Blue Box Recycling & Recycling Depots

Coquitlam residents can now recycle their Styrofoam™ products for FREE!

Drop off your clean white Styrofoam™ at The Coquitlam Construction Recycling & Yard Trimming Drop-off Facility and it will be recycled! For more information, visit the Alternative Disposal & Recycling page for details.

Recycle your mixed containers, mixed paper and newsprint with the Blue Box service!

Why recycle?

  • Keep re-usable materials out of the landfill.
  • Reduce pollution and save energy and resources
  • Save money! Costs to dispose of garbage are increasing every year. The more that is diverted away from landfills, the more savings!

How do I recycle?

Sort your recycling in your blue box, yellow bag and blue bag, as shown in the diagram below.  Your recycling bags and blue box should be placed at the curb/lane by 7:30 a.m. on your collection day alongside your garbage and Green Can.

What can go in my Blue Box, Yellow Bag, Blue Bag?

How to use the Blue Box:

  • Use for plastic, glass and metal containers
  • Only recycle plastic with #1, #2, #4 or #5 symbols on the bottom. No plastic bags of any kind.
  • Rinse and flatten all containers if possible.
  • Remove and recycle metal lids and labels and discard plastic lids.

How to use the Yellow Bag:

  • Use for mixed paper and cardboard
  • Only include 100% clean paper (staples are accepted).
  • Cardboard must fit inside the bag or be flattened and tied in bundles (with string or twine) measuring no larger than 100 cm x 60 cm x 15 cm (36” x 24” x6”) and placed beside Blue Box.

How to use the Blue Bag:

  • Use for newspaper and newspaper inserts
  • Include only non-glossy inserts (place glossy inserts in your yellow bag)

Items NOT accepted include:

  • Plastic bags of all types, including biodegradable or compostable plastic bags
  • Stryrofoam
  • Oil containers
  • Milk cartons
  • Paint Cans
  • Coffee Cups
  • Medications bottles
  • Tetra Paks
  • Light bulbs
  • Ceramics
  • Window/mirror glass

For recycling other materials see Alternative Disposal & Recycling or contact the BC Recycling Hotline at 604-732-9253 or by emailing hotline@rcbc.bc.ca or by visiting their site at www.rcbc.bc.ca.  

Is there somewhere I can bring my Blue Box materials for recycling?

The City of Coquitlam currently has two recycling depots where residents can bring blue box materials to recycle for free. There is also a used book drop off box at each location.

Note: Only items accepted as part of the Blue Box Program can be dropped off.
Recycling Depots are for residential use only. Blue Box materials generated from commercial use can be dropped off for free at the Wastech Transfer Station.

Town Centre Recycling Depot

Location: West off of Pipeline Road at Dunkirk Avenue, just north of Guildford Way.
Hours: Monday to Sunday, 8:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. - closed public holidays


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Service Centre Recycling Depot

Location: 500 Mariner Way - access is west of Mariner Way, just north of Austin Avenue.
Hours: Monday to Sunday, 8:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. - closed public holidays


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Engineering Customer Service

Phone: 604-927-3500
Email: wastereduction@coquitlam.ca

Blue Box Questions

Who can use the Blue Box service?

Use the Blue Box service if you currently receive the City of Coquitlam’s curbside collection service. For apartment, townhouse and condo recycling please visit the Multi-family Recycling page for more information.

How do I get a new blue box or blue or yellow bag?

Contact the City’s contractor at 604-529-4011, and they will be delivered to you free of charge. You can also pick them up at the Engineering and Public Works Customer Service counter, City Hall.

Can I recycle all beverage containers in my blue box?

Some are recyclable while others are not. The item is recyclable if the container is made of glass, metal or plastic (recycling codes 1, 2, 4 or 5). Other types of beverage containers like drink boxes and coated gable-top cartons are not accepted in the City's recycling program. 

To get your deposit back on beverage containers, take them to an Encorp Return-It Center or to your local grocery retailer. You can also take your milk cartons to Return-It Centers for recycling, although there is no deposit fee associated with these cartons. For further information please call the BC Recycling Hotline at 604-732-9253.

Can I recycle plastic bags in the blue box?

