Why did the RDCK Change Recycling in the District?

Nelson, BC: The Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) began to implement significant changes to its recycling program last month.  With the previous recycling contract expiry looming, the RDCK had to assess the future of recycling in the district. Options included going to market for a new contract with a private company at a time of significant hardship for the global recycling industry or move to the Recycle BC stewardship program already used throughout British Columbia and by all municipalities in the RDCK with curbside recycling service. 

Co-mingled or single stream recycling, like the previous program in the RDCK, can improve program participation; however, it sees higher contamination rates and higher processing costs. Contamination rates and occurrences of illegal dumping were high at RDCK recycling depots under the previous program.  Sites were previously open 24/7 and did not have  staff. Recycling contamination has a direct impact on the quality of recyclables entering the commodity markets. In some cases, contamination can result in the rejection of loads, adding cost and seeing the load end up in the landfill. .

It was clear the old way of recycling in the RDCK was no longer sustainable. China, the world’s largest importer of recyclable materials, has banned imports of recycling exceeding 0.5% contamination. With the low or negative values for most recycling commodities rebates no longer covering cost of processing, it has become hard to find markets for low grade recycled materials. Recycling the right things in the right way has never been more important.

The Recycle BC program requires residents to sort recyclables and the collector (RDCK) to provide secured and staffed sites, which are major contributors to Recycle BC program’s low contamination rates. Lower contamination results in higher quality raw recycled materials which are easier to market and more desired by local manufacturers. The Recycle BC website provides information on why the programs works well and where your recycling ends up (https://recyclebc.ca/what-happens-to-my-recycling-blog/). Residents can rest assured their recycling efforts are worthwhile!

Another benefit of the Recycle BC system is that all producers of residential packaging and printed paper distributed in BC must financially contribute to the cost of hauling, processing and marketing recyclables, which reduces the cost of a recycling program. 

“We understand the transition has been challenging for residents of the RDCK, but joining the Recycle BC Stewardship program was the right decision to ensure our recycling efforts make a difference,” said Amy Wilson, RDCK Resource Recovery Manager. “We appreciate everyone’s patience as we get all our depots online and working at full capacity by the first week of August.”

Over half the RDCK’s recycling depots have transitioned over to the new Recycle BC program. Thirteen depots including the Boswell Transfer Station, Crescent Valley Hall, Creston (Helen Street), Creston Landfill, Grohman Narrows (Nelson), Nelson Recycling Depot (Lakeside), Ootischenia Landfill (Castlegar), Yahk, Ymir, Crawford Bay Transfer Station, Kokanee Park Marina, Riondel, and Winlaw have all initiated service. Additional infrastructure is being installed at some locations and servicing schedules are being refined with the new hauling contractors to increase capacity at all sites.

The remaining 10 depots, Balfour Transfer Station, Burton Transfer Station, Edgewood Transfer Station, Kaslo Transfer Station, Marblehead Transfer Station, Nakusp Landfill, New Denver, Salmo, Silverton, and Slocan Transfer Station will be phased in over mid to late July. Depots in Gray Creek, Wynndel, West Creston, the Lower Kootenay Band Office and Kitchener were incompatible with the Recycle BC service and were permanently closed during the transition.

OPEN Recycle BC Recycling Depots (Identified as Core or Satellite depots)

Crawford Bay – Core

Crescent Valley Hall – Core

Creston – Helen Street – Core

Nelson Recycling Depot (Lakeside) – Core

Ootoschenia Landfill (Castlegar – Core

Boswell Transfer Station – Satellite

Creston Landfill – Satellite

Grohman Narroms (Nelson) – Satellite

Kokanee Park Marina – Satellite

Riondel – Satellite

Winlaw – Satellite

Yahk – Satellite

Ymir - Satellite


Next Depots to Launch (Identified as Core or Satellite)

Depot Location

Depot Type

Opening Date

Balfour Transfer Station


July 24



July 22

  Depots Launch Expected to Open July 27-August 5 (Identified as Core or Satellite)

Depot Location

Depot Type


Edgewood Transfer Station


July 27 – August 5

Kaslo Transfer Station


July 27 – August 5

Marblehead Transfer Station


July 27 – August 5

Nakusp Landfill


July 27 – August 5

New Denver


July 27 – August 5

Slocan Transfer Station


July 27 – August 5

Burton Transfer Station


July 27 – August 5



July 27 – August 5

* All dates are subject to change. Please check our website for updates on launch dates.

 The RDCK kindly requests your patience during the depot transition and temporary closures. New depot staff are on site during operating hours to answer questions about sorting and acceptable materials.  Questions regarding program details can be directed to the Resource Recovery department. Depot users are reminded to follow instructions on-site use and abide by the provincial health office directives on physical distancing. Do not visit RDCK waste facilities or recycling depots if you are experiencing symptoms or have been exposed to COVID-19. 

The RDCK apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause to residents. We will continue to announce launch dates as necessary collection infrastructure is made available. For residents in areas experiencing service gaps we encourage storing recyclables until depots open in a few weeks time or travelling to the nearest open Recycle BC depot. Properly cleaned recyclables can be stored for extended periods without attracting pests or developing odours. If storage is not possible recyclables will temporarily be accepted as mixed waste without the double surcharge applied to loads with greater than 20% recyclables. This does not apply at RDCK waste facilities near open recycling depots.

Here is what you will need to know about recycling with Recycle BC in the RDCK. The RBC Depot Guide describes all materials that will be accepted at Core Depots and how they are to be separated.  

Click these links for more information about What Can I Recycle? and Where Can I Recycle? in the RDCK.  Weekly updates will be issued throughout the recycling transition on our social media channels (Facebook and Twitter) to provide users with the latest information on the remaining depot opening dates.

Incorporated in 1965, the Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) is a local government that serves 60,000 residents in 11 electoral areas and nine member municipalities. The RDCK provides more than 160 services, including community facilities, fire protection and emergency services, grants, planning and land use, regional parks, resource recovery and handling, transit, water services and much more. For more information about the RDCK, visit www.rdck.ca.


For further information, please contact:


Travis Barrington

Resource Recovery Technician

Regional District of Central Kootenay

Tel: (250) 352-1526

Email: tbarrington@rdck.bc.ca



For media enquiries:


Dan Elliott

Communications Coordinator

Regional District of Central Kootenay

Tel: 250-354-3476

Email: delliott@rdck.bc.ca


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The content on this page was last updated July 17 2020 at 2:07 AM