City launches pilot project to make book recycling more convenient

News Release

The City is launching a three-month pilot project to provide a more convenient option for residents to recycle their old books. The goal is to prevent books from being placed in residential recycling carts, which contaminates the recyclables and negatively affects our community’s success rates. 

The City would like to remind residents that Recycle BC does not accept hard cover and paperback books, such as novels, text books and reference material. Books of any kind should not be added to household recycling containers or garbage carts. 

“Unfortunately, a recent audit by Recycle BC discovered that books continue to be found in local recycling carts,” says Madison Poultney, Sustainability Coordinator. “Previously, books could only be recycled at specialized bins located at Campbell Mountain Landfill, so we realized a need to provide a more convenient location in the city for residents to dispose of books that cannot be donated or resold. We also need to educate the community about the various ways people can discard of their books in a sustainable way.”

If your books are gently used, they may be donated to Penticton Public Library, charities and community organizations, or added to a ‘Little Library,’ with a list of those throughout the community available at

However, if the books are damaged or outdated, these may now be added to the ‘Planet Earth’ recycling bins located in the lobby at the Penticton Library. These carts will be in place until late April as a trial. Please take care to not place library books inside them and to consider donating your used books as a first option. 

Be aware that these books will be destroyed and the paper recycled. The types of books that may be recycled include those that are torn, missing pages and cannot be read again. Others include old textbooks, out-of-date guides, encyclopedias and informational books that are older than five years. 

Penticton’s goal is to lower the community’s recycling contamination rate from 13.3 per cent to 10 per cent or lower by November. If the City does not meet its goals set out by Recycle BC, it could lead to increased costs to deliver the program as a result of fines.  It may also lead to a less convenient recycling service, such as having to sort everything into separate bins or bags, which has been shown to reduce contamination in other B.C. communities. 

For more information about recycling books, visit