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How to Recycle Items in Victoria from Appliances To Toys

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When moving to a new area, it is important that you get an understanding of how all of the systems work, but learning a neighbourhood's system can sometimes feel like an uphill battle. From figuring out the days of the week when the truck comes to pick up the garbage, to what they will pick up, and how to recycle or compost, is not always something easily discovered.

We want to make sure that this is an easier task for you, and so we have put together some information for the Capital Regional District’s recycling program in Victoria.

Recycling Everyday Items

There are a variety of items that you can put into your recycling bins that will be picked up. Paper, plastic, cardboard, and glass can all go in blue boxes or blue bags to be collected.

It is important to note however that the CRD asks that the containers that are recycled are clean, as this not only prevents animals (raccoons and rats mostly) from getting into these bins, but also ensures that the dirty items are not sent to landfills because they are not able to be recycled.

This is an important part of recycling as in Canada about 2.8 million tonnes of plastic waste ends up in landfills every year. Most of this could be prevented if the containers were properly cleaned out prior to recycling.

What Cannot Go into Your Recycling?

The most comprehensive resource that we have found about recycling in British Columbia, is through the Recycling Council of British Columbia. Established in 1974, this organization is Canada's longest-serving recycling Council and provides a very comprehensive source of information about the province's recycling program.

According to the RCBC some of the top items that are unable to be recycled that are most commonly inquired about are:

  • Motor oil
  • Disposable propane tanks
  • Batteries
  • Small appliances
  • Clothing
  • Furniture

While this is only a small selection of commonly asked questions, the RCBC has developed a tool to help you know immediately what you can and cannot recycle.

The RCBC Recyclepedia allows you to find your closest recycling location and also to type in the type of product you were hoping to recycle.

This is great resource to check to have immediate access to a detailed list of what is recyclable and what is not. This tool can help prevent items going into the landfill unnecessarily, and help people find new ways to reuse items.

London Drugs Recycling Program

The retailer London Drugs is also a great way to find recycling drop offs for some items that are a little bit harder to recycle. They offer recycling for certain electronics, small appliances, batteries, and a variety of other items.

However, it is important to note that London Drugs is now only taking items that have been purchased from London Drugs. All other hard-to-recycle items are encouraged to be taken to the local recycling depot.

Here’s a list of items that are hard to recycle and where we have found to recycle them!

Appliances & Power Tools

Large appliances are normally banned from the garbage, however, they can be recycled most of the time. Check out the CRD website to find out more information on drop-off locations for your appliances.


Books that are in good condition can be donated to your local thrift store or library (if they're less than 5 years old), or sold to used bookstores, just make sure to call before bringing them in.

If they are not in good condition, they are not accepted in curbside collection programs for recycling. However, there may be a private recycler accepting them in your area.

Cell Phones

Many cell phones that are older can be taken back by the retailer it was purchased from. Some mobile providers will even pay you to trade in your old cell phone and use that towards the purchase of a new cell phone. There are other drop-off locations for you to take all the mobile devices, as well as a mail-in program.


What do you do with an old pair of reading glasses that were custom-built to you? The main option for this is to return it to an optometrist which can then dispose of them for you or use for charity purposes.


Old media items, such as CDs, DVDs, video games and tapes, are now able to be recycled. These items can be returned at almost any Return-It drop-off location. Although another great way to give new life to these products is to donate them to thrift stores whenever possible.


Toys can often be resold or donated on sites such as Used Victoria, Craigslist, Kijiji, or Freecycle. Toys in good condition can also be donated to many thrift stores and non-profit charities.

Electronic and electrical toys are collected through Return-It’s province wide electronics recycling program.  These toys are accepted free of charge at participating Return-It depots.

Recycling is Worth It!

With the growing implications of climate change, it is crucial that we as a society continue to look at new and innovative ways to recycle our household items. The CRD has already implemented some incredible programs for household recycling, and it is with great hope that they continue to develop their recycling programs to ensure that waste is not just sitting in landfills but is getting a new life that is useful to the world.

We can help you find the right neighbourhood for you and get you settled in. Get in touch to start the process.

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