Update: April 20, 2020

Changes are coming this summer to our Recycling Program.

Blue Bin 2020We will be moving to Blue Bins and no longer collecting recycling in blue bags, other than that, the program is staying the same. 

Information was mailed out to residents via Canada Post. Click here to read about the changes.

Garbage & Recycling Pickup

Garbage and recycling will be picked up between 7:00 am and 3:00 pm. For more information, please call the BC Recycling Hotline at 1-800-667-4321.

Blue Recycling Bags

Residents who receive regular residential household garbage pickup can also have their blue recycling bags picked up. There is no limit to the number of blue bags that can be put out for pick up, and they do not need an orange garbage tag. Blue bags can be purchased at most stores where garbage bags are sold.

Proper Recycling Pick Up

To ensure your Blue Bag recycling is picked up, please note:

  • Blue Bags must not weigh more than 20 kilograms (44 pounds)
  • Blue Bags must not be larger than 66 centimeters by 97 centimeters (26 inches by 38 inches)
  • Recycling bags must be transparent
  • Only permitted recycling items are allowed. To find out what you can recycle, go to RecycleBC by clicking on image below.recycle Opens in new window
  • Food-grade rigid plastics displaying the number 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 7 will be accepted, number 6 packaging (such as foam take-out containers and meat trays) is not accepted
  • Blue bags cannot contain any glass, Styrofoam, or plastic bags and other soft plastics (such as plastic food wrapping or grocery bags)

View a quick reference guide and tips on garbage and recycling.

Blue Bag Placement

What can I put in my blue bag?

  • Dry mixed paper (magazines, inserts, junk mail, paper bags, envelopes, paper egg cartons, phone books, catalogues, box board, cereal boxes, etc.)
  • Dry newspaper
  • Dry flattened cardboard (maximum size 30-by-30 inches or 78-by-78 centimeters), staples and tape okay
  • Numbered rigid plastics. Look for the recycle symbol on the container. The container must have that symbol if it is to be accepted. Most food-grade rigid plastics with number 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 7 are acceptable, these include toiletry and cleaning containers, margarine and yogurt containers, food and drink containers and plastic milk jugs
  • Metal food and beverage cans and containers

Please empty, rinse and flatten (if possible) all containers and cans before including them in the blue bag. Remove paper labels when possible and include as mixed paper. Always ensure that the blue bag is securely tied or fastened shut.

Items Not Accepted in Blue Bag Program

What do I do with items that are not accepted in the Blue Bag program?

  • CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Lights) – Nelson Hydro customers may bring used CFLs to Home Hardware Building Centre, 101 McDonald Drive or Hipperson Hardware, 395 Baker Street
  • Electronics - visit the Nelson Leafs Depot
  • Glass - RDCK recycling depots have bins on site to accept glass for recycling (food and beverage containers only)
  • Juice Cartons (Tetrapaks) - Take these to the bottle depot for refund
  • Organics - If possible, please compost
  • Plastic Film/Bags - Grocery bags and soft plastics can be deposited at some local retailers such as Save-On Foods or Walmart and the RDCK Depots
  • Styrofoam - There is no recycling option for Styrofoam at this time

Putting garbage in blue bags and including it into the recycling stream is considered illegal dumping and is subject to a financial penalty. Nelson residents who include garbage in their blue bags will not have their blue bags picked up.

Blue bag materials are taken to Cranbrook for sorting and processing. Materials - including the blue bags - are baled and sold to markets in BC, Alberta, the U.S., and Asia.


If you have any questions please call the City of Nelson at 352-8238 or the BC Recycling hotline at 800-667-4321.