Every month Recycle BC does a random audit of recycling collected in the Alberni Valley. After the audit, Recycle BC sends a scorecard with a breakdown of total incompatible material, broken into three categories: not accepted material, missorted material, and other. The total of the three categories should not exceed 5 per cent. This audit scorecard came back at 5.2 per cent contamination. Of this total contamination, 0.28 per cent was commingled glass.
Glass is not accepted in curbside recycling as it will break during the collection process. When broken glass mixes with paper and other acceptable items in your curbside recycling, it can contaminate the entire load of recycling. A high contamination rate will deem the whole load as garbage. Another reason to not put glass into your curbside recycling is due to keeping workers safe. No one wants to experience slicing and dicing due to glass.
According to the analytics from the waste wizard/SortN’ Go app show us that the No. 1 item searched is glass. The following is an overview of what to do with your glass, what types of glass are accepted at the depot and its lifecycle.
What glass is accepted at the 3rd Ave depot and AV Landfill
Sort your glass separately from your curbside recycling and bring to the 3rd Avenue Depot or the recycling station at the AV Landfill. The types of glass accepted in the Recycle BC program is the non-deposit clear and coloured glass bottles and jars. Ask yourself the question, “Is this product packaging”? If the answer is yes, it should be able to be recycled, with the exception of glass containers that have a deposit.
Glass that is not accepted includes:
- Glass bottles with a deposit: These can be returned to the Return-It depot on Fourth Avenue to receive the deposit refund or alternatively donate your refund to local community groups.
- Any glassware, window glass or mirrors, (regardless of its condition): If it’s still in one piece and in good shape, consider donating it to a local secondhand store or think of upcycling options. Old windows can make greenhouses, cold frames, etc.
- Ceramic mugs or other ceramic products: These items cannot be recycled so again always consider the option of donating providing items are in good condition.
- Mason jars: By far, mason jars are one of the most confusing glass items around. Ask yourself if the item is product packaging? If you bought the mason jars for the purpose of canning, the overwrap plastic and cardboard that the mason jars came in is recyclable, but the actual mason jar is not.
What happens to glass?
In BC glass is recycled to make new bottles, sandblasting materials and construction aggregate. Glass is shipped to Abbotsford to be processed into new bottles and to Quesnel to be made into sandblast materials.
For more information on local recycling services, you can refer to the ACRD website at acrd.bc.ca/recycling_schedules. Questions about sorting your recycling? Download the free Sort’nGo app from your mobile app store. You can also check out the Facebook Page “Alberni Valley Waste Reduction Education” which has weekly tips and updates for the valley.