Why are we changing to – what are the benefits of — clear bags for garbage?

The main reasons we are requiring clear bags for garbage are to:

  • increase recycling
  • remove hazardous waste/items from garbage
  • heighten safety for collection staff

From a recent waste audit we know that in St. John’s more recyclables are going in the garbage than in blue bags at the curb. Currently only 46% of recyclables placed at the curb for collection are put in blue bags – the other 54% are being put in garbage bags.

Diverting recyclables from garbage to recycling saves the City, and therefore taxpayer, money. The City pays $82 for each tonne of garbage it brings to Robin Hood Bay, while recyclables cost only $22 per tonne.


Municipalities across Canada that are using clear bags for garbage have reported an increase in the amount of recyclables diverted from garbage to recycling once clear bags were introduced.


The City of St. John’s has a commitment to develop and implement sustainable programs to maximize the diversion of residential solid waste from landfill; using clear bags for garbage support this.