Blue Bag FAQ
When do my blue bags need to go to the curb?
Blue bags must be put out on your curbside by 7:00 am on your collection day. Please keep in mind that three separate collection vehicles pick up curbside recyclables, yard waste, and garbage.
Can I use clear bag instead of blue bags?
Blue bags must be used for curbside blue bag recycling. The blue bags are specified by our curbside recycling contractor as a way to properly distinguish between garbage and recycling. Also, the blue bags are made of a uniform, high quality plastic that is recyclable. Clear plastic bags are not made out of the same plastic as blue bags and therefore cannot be recycled as easily or even at all.
Where can I get blue bags?
Blue bags can be purchased from any grocery store, hardware store or drug store that sells garbage bags.
Is there a limit as to the number of blue bags that can be put out each week?
There is no limit to the number of blue bags put out for pick up.
How much does it cost?
The charge for recycling is $9.00 per dwelling unit, per month.
What about glass?
Glass cannot be accepted in curbside blue bags as it breaks and contaminates all other recyclables in the blue bags.
Glass will continue to be accepted at our Eco Centre. Glass collected at the depots is currently being stockpiled at the landfill. When the market for glass recycling collapsed in 2007 – Aquatera started using this material at the landfill for drainage in the bioreactor cells and as an amendment in our road building at the landfill.
Unfortunately, the truth is that most recyclers are not recycling glass except for the very few that collect a very clean stream of all non-coloured glass. Unless we can meet this strict acceptance criteria there are no glass reprocessors for the material as it is virtually impossible to meet these criteria with a mixed residential glass stream which includes many colours of glass. Aquatera will continue researching alternatives for a cost effective solution for glass recycling.
Why can’t I put plastic bags (one time use bags) or other film such as plastic wrap into my blue bags?
Plastic bags and other thin plastic films get tangled in recycling equipment and conveyer belts. Plastic bags also contaminate paper bales and may cause them to be rejected by paper mills, so please DO NOT place plastic bags or other film plastics in your blue bags. *These items can be taken to the Eco Centre or grocery and major retail stores who have bins located at the front of their stores to recycle them.
What types of plastics are accepted in the program?
Most food-grade hard plastics displaying # 1 through #7 are now be accepted in the blue bag program. Examples of hard plastic containers include: margarine, ice cream, ketchup, muffin/cake, yogurt, peanut butter, and slushy cups. In general, only Styrofoam (#6 PS) and plastic film (some # 4) will not be accepted. Styrofoam (#6 PS) can now be taken to the Eco Centre and plastic film is accepted at our Eco Centre and grocery/major retailers.
Plastics Coding # 1-7
To help plastic recycling, each plastic container has a code on the bottom surface. The code or number is enclosed by a triangular shape symbol with three arrows. Coding and common uses are as follows.
1 Polyethylene Terephthalate (PETE)
|Accepted in blue bag - Plastic soft drink, sports drink and water bottles, mouthwash bottles, peanut butter, salad dressing containers, berry boxes and cake domes|
|2 High Density Polyethylene (HDPE)||Accepted in blue bag - Milk, water and juice containers, liquid detergent bottles, laundry soap containers, ice cream containers, yogurt and margarine tubs|
3 Vinyl (V)
Accepted in blue bag - Shampoo bottles and vegetable oil bottles with handles
Not accepted in blue bag - Clear food packaging
4 Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE)
Accepted in blue bag - Carry-out snacks, squeezable bottles (i.e. honey, mustard)
Not accepted in blue bag - Bread bags, frozen food bags, dry cleaning bags
5 Polypropylene (PP)
|Accepted in blue bag - Yogurt containers and margarine tubs|
|Accepted in blue bag - Compact disc cases, aspirin bottles, plant pots|
|Accepted in blue bag - Some citrus juice and ketchup bottles, some flexible packaging for items like bacon and cheese|
Adapted from the Environment and Plastics Industry Council (EPIC)
What about corrugated Cardboard?
You can place smaller pieces of cardboard inside your blue bag. For larger pieces of cardboard, simply collapse and fold beneath the blue bag – no larger than 2ft. by 3ft. (60cm x 90cm) so operators can put them in the recycling truck easily.
Can I leave the labels on the tin/metal cans?
Yes, you are now able to leave the labels on the tin cans, however, please ensure cans are clean.
What do I do if I live in an apartment/condo (don’t have a garbage cart)?
The depots are available until June 2012. We are in the process of developing a solution for multi-family dwelling units, including schools. Also you are not receiving the extra charge for the blue bag recycling.
What is contamination?
Contamination is when unacceptable material is placed in the blue bag. Any recyclables that are comingled with garbage, pet waste, organics, soft plastics, or disposable diapers are contaminated and not recycled. Unwashed recyclables are also considered to be contaminated. Contamination increases the program cost and ultimately the cost to the resident.
Contamination of one bag – if bad enough – can result in an entire truck load of recyclable going to landfill. This is why we are strict, and will reject contaminated bags.
Do I need to wash the plastic and metal containers?
Yes! Help reduce contamination by washing containers. This will help reduce odor, flies and rodents. It is easiest to rinse containers the moment you empty them, usually with a quick rinse under the tap. Alternatively, you can soak in water and rinse or even wash in a dishwasher.
Can I use my blue bags for yard waste?
We encourage you to use only clear and colourless bags, for yard waste. Again, this makes it easy for collection truck operators to identify from the road. Remember, we have different collection trucks for recycling and yard waste.