VANCOUVER – You can now recycle single-use coffee capsules, including Keurig K-cups, but there are some things you need to do before chucking the pods in the blue bin.
The City of Vancouver’s Director of Waste Management, Albert Shamess, says the changes were introduced a couple of months ago through Multi Material BC, the non-profit organization that manages residential packaging recycling programs. Shamess says Vancouver is under contract to MMBC to provide collection services on its behalf and the changes were rolled out a couple of months ago.
The city is currently sending out updated information for the public on what can and can’t be recycled.
Shamess says single-use coffee pods have been an issue for a while as they weren’t recyclable in the past.
“It’s been one of those things of concern because certainly the number of K-cups in use has been increasing over time. They’re a very convenient way to get your coffee, so there’s been a lot of interest in the industry side to try to find ways of recycling it.”
But it’s not as easy as just throwing the pod in the blue bin. First, you need to throw the lid (which is typically made of aluminum) in the trash. The coffee needs to be taken out and placed in the green bin. The rest can then go into the blue box.
Coffee cups, including the plastic lids, can also be recycled now as well as plastic plant pots, ice cream containers, milk cartons, cylinder chip cans, and empty aerosol paint cans.
More recycling changes are coming in the next few weeks for Vancouver residents. The grey bin is going to start to be distributed at the end of January. The grey bin is designed specifically for glass jars and bottles and people will need to sort their recycling more thoroughly.
Right now, the glass gets mixed together with other recyclable materials and a lot of the glass breaks, according to Shamess.
Single-use plastic bags are still a big challenge for the city, but people can recycle them by dropping them off at depots. The bags are not currently accepted through the city’s curbside program.