No, plastic bags cannot be recycled at curbside. This includes biodegradable, compostable and plastic bags even if the bags have the recycling codes 1, 2, 4 or 5. This is because they can jam the recycling machinery and can contaminate recycling streams. To recycle the bags, take them to your local participating grocery chain for recycling in Coquitlam:

  • London Drugs - #1030-2929 Barnet Hwy - 604-448-4815
  • Safeway - 580 Clarke Road, Burnaby - 604-936-8143
  • Safeway - 1033 Austin Road - 604-939-2850
  • Safeway - #100-3025 Lougheed Hwy - 604-941-8212
  • Price Smart Foods - 2991 Lougheed Hwy - 604-552-1772
  • Pacific Mobile Depots - 1200 Cartier Avenue - 250-893-3851

Do I need to take the labels off glass jars?

Yes. It is preferable.

Do I need to remove the labels from tin cans?

Yes.  Labels on metal cans are fairly easy to remove.  If labels on tin cans are not removed they will cause contamination during the recycling process, when the metal is melted down.  Paper in the melting process can cause flash fires in the furnace, produce impurities in the end product and pose a hazard to employees.

Can all wrapping paper be recycled?

No. Only wrapping paper made of 100% paper can be recycled in your yellow bag.  Foil wrap, bows, cellophane, plastics, and Styrofoam are not recyclable. Please separate reusable paper, gift bags, ribbons & bows for later use.

Do I have to remove the plastic window out of window envelopes before recycling them?

No, most window envelopes are made out of water-soluble fiber instead of plastic.

Do I need to remove staples before I can recycle paper?

It is preferable but not mandatory.  During the paper recycling process, pulp is passed through numerous screens to remove staples and other contaminants.  Large metal fasteners from corrugated cardboard should be removed.

Do I need to wash and squash the plastics and metal containers I put in my blue box?

It is preferable. Washing containers can help reduce odour, while squashing containers will free up more space in your blue box as well as in the recycling truck.

Can I put broken glass bottles and jars in my Blue Box?

No. Broken glass is a handling hazard for the recycling truck operator. Also, broken glass makes it impossible to determine what type of glass it is. This can lead to contamination. Broken glass or sharp metal objects should be placed in a sealed, clearly labeled cardboard box and placed in the garbage.

Can I recycle Styrofoam in my blue box? (polystyrene)?

No. Styrofoam™ (Polystyrene) is not included in the City's curbside collection program. Coquitlam residents can drop off clean white Styrofoam at The Coquitlam Construction Recycling & Yard Trimming Drop-off Facility and it will be recycled! For more information, visit the Alternative Disposal & Recycling page for details.

Organizations or businesses that generate large amounts of uncontaminated polystyrene should contact the BC Recycling Hotline at 604-732-9253. 

Why isn't the material collected in my blue box the same as in some other municipalities?

Municipalities within Metro Vancouver (formerly GVRD) are committed to collecting the same minimum standards of waste as directed by the regional Solid Waste Management Plan. However, with the varying populations, land uses, tax bases and recycling processors and collection methods in municipalities it is not always practical to collect certain materials.  For this reason some municipalities may not collect the same materials as other municipalities.

Is it true that some of the recyclables collected end up in the landfill?

Absolutely not. All recycling collected through your municipal program is sorted and only the contaminants (materials not accepted for recycling in the program) are removed and sent to the landfill.  Please help reduce contamination by separating your recyclables and only placing permitted items out for pick up.

What does commingled mean?

Commingled is when all types of recyclables (containers, newsprint, & paper) are placed in the Blue Box together. The contents are either separated at the curb by the recycling truck operator or sorted at the processing plant. Coquitlam does not participate in commingled recycling.

What is contamination?

Contamination occurs when non-recyclable materials are placed in the recycling bins.  Typical contaminants include: caps on containers, window glass, ceramics, and non recyclable metals or plastics.  Contamination often increases the cost of the City's Recycling Program and can also increase the cost to you as a taxpayer.

Why can't we recycle light bulbs, window panes or Pyrex in the Blue Box?

Each of these products has a different melting point compared to regular glass bottles and jars. This makes it impossible to reuse the glass from these materials to make new glass bottles.

I want to organize a bottle drive, what do I do?

The City of Coquitlam encourages fundraising groups to register with its Bottle-drive Coordination Service. Call 604-927-3500 to register and we will let you know whether the area you have chosen has been recently solicited and further assist you in choosing another route.  Route maps of each area are available for your convenience. Return your containers to your nearest Encorp Return-It Centre for a refund.