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Cortes Recycling

The Strathcona Regional District (SRD) provides solid waste service in Cortes Island and the Sayward Valley. Of the two areas, only Cortes has curbside recycling.

Since September 2013, Cortes Island has benefited from a curbside recycling program, which was introduced in response to incentives provided by Recycle BC (formerly Multi-Material BC). This initiative has helped keep user fees on Cortes the lowest in the SRD and the Comox Valley Regional District.  Recycle BC provides $43.05 annually per household (HH), amounting to over $28,000 in funding in 2022.

Earlier this year, Recycle BC addressed concerns to the SRD regarding the volume of recycling collected curbside, which fell below the contractual agreement.  Key points to note:

  • The contract volume for recycling collection is 135 kg per household annually.
  • In 2022, the collection volume increased to 18.65 kg per household, representing the highest volume collected since the program started.
  • Recycle BC has requested that the collection amounts meet or exceed 67 kg per household annually to avoid a reduction in incentives.
  • Failure to meet this target may result in user fee increases or a decrease in service delivery.

It’s important to acknowledge the recycling efforts made by most Cortes residents. Recycle BC highlights Cortes Island as unique because the local, Cortes Island Depot, receives a higher volume of recyclables by weight compared to the curbside program. This difference can be due to the fact that not all recyclable materials are eligible for curbside collection, making the depot an essential recycling hub.

To maintain affordable user fees and sustain the curbside recycling program, the SRD urges residents to actively participate in the following

  • Recycling Curbside Pickup: Please ensure that all eligible recyclable materials are placed out for weekly curbside pickup. This will help achieve the target of 67 kg per household annually and secure ongoing incentives from Recycle BC.
  • Glass Collection Pilot Project: To further support the community in meeting the recycling goal, a glass collection 4-month pilot project has been initiated. On the first Sunday of July, August, September, and October, a glass-only pick-up will be available. Please place clean glass in a separate container, preferably not tied up, to allow the collection contractor to verify the contents. Non-glass items will not be picked up. During these collection dates only, refundable glass bottles will be accepted in the curbside program.

By actively participating in the curbside recycling program and engaging in the glass collection pilot project, Cortes residents can contribute to achieving the target recycling volume, maintaining affordable user fees, and sustaining the high-quality recycling services provided by the SRD.

Let’s work together to build a more sustainable future for Cortes Island.



For more information, please contact SRD Engineering at 250-830-6719  |