The Alberni Valley landfill on McCoy Lake Road has added a second recycling station to accommodate social distancing measures. Curbside recycling is also continuing.

Recycling during COVID: What you need to know

3rd Avenue depot is closed, but curbside and landfill recycling station remain open

New guidance from the B.C. Ministry of Health says that to help curb the spread of COVID-19, grocery stores and other food retailers shouldn’t allow customers to use their own reusable bags or boxes. Retailers are advised to provide clean carry-out bags, and many stores are waiving cost of plastic bags. They’ve also recommended against selling items from bulk bins, unless dispensed by gravity-feed bins or staff.

Seems like a step backwards for those of us finally remembering to bring our reusable bags from the car to the grocery store, but these are unusual times and compliance is essential for all of our safety.

Recycling today

The Recycling Depot on 3rd Avenue is closed until further notice and many people are wondering what to do with their recycling that’s starting to accumulate.

Curbside recycling will continue as scheduled and the Alberni Valley landfill at 7080 McCoy Lake Rd. has added a second recycling station to accommodate social distancing measures. All Recycle BC materials are accepted, such as Styrofoam, soft plastics and batteries, but not other Stewardship materials such as small appliances, Christmas lights, etc.

Residents are encouraged to store these items until you can dispose of them correctly rather than tossing in the garbage!

Many people who are self-isolating or working from home are going a bit stir crazy and taking the opportunity to get a jump on their spring cleaning. As people sort through items, they typically want it out of the house as soon as possible. However, with the secondhand stores not currently accepting items, please hold onto materials for now and stay positive that this will pass.

Pre-sort to save time

It’s highly recommended that you pre-sort your recycling before heading to the landfill. Use those new plastic bags from the grocery store to organize your recycling so you can just dump the contents into the appropriate bins. When wondering if something is recyclable, ask the question, “Is this product packaging?” If so, it can be recycled.

Here’s a reminder of the various bins you’ll find at the Alberni Valley landfill Recycling Depot:

  • Glass (no mason jars, drinking glasses or broken windows)
  • Styrofoam, white and coloured (no squishy or flexible foam, packing peanuts or foam insulation)
  • Paper (no greasy paper)
  • Boxboard/Cardboard (no greasy pizza boxes, mouldy cardboard is not contaminated)
  • Tin/Hard Plastics (ensure all items are rinsed and free of residue)
  • Plastic bags and over-wrap (no Saran wrap, no biodegradable or compostable packaging)
  • Other flexible plastics (includes crinkly wrappers and bags, woven plastic bags, zipper lock and standup pouches, non-food protective packaging)

To help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and for the safety of our community, please ensure medical waste and products like used tissues, disinfecting wipes, face masks and rubber gloves are not included in your recycling bins. They need to be in secured bags within your garbage. Definitely do not dispose of your items on the ground in parking lots!

At this point in time, all in-person waste reduction education has been postponed but we won’t let that hold us back: check out theAlberni Valley Waste Reduction Education Facebook page and

Alberni-Clayoquot Regional DistrictEnvironmentRecycling

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