B.C. agency proposes recycling glass separately

The people who will be responsible for most curbside pick-up in Metro Vancouver next year say they’re frustrated as they try to sort out the issue of glass.

Back in February, Multi Material B.C. said glass mixed with other recyclables is breaking and contaminating the other materials.

They wanted curbside recycling of glass to stop.

That was rejected by Lower Mainland mayors, and now the company says its compromise also seems to be getting nowhere.

Glass is only one percent of recyclables, but it makes a big impact in a bad way.

So a couple of months ago, the non-profit organization that is overseeing a new producer-pays recycling program in B.C. put forward a proposal — make Metro Vancouver residents take their glass out of the blue box and drop it off themselves.

But municipalities balked at the suggestion, insisting it was a step in the wrong direction.

Yesterday, a compromise solution from Multi Material B.C. said curbside glass collection can continue, with the glass separated.

“We didn’t get a lot of questions or feedback, and the position they’ve taken is to send a letter to ministry, saying they still want glass collected at curbside when we had just presented to them that we were willing to have glass collected at curbside,” says Allen Langdon with Multi Material B.C.

Global News contacted the mayors of Richmond and Burnaby, who head Metro Vancouver’s Zero Waste committee, but neither was available to comment.

The lack of enthusiasm is frustrating for Multi Material B.C because in addition, they will be paying cities for the glass, and separating at the curb will make a significant difference to the entire recycling program.

“Those little shards get into the paper and plastics, so when they go through the sorting process, it means it acts as contamination, and it means that certain portion of paper and plastic can’t be recycled,” says Langdon.

And when the proposed changes come into effect next year, there will also be more than two dozen new items added to the recycling stream, including milk cartons, tetra paks, coffee cups and clear plastic bakery containers.

 

© 2013 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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