Why do I have to use blue bags? Can I use other see-through bags for my recycling?
Across Canada many curbside recycling programs require the use of blue bags. There are a number of reasons for this and some of them include:
Blue bags are recyclable in our Recycling Facility while other colour bags are not.
Blue bags work in the bag breaker machinery in our Recycling Facility because they are thin and can easily be ripped open; other bags are often thicker and can jam the machinery.
When recyclables are in blue bags our collectors know it is recycling in the bags; it is more difficult for them to determine if items in clear/colourless bags are meant for recycling or garbage.
How does the curbside recycling work – is recycling picked up with your garbage?
Recycling is collected bi-weekly on the same day as garbage collection.
Recycling is collected in a separate truck from the garbage.
Recycling trucks have 2 compartments in the back so container recyclables go in one compartment and paper recyclables in the other.
Why don’t you take glass in curbside recycling?
Glass breaks during the recycling collection and sorting process. When it breaks it becomes an occupational health and safety issue as it is dangerous for the people sorting.
Broken glass can easily contaminate other recycling material which is problematic for the manufacturers buying the material. Their equipment can become jammed, parts can break, and equipment may not work as smoothly because of the glass resulting in an inferior product. Then the manufacturers’ customers are not satisfied or they may have to dispose of the product because it cannot be sold. Therefore, a clean product to sell to the manufacturers is what we want to provide. This will ensure that our material gets recycled.
Today glass is not in high demand. The next time you’re at the grocery store, take a moment to note how many plastic containers are used compared to glass containers. You will find that there are far more plastic containers. If there is low demand for the material then the market price will be low. High gasoline prices, breakage of glass containers and plastic being inexpensive to purchase to make containers all contribute to less glass being used for food, resulting in lower demand for it.
The Green Depots do take deposit-bearing glass beverage containers (ie: juice, pop, wine, imported beer, etc) and domestic beer bottles can be returned to a beer retailer for refund and reuse. Glass jars can be reused for storage of different things from food to nuts and bolts, nails and more things.
Click here to listen to an interview with recycling advocate Helen Spiegelman on the CBC Radio show The 180: Helen Spiegelman looks at the environmental and economic concerns of glass recycling, and comes to an interesting solution.