Only clear blue plastic bags will be accepted in the program. If you live outside of Nelson, Blue Bags cannot exceed 30” x 36” (76cm x 91cm) in size. If you live within Nelson City limits, Blue Bags cannot exceed 26” x 38” (66cm x 97cm). Blue Bags must be transparent and tinted blue.
Where can I buy Blue Bags?
Blue Bags are available at most stores that sell garbage bags. Check the box to ensure that the bags are clear and tinted blue and are also the right size. City of Nelson residents should use Blue Bags with a maximum size of 26” x 38” (66cm x 97cm). Those residents living outside of Nelson in the Central sub-region can use Blue Bags with a maximum size of 30”x 36” (76cm x 91cm).
What are the benefits of the Blue Bag program?
- The Blue Bag program eliminates the need to sort your recyclables at local recycling depots.
- For those living in the City of Nelson, it also removes the need to drive most recyclables to local recycling depots.
- Participation is simple! Just collect all your acceptable items together in an appropriate clear Blue Bag, tie it tightly, and bring it to your local recycling depot. If you live in Nelson, place your Blue Bag outside your residence on garbage day in a location close to where you would normally place your garbage can. No “Tag-a-Bag” sticker is required.
- Most numbered food-grade rigid plastics will now be accepted in the Central sub-region. Food grade plastics displaying the # 1 - #7 will be accepted. In general, styrofoam is not accepted.
What areas participate in the Blue Bag program?
Only those residents living within the Central sub-region are included in the Blue Bag program at this time. The Central sub-region includes the communities of Salmo, Ymir, Nelson, the North Shore, Balfour, Harrop-Proctor, Ainsworth, Kaslo, Meadow Creek, and those living within Electoral Areas D, E, F, and G.
Why doesn’t the entire Regional District receive the Blue Bag program?
The RDCK manages resource recovery according to three separate sub-regions, East, Central, and West. Each sub-region is governed by a separate Board of politicians. The decision to bring Blue Bag recycling to the Central sub-region came about at the direction of the local political representatives for that particular sub-region. If the Blue Bag program is successful in the Central sub-region, it will be considered for expansion into the other two sub-regions.
What is accepted in the Blue Bag?
- Dry mixed paper (e.g. magazines, inserts, junk mail, paper bags, envelopes, paper egg cartons, phone books, catalogues, box board, cereal boxes, etc.).
- Dry newspaper.
- Dry cardboard (flattened, max. piece size 24”x 36” or 61cm x 91cm).
- Numbered rigid plastics (look for the mobius loop on the container. The container must have that symbol if it is to be accepted). Food-grade rigid plastics with the numbers 1-7 will be accepted. This includes 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 bag is securely tied or fastened shut.
What is not accepted in the Blue Bag?
The materials listed below cannot be put in the Blue Bag:
- Styrofoam will not be accepted.
- Glass will not be accepted.
- Organics will not be accepted.
- Other products and materials covered under existing product stewardship programs will not be accepted (e.g. computer equipment, televisions, paint, used motor oil, tires, Tetrapak dairy cartons).
What do I do with glass?
In order to protect the health and safety of those who will be collecting and sorting Blue Bags, glass will not be accepted in the program. It will be the responsibility of residents to bring their glass (food and beverage containers only please) to their closest recycling depot. You do not need to bag your glass. Each depot will have an igloo on site intended for loose glass containers.
Only food and beverage glass containers can be recycled at recycling depots. Window glass, dinnerware, eyeglasses, lightbulbs, fish tanks, table tops, vases, knick-knacks, and flower pots, etc. are not accepted.
Glass containers that have a deposit on them should be returned to the appropriate end point for refund (i.e. Bottle Depot, participating grocery store, BC Government Liquor Store, etc.).
What do I do with items not accepted in the Blue Bag program?
Glass – RDCK recycling depots have bins on site to accept glass for recycling.
Styrofoam – There is no recycling option for Styrofoam.
Milk/juice cartons (Tetrapaks) – Take these to your closest participating Bottle Depot.
Organics – Put these in your backyard compost pile.
For more information on options for recycling items not covered by the Blue Bag program, contact the BC Recycling Hotline at 1-800-667-4321.
I live in Nelson. What do I do with my recyclables once they are bagged?
Tie the bag tightly. Residents living within the City of Nelson will have their Blue Bags picked up on the same day as garbage pick up (consult the City of Nelson garbage pick up calendar). Blue Bags that contain any contamination (i.e. Blue Bags containing items not accepted in the program) will be left behind. It is the resident’s responsibility to know and evaluate which materials are/aren’t acceptable. Fortunately, the variety of materials that are now accepted has expanded. There are very few items not accepted for recycling. This makes it simple to participate.
How many Blue Bags can I generate per week?
There is no limit to the number of Blue Bags generated, so long as each bag does not exceed the maximum acceptable size and is clear blue.
I live in Nelson. Do I need to put a special sticker on my Blue Bag like I have to with my garbage?
The Regional District and the City of Nelson employs a user pay system for garbage pick up. There is no user fee attached to recyclables. “Tag-a-Bag” stickers are not required but Blue Bags must be securely tied or fastened shut.
I live in Nelson. Can I take my Blue Bag to the Nelson Transfer Station (located at #70 Lakeside Dr.)?
YES! The Nelson Transfer Station (# 70 Lakeside Dr.) regular hours of operation are: Monday through Saturday, 8:30AM to 4:00PM, closed on all statutory holidays.
I live outside of the City of Nelson in the Central sub-region. Where do I take my Blue Bags?
Take your Blue Bags to your closest RDCK recycling depot in the Central sub-region. Each site is equipped with a large bin for Blue Bags only. There will also be a separate bin for large pieces and large volumes of cardboard and, as well, a separate igloo for glass.
What do I do with large amounts of cardboard?
Large amounts of cardboard should be kept outside of the Blue Bag. A large bin will be made available at your local recycling depot for this material. Large pieces of cardboard (e.g. greater than 24” x 36” or 61cm x 91cm) should also be kept outside of the Blue Bag.
I live in a multi-residential dwelling. Can I still participate in the Blue Bag program?
Yes, but it is the resident’s responsibility to get their Blue Bags to the appropriate recycling depot. You may wish to arrange with the property owner/manager the potential for receiving an on-site collection system through a commercial hauler.
Can I put regular garbage into the bins at the recycling depots which are intended for Blue Bags?
No. This is considered illegal dumping. Residents caught dumping garbage into the Blue Bag recycling bins will be issued a fine.
What’s preventing people from putting garbage into Blue Bags?
Putting garbage in Blue Bags and including it into the recycling stream is also considered illegal dumping. This is subject to a fine. Residents in the City of Nelson who include garbage in their Blue Bags will not have their Blue Bags picked up from their residence.
Where do my recyclables go after they are collected?
Materials contained in Blue Bags are taken to Castlegar, materials are baled and shipped to Kelowna for processing. Individual commodities are sold to markets throughout BC, Alberta, the US, and even Asia.
For more information contact 250-352-6665 or call the recycling hotline at 1-800-667-4321.
This Page Last Updated: February 15th, 2011