Frequently asked questions

Multi-stream recycling is a waste collection method that separates different types of recyclables at the time they are being disposed of. At Douglas College, there will be four streams – hence four-stream recycling - which are Mixed Containers, Compost, Paper, and Garbage.

Besides the obvious benefit of diverting waste from landfills, the four-stream recycling initiative will reduce operating costs.

  • Paper coffee cups (including lids and sleeves)
  • Rigid plastics* marked only with 1, 2 & 5 are accepted – ex. yogurt containers, deli-style salad or soup containers, plastic clamshell-style food containers, etc.
  • Plastic beverage bottles – ex. pop bottles, sports drink bottles, water bottles
  • Aluminum beverage cans – ex. pop cans, energy drink cans
  • Tin cans – ex. soup cans
  • Tetrapaks – ex. juice boxes, non-dairy milk containers, soup containers
  • Clamshell-style food containers – ex. clear plastic, black plastic, or Styrofoam
  • Glass jars or bottles
  • Hard plastic product packaging
           
  • Plastic cutlery
  • Aluminum foil
  • Aluminum pie plates

*NOTE: Some soft plastics are marked #4, but please do not place soft plastics of any type (ex. plastic food wrap (Saran Wrap), grocery, Ziploc, or other plastic bags) in the Mixed Containers stream.

If soft plastics are placed in the Mixed Containers stream, it is considered contaminated, and is unrecyclable.

Please put soft plastics in the Garbage bin.

  • Food scraps, including meat, bones, and dairy
  • Food-soiled paper or cardboard – ex. pizza boxes, wax paper, parchment paper, paper plates, napkins, cardboard take-out boxes or microwave meal boxes, coffee filters
  • Wooden stir sticks or chopsticks
  • Tea bags
  • Used Kleenex
  • Paper towel
  • Items marked compostable or biodegradable

  • Office paper
  • Newspaper
  • Phone books
  • Magazines
  • Sticky/Post-It-Notes
  • Glossy paper
  • Junk mail
  • Cardboard
  • Poster board
  • File folders
  • Empty cardboard dairy containers
  • Staples acceptable

Well, garbage, of course. But please, check carefully to make sure what you’re throwing away cannot be recycled. The vast majority of products and materials can be recycled, and we strongly encourage everyone to consider into which stream each and every item they wish to dispose of should be placed. Before you bin it, think a minute – can it be recycled?

Some items which should be placed into Garbage are: 

 

  • Snack wrappers, ex. granola bar, chocolate bar, candy wrappers
  • Chip bags
  • Soft plastics, ex. plastic food wrap (Saran Wrap), grocery, Ziploc, or other plastic bags
  • Foil bags, ex. coffee bean bags
  • Adhesive tape
  • Laminated items
  • Foam-like take out containers

Indeed! Of course, it's not totally comprehensive, but the What Goes Where list covers most common items.

The intent of the four-stream recycling initiative is to divert as much waste as we can from going to the landfill. Fortunately, the vast majority of products and materials can be recycled, and we strongly encourage everyone to consider into which stream each and every item they wish to dispose of should be placed. Before you bin it, think a minute – can it be recycled?

However, there continue to be some materials that are not recyclable. For those few materials, well, the garbage bin it is.

Items which have contained food should be empty, but it is not required that they be washed, or even rinsed. If there is still food contents in your container, empty that into the Compost bin, then drop the container into the Mixed Containers bin.

Food-soiled paper or cardboard, like pizza boxes, paper plates, and napkins can be placed in the Compost bin.

Please direct any feedback or concerns to Facilities at New Westminster or Coquitlam.

Students interested in participating in the four-stream recycling launch in August can find out details and sign up here.

If you are an employee who would like to participate in the four-stream recycling launch, please visit the Recycling page on DC Connect.

Old common area bins will either be sold, re-used elsewhere, or recycled.  Bins in employee areas have been repurposed from existing garbage bins. Paper recycling bins already in place will continue to be used.

If you notice a bin in your area that needs to be emptied, contact Facilities at New Westminster or Coquitlam.

As the four-stream recycling initiative is launched, Facilities will be monitoring bins in every area, and will be making adjustments to the emptying schedule as necessary.

 

Facilities will work with Recycling Champions in each department or faculty to ensure that the bins are placed in appropriate locations for the area’s space, and workflow. If you have concerns or feedback about the location of the bins in your area, contact Facilities at New Westminster or Coquitlam.

Bins will be emptied daily, or, if deemed necessary in certain locations, more than once a day. Such frequent emptying should limit any odours from the Compost bin, and will limit rodent activity as well.

The bins in common areas are Busch System recycling bins. They are well-suited to public spaces, as they are modular, light-weight, and adaptable, and are capable of holding a larger volume of materials.

Bins in employee areas have been repurposed from the garbage bins which were already in place. Adapting these garbage bins into the four-stream recycling bins is cost-effective, and prevents them from being thrown away.

Many local municipalities have adopted yellow as the colour to differentiate paper recycling, while blue indicates mixed containers. Switching paper recycling bins to having yellow labels brings the College in line with what most of us experience at home.

For employees this might be a bit confusing, since the blue paper recycling bins already in use will be retained. However, they will be clearly labeled in yellow, to help differentiate from Mixed Containers.

Please put chewing gum into the Garbage bin.

K-Cups and other coffee pods (marked #6) can be recycled if you follow these steps:

  • Remove the foil lid, place it in the Garbage bin
  • Empty the coffee grounds into the Compost bin
  • Recycle the plastic cup in Mixed Containers

Used Kleenex and tissue should go into the Compost bin.

Binders usually contain different kinds of metal and plastics, which makes them difficult to recycle. They should go in the Garbage bin. Some binders may have cardboard in them - if you are able to remove the cardboard, that can be recycled in Paper, but the rest should still go into Garbage.

Corrugated cardboard can be placed in the Paper bin. If you have a large volume, please contact Facilities at New Westminster or Coquitlam to arrange pick-up on an as-needed basis.

Styrofoam, such as Styrofoam cups, take-out food containers, or packing material, is considered garbage and no longer accepted in the Mixed Containers bin. If you have a large volume of Styrofoam, contact Facilities at New Westminster or Coquitlam to arrange pick-up on an as-needed basis.

Some soft plastics are marked #4, but please do not place soft plastics of any type (ex. plastic food wrap (Saran Wrap), grocery, Ziploc, or other plastic bags) in the Mixed Containers stream.

If soft plastics are placed in the Mixed Containers stream, it is considered contaminated, and is unrecyclable.

In public areas, please put soft plastics in the Garbage bin.

Currently, there are Soft Plastic collection bins in some employee areas. Employees may check their recycling areas, or check with their departmental Recycling Champion to locate the nearest Soft Plastic bin. Remember that soft plastics need to be clean to be accepted. Please wash or rinse out bags. Ideally, they should be as dry as possible, however it is expected that some water particles will be included.

If you have a large volume of clean, dry soft plastic, please contact Facilities at New Westminster or Coquitlam to arrange pick-up on an as-needed basis.

There are still items, such as those listed above, which don’t easily fit into one of the four streams, but may still be recyclable. If you have items such as electronics, ink cartridges or light bulbs, you can contact Facilities to arrange pick-up on an as-needed basis.

Batteries will continue to be collected in each department area.

If you have a large volume of any recyclable material, contact Facilities at New Westminster or Coquitlam to arrange pick-up on an as-needed basis.