There was music. Miyako Reid talked about her garden, chickens and other aspects of life on Cortes. Brian Pfeifle joins host Manda Aufochs Gillespie for feature presentation on the June 26th Folk U Friday: ‘Cortes Waste & Recycling Demystified.’

As people get more waste conscience, the people on Cortes Island can be proud to know that they have one of the most successful waste diversion programs in the region. And BC has created successful programs to deal with their waste, so that there are still markets for the recycling in BC despite unstable global systems.

Folk U: Miyako Reid talks about gardening & Brian Pfeifle joins host Manda Aufochs Gillespie for ‘Cortes Waste & Recycling Demystified.’

Is Your Recycling Really Recycled? 

Yes! Here’s where it goes and what it becomes:

  • Hard Plastic Packaging: Goes to Metro Vancouver where it’s recycled into pellets that can be made into new products
  • Metal Containers: Goes to BC, Ontario, and the US where its recycled into new packaging and sheet metal
  • Paper: Is marketed overseas, in the US, and in BC and made into products such as egg cartons, boxes, and other paper products
  • Glass: (Only collected at the depot) remains in BC to become new containers, sandblast materials, or construction aggregate
  • Foam: (Only collected at the depot) and processed locally and overseas and is made into picture frames, crown mouldings, and other products
  • Plastic bags and overwrap: (Only collected at the depot) go to Metro Vancouver to be made into new packaging and products.
  • Flexible and crinkly plastic packing: (Only collected at the depot) remains in BC as part of a research and development project to determine the best way to recycle it and the rest is made into engineered fuel to be used as a substitute for coal in industrial applications.

The Waste Centre Can Also Handle:

  • Fuel tanks (under 40L), batteries, paint, Pesticides and poisons, and aerosols, and other hazardous materials just make sure to take them to the depot and get them into the right space by talking with the staff. AND KEEP ALL HaZARDOUS MATERIAL out of your garbage and recycling! 
  • Construction material 

What’s Picked Up At The Curb?

The curb-side program is handled by a different contract and handled by different rules than the depot on Cortes. Thus the reason that the rules as to what can be recycled are so different. The curb-side program takes: Only hard plastic packaging with a recycling code on the bottom, metal containers, and clean paper/cardboard are picked up curbside. This recycling is currently not separated and bailed as is the material taken to the recycling depot itself. 

How You Can Reducing Your Waste:

  • DO not put food or organic material in your garbage. Compost it (or get a neighbour to, here’s how….)  There’s been multiple Folk U talks now on what can be done to make your own rat-proof compost bins, how to buy a rat proof bin, or how to deal with rats in an existing bin. People all over the island are managing. And for this who can’t handle doing it themselves, there is now a neighbourhood composting program where neighbours accept YOUR food scraps or other compostable items. Call Kate at 202-4319 from the Garden Club to learn more or get started receiving or leaving your organics. 
  • Pre-sort items before taking to the depot. 
  • Know what is DEPOT only. If you are making use of the curb side pick-up, ensure you haven’t mixed in DEPOT only (e.g. soft plastic, overwrap, foam, and glass) items into the bag. 
  • Rinse your recycling

Learn More

To learn more about the Waste Management Centre on Cortes go here (

To learn more about how to handle Household Hazardous Waste (such as paint, gas, pesticides, aerosols, and more) visit here to view details or download the flyer:

The Cortes Waste Management Centre is open 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday to Sunday. Questions can be directed to Brian Pfeifle at 250-203-1510 or ask at the Centre when it’s open. 

For questions on the curb-side collection program, call Henry at 250-935-6940.

Download detailed recycling information at

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