RDEK’s Yellow Bin Recycling Program has been renewed for another five years.

    “We have had the yellow bin program for the last 20 years and the contract generally is signed in five-year increments. We are pleased to have reached another five-year agreement with our contractor Green For Life to continue with this service,” explains RDEK Environmental Services Manager Kevin Paterson. “There are over 700 yellow bins located throughout the region and all of the materials collected in the yellow bins are sorted in Cranbrook and sold to market.”

    The yellow bins and curbside recycling programs in Invermere and Fernie accept only paper, cardboard, tin/aluminum cans, grocery/shopping bags and household plastics #1-#6. Styrofoam is not accepted in the bins even though it is a type of #6 plastic.

    “The renewal of the yellow bin contract maintains this historical recycling option for businesses, the public and rural communities so people will continue to be able to access this service as they always have,” says Paterson. “Having said that, throughout our recent Solid Waste Management Plan Review, we heard strong support for expanded recycling options at the most affordable cost. We are now working hard to create those expanded opportunities through the establishment of dedicated Recycle BC Depots.”

    The Recycle BC Depots are totally separate from the Yellow Bin Program and accept only residentially generated packaging. They accept all the same materials as the yellow bins, along with dozens more, including plastic containers, unmarked plastics packaging, sytrofoam, soup tetrapaks, and foil roasters. In addition to accepting over 76 additional products, the RDEK gets paid per tonne of recyclables it collects at its Recycle BC Depots. By contrast, the Yellow Bin Program is funded by taxes and the RDEK has to pay per tonne recycled.

    “We are recently opened Recycle BC Depots at the Columbia Valley Landfill and Kimberley Transfer Station and are really pleased with the public’s response and participation at these sites. We are scheduled to open a Recycle BC Depot at the Cranbrook Transfer Station next month and at the Fernie, Sparwood and Elkford Transfer Stations in early 2020,” adds Paterson. “Since the start of the Program, yellow bins have been located at businesses and public institutions like schools. They will continue to remain in these locations. There will be some slight changes to a few of the yellow bin locations as we transition to the Recycle BC Depots and we will continue to keep the public informed as we move through that process.”

    To learn more, visit engage.rdek.bc.ca/recycle


  • New Recycling Depot Opens in Columbia Valley (Jun.25.19)

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    09 Dec 2019

    The RDEK has opened a new Recycle BC Depot at the Columbia Valley Landfill, opening up dozens of new recycling opportunities for Valley residents and visitors.

    “Over the years, the recycling regulations in the Province have evolved to require producers of recyclable products to be responsible for the recycling and end-of-life management of those products,” explains Environmental Services Manager Kevin Paterson. “The new Recycle BC Depot at the Columbia Valley Landfill provides residents with the ability to recycle a wide range of items that are not accepted in the local yellow bin program. Plus, for every tonne of product the RDEK collects at this depot, we will be compensated, which will save tax dollars for the public.” Some of the items that are accepted at the new Depot include Styrofoam, #7 plastics, milk substitutes, zippered bags like Ziplocs and pet food bags, aerosol cans and more.

    Many people will be familiar with some of the older Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) programs for things like tires, oil and electronics, where you pay an eco or environmental fee at the store when you buy. That fee is intended to support a system for that product to be recycled and managed through the end of its life. One of the newer EPR programs is aimed at printed paper and packaging. It is managed by Recycle BC and the eco-fees are charged directly to the producers rather than consumers.

    “The Recycle BC Program requires depots to be run with very specific guidelines, including gated and staffed locations,” explains Paterson. “Our existing yellow bin program does not meet their program specifications, so we have had to get creative as we are committed to increasing recycling opportunities for our residents without costing taxpayers extra.”

    The yellow bin system remains in place; however, it only accepts paper, cardboard, tin/aluminum cans, grocery/shopping bags and plastics #1-#6. “It is very important to understand that this is a new option and a totally separate program from the yellow bin system. People will have to use the Recycle BC Depot if they want to access these new recycling opportunities as we do not have access to the same markets through our yellow bin system,” stresses Paterson.

    The Recycle BC Depot is now open at the Columbia Valley Landfill located at 1884 Windermere Loop Road. The RDEK opened a depot in Kimberley in March and plans to open depots at other staffed RDEK Transfer Stations later this year.