Why are glass bottles and jars not included in my curbside recycling program?

On May 19, 2014, businesses that supply packaging and printed paper to BC residents assumed responsibility for the costs associated with collecting and sorting these materials so they can be recycled into new products.

As part of this change, Recycle BC, a non-profit organization working on behalf of these businesses, is responsible for residential recycling programs in many communities across BC. For many residents this resulted in some changes to their recycling services, including the addition of new items that can be recycled. One of the changes includes the way that non-deposit glass jars and bottles are collected. Recycle BC will accept these glass containers in its recycling program, but will often require them to be dropped off at a local recycling depot, rather than including glass in the curbside collection program.

This change is due to the fact that glass can easily break during collection and transport. When broken glass mixes with paper and other containers it becomes difficult to properly recycle these materials. It is also difficult to sort broken glass from other mixed recycling, which reduces the quantity of both glass and other recyclables that is captured for recycling. Broken glass is also a safety hazard.

Some municipalities have chosen to provide a separate glass recycling bin for their residents, which is separate from the Recycle BC program. In these instances, glass bottles and jars must be rinsed out and the lids must be removed prior to placing them in the separate bin. Metal lids from glass containers would be accepted in the regular container bin, rather than in the glass recycling bin. If your city does not provide this option, there are many depots across the province which accept non-deposit glass containers for free drop off. For local recycling options, contact the RCBC Recycling Hotline at (604) 732-9253 or toll-free 1-800-667-4321.  You can also visit the Recycle BC website.

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