Large volumes of oversized cardboard is creating delays in collection service. The city is asking residents to make certain cardboard boxes are flattened and are smaller than 0.6 metres in all dimensions. (News Bulletin file photo)

Cardboard quantities causing curbside collection problems in Nanaimo

City asks Nanaimo residents to ensure cardboard is flattened to meet size requirements

Higher volumes of household waste is causing delays with curbside collection.

According to a City of Nanaimo press release, collection service delays that have resulted in late-evening or next-day pickups are due to higher volumes of trash being put out by Nanaimo’s households. The problem is being compounded by mechanical issues.

Sanitation drivers are seeing bigger volumes of recycling, especially large quantities of cardboard boxes being discarded as online shopping has surged due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The mechanical issues and delays arise when blue recycling carts are overloaded with unflattened oversized cardboard. The size limit for pieces of cardboard is 0.6 metres in any dimension.

Unflattened or oversized cardboard overloads the trucks’ compactors and results in more frequent trips to and from the city’s recycling facility, more operating time, more vehicle maintenance, increased pollution and higher service costs.

The city is encouraging residents to flatten cardboard and make sure it doesn’t exceed dimension limits and to use the free Nanaimo Recycles app so they can be notified of service delays on collections routes.

More information on recyclables accepted in the blue cart can be found at

To stay up to date with curbside collection, download the free Nanaimo Recycles app from the AppStore or Google Play or visit

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