Nova Scotia Recycle Program – Complete Guide

Recycling is an integral aspect of waste management. It not only helps conserve natural resources but also helps to reduce pollution and protect the environment we live in.

As part of its objective to reduce waste and promote sustainable living, Nova Scotia launched a remarkable recycling program that has been getting a lot of accolades.

Thanks to the company’s comprehensive recycling program, you can now recycle dozens of items, including paper and cardboard, glass, plastics and even metal.

But how do you participate in this program, and is there any unique way of preparing your items for collection?

Read on, as today’s guide has all the information you’re looking for and more.

In today’s guide, we will go over everything you need to know about the Nova Scotia recycling program, including the items they accept for recycling, how to participate in the program as well as how to prepare your items for collection.

What is the Nova Scotia recycling program?

The Nova Scotia recycling program is a robust waste management program specially designed to reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills.

The cardinal objective of the program is to promote sustainability through recycling and resource recovery.

Since the program launched, they have continued to expand the list of items they accept for recycling.

During our research, we discovered that Nova Scotia accepts items such as metals, papers, cardboard, plastics, glass and even organic waste into their recycling program.

The Nova Scotia recycling program encourages businesses and individuals doing business in the region to sort their waste into different categories, such as recyclables, non-recyclables and compostable materials.

This makes it easy for the company to collect the items for recycling.

What’s especially unique about the Nova Scotia recycling program is the awareness outreach they often organize to educate about the importance of waste reduction and recycling.

While the program is exclusively managed by the Resource Recovery Fund Board (RRFB), they also get support from the provincial government and municipalities.

Accepted Items Not Accepted Items
Paper products (newspapers, magazines, etc.) Soiled paper or cardboard
Cardboard boxes and packaging Waxed or coated cardboard
Glass bottles and jars Broken glass or window panes
Aluminum cans and foil Aluminum foil with food residue
Steel and tin cans Paint cans
Plastic bottles and containers (with symbols) Plastic bags and wrap
Milk and juice cartons Foam packaging materials (Styrofoam)
Plastic plant pots and trays Hard plastics such as toys, laundry baskets, and dishes
Electronics (e-waste) Batteries
Paint cans and containers Hazardous waste such as chemicals and oils
Light bulbs and fluorescent tubes
Textiles and clothing
Used cooking oil
Household hazardous waste

What items does Nova Scotia accept in its recycling program?

Before you participate in the Nova Scotia recycling program, it is super important to know what items they accept for recycling.

Good for you; you don’t have to spend hours researching the internet for that information, as we have put together a list of items currently accepted by Nova Scotia for recycling.

Here, check them out:

  • Glass items, including clear bottles and jars
  • Paper and cardboard: They accept items such as newspapers, magazines, cereal boxes, office paper and cardboard boxes.
  • Plastic items, including items such as juice plastics, milk jugs, plastic bags and other containers marked with the recycling code #1 to #7.
  • Metals: They accept metals such as steel, foil, aluminum cans and empty aerosol cans.
  • Other items include cartons, including those used for milk, juice, shoes and more.

Note: Not all items can be recycled.

For those who are new to recycling, here are a couple of items you shouldn’t place in your recycling bin.

  • Hazardous waste, such as batteries, electronics, and light bulbs, should never be included in your recycling bin. Instead, you can take them to special collection sites.
  • Styrofoam: It’s nearly impossible to recycle this material. To this end, it’s best to dispose of it in the garbage.
  • Clothing: Even though some clothing items can be recycled, it’s not always a good idea to place them in your recycling bin or take them to Goodwill for recycling. What you can do is donate them to charity or sell them off if they are still in good shape.

Is there an incentive program (rewards program)

While the incentives may not be all that staggering, it feels nice to know that you get something for recycling your items through the Nova Scotia recycling program.

For instance, when you take empty beverage containers for recycling, you get a refund at more than 80 privately owned Enviro-Depots across the province. You can find information about the nearest Environ-Depot at retail outlets selling beverages. Every time you bring back empty beverage containers, you get half of the deposits, usually 5 cents.

Where to take your items for recycling

Since you now know what items can be recycled via the Nova Scotia recycling program, it’s now time to show you a list of places you can take your items for recycling.

Thanks to the Nova Scotia recycling program, you have tons of places where you can easily take your items to be recycled.

Here, check them out:

  • Blue bag program: In many municipalities across Nova Scotia, you’ll typically find blue bags on the curbside. These bags are designed to collect items for recycling. In case you need more details about this, feel free to check with your local municipality for more information.
  • Bottle depots: There are hundreds of bottle depots scattered across Nova Scotia. These depots are set up to accept different items, including aluminum cans, glass bottles and plastic containers. In case you have bottles you’d like to recycle, find any of these depots close to you.
  • E-waste drop-off locations: For safety, take items such as electronics to many of the e-waste drop-off zones across Nova Scotia.
  • Household hazardous waste collection events: These events are organized throughout the year. Thanks to these events, residents can now safely dispose of hazardous items like paint, light bulbs, batteries and more for recycling.

Preparing your items for collection

Before taking your items to be recycled by Nova Scotia, you need to do a couple of things.

Follow these tips to ensure that the items you want to recycle are accepted without qualms.

  • Clean containers: Before taking empty containers for recycling, please ensure they are properly cleaned. By cleaning, we mean getting rid of any food or liquid residue.
  • Flatten cardboard boxes: If you have a couple of cardboard boxes you’d like to recycle, it’s always best to have them flattened out before placing them in the recycling bin. This helps to save space.
  • Remove lids and caps: If you have bottles with lids and caps, you need to ensure that you remove those lids and place them in a separate recycling bin.
  • Avoid putting your recyclables in plastic bags. The reason is that they can end up damaging the recycling machinery.


The Nova Scotia recycling program is among some of the most outstanding recycling programs we have come across.

The program is one of a kind and designed to help reduce waste, conserve natural resources and promote sustainability.

And unlike many other recycling programs out there, the Nova Scotia recycling program has an extensive list of items they accept for recycling, including bottles, glass, metals, cardboard, papers and much more.


What happens to my recyclables after they are accepted?

After submitting your recyclables for recycling, Nova Scotia takes your items to a material recovery facility (MRF). Here, they are sorted and processed.

Eventually, these items are transported to the right agency that handles the recycling process.

What kind of incentive does Nova Scotia offer for recycling?

The incentive for recycling your items with Nova Scotia isn’t all that enticing. But it does count for something that you get a 5 cents refund for bringing empty beverage bottles for recycling.

How do you dispose of hazardous waste items?

Hazardous waste items, including electronics, batteries or light bulbs, are disposed of at special collection sites. You can always reach out to your local municipality for more information.