Even with Niagara’s great Blue/Grey Box participation rates and low levels of contamination, there is always room for improvement. There are some common items that are incorrectly placed in the Blue and/or Grey Box that increase contamination affecting the revenue from the sale of recyclable material and cause potential safety risks for Recycling Centre employees.
Niagara Region has developed a video series titled ‘Recycling Matters’ as a way to educate residents on proper sorting and preparation for select materials known to cause problems at the Region’s Recycling Centre. The videos, developed with Improv Niagara, take a light hearted approach to addressing how to correctly dispose of these items in order to improve efficiency and material quality at the Recycling Centre. There are a total of 6 videos in the series, and one video will be released on the Region's YouTube page each week during the month of May, into June.
By properly sorting recyclable material and minimizing contamination, Niagara Region is able to generate greater revenue from the sale of recyclable materials which offsets the overall cost of all waste management programs for the taxpayer.
In addition to these videos, Niagara Region provides an annual Collection Guide to all single family homes and apartments with six units or less and offers a comprehensive ‘Where does it go?’ search tool available on the Region's website at niagararegion.ca/waste, to make sorting your materials as easy as possible.
Niagara Region is reminding residents to think about how and where they dispose of and prepare their material for collection. Some of the most problematic items, which are featured in the videos, include:
- Multi-layered laminate bags such as pet food bags and frozen food packaging are to be placed in the garbage. These bags are laminated on the outside and waxed on the inside, so they cannot be recycled.
- Plastic bags and stretchy plastic outer-wrap (i.e. grocery bags, produce bags and bread bags) are to be stuffed inside one plastic bag, tie the handles together and tossed in the Grey Box. Large volumes of loose stretchy plastic at the Recycling Centre cause issues with the sorting equipment, which then need to be manually cleaned every ten minutes.
- The stretch test can help you determine if a plastic bag can be placed in the Grey Box. If the plastic bag stretches, like a produce bag or a bread bag, the plastic the material can be stuffed, tied and tossed into the Grey Box. Unacceptable plastic bags include pasta packaging, and cereal box liners since they are not made from stretchy plastic.
- Pop and Water cases need to have the cardboard separated from the plastic before placing the cardboard in the Grey Box. Place the cardboard in the Grey Box and stuff the plastic outer-wrap into a plastic bag with other stretchy plastic, tie the bag and toss it into the Grey Box.
- Aerosol cans must be completely empty before placing them in the Blue Box. If partially full aerosol cans are placed in the Blue Box and go through the bailing machine they could explode and cause extreme danger and potential harm to employees. Full or partially full aerosol cans must be taken to a Household Hazardous Waste Depot.
- Propane cylinders are not accepted in the Blue Box. Bring propane cylinders to a Household Hazardous Waste Depot for disposal, free of charge. Propane cylinders that are placed in the Blue Box, and go through the bailing machine at the Recycling Centre, could explode and harm employees.
905-980-6000 ext. 3414