Taking a few minutes to ensure your glass recycling is properly sorted will go a long way – to improving worker safety and ensuring those materials actually get recycled as intended.
“Curbside recycling that is clean, properly sorted and contains only accepted items is now more important than ever to ensure we have viable end-markets for all our materials,” notes Russ Smith, senior manager of the CRD’s environmental resource management team.
Under agreement with Recycle BC, the CRD provides curbside recycling collection to more than 127,000 single-family homes in the region, ensuring that 1,600 tonnes of glass containers continue to be recycled annually and sold to end-markets in B.C.
The requirement to separate glass is not new. Since 2015, Recycle BC required glass be separated to reduce the contamination of recyclable materials, increasing the amount of materials that can be recycled, and improving worker safety.
Here’s how: Collection trucks are outfitted with three compartments: the first for paper and cardboard, the second for metal, plastic and paper containers and the third compartment for glass bottles and jars.
Separating glass at the curb or delivering it to depots helps ensure that materials are actually recycled.
“When glass is collected in the same receptacle as other packaging or paper and it breaks, shards can become embedded in the other recyclables and can’t be separated again. This means that neither the glass, nor the other items, can be recycled properly,” Smith says. “Glass that breaks within a glass-only collection container is recyclable.”
Accepted glass items:
- Non-deposit glass bottles and jars, typically used to package salad dressings, oils, vinegars and pickles.
- Refundable deposit beverage containers are not part of the curbside recycling program, and need to be returned for deposit through the Encorp Pacific collection system, such as beverage retailers (though not all retailers accept returns) or one of the several local depots. Alternatively, take advantage of a network of charity drop-off bins where you can donate your refundables with the proceeds supporting local charities, no sorting necessary!
- Glassware, window glass, mirrors, ceramic mugs or other ceramic products (broken or whole) are also not accepted – check with your waste collection provider for disposal options. These are made from different types of glass and interfere with the glass recycling process, so only glass jars that contained products are currently recyclable at depots.
If you’re included in the Recycle BC program, making sure your glass is properly recycled takes just a few simple steps:
- Rinse recyclables and include only accepted items to reduce contamination
- Ensure glass bottles and jars are placed in any suitable receptacle (not a cardboard box) that isn’t larger than a standard blue box
- Remove lids and put them in with your mixed containers
- Use a “Glass Bottles and Jars Only” sticker to identify your glass receptacle at the curb. Need a sticker? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call
Learn more at www.crd.bc.ca/curbside.