Curbside recycling program will not collect glass

The City of St. John’s curbside recycling program is due to launch this month, but they will not be collecting glass. City officials say broken glass would contaminate the other recyclables as well as cause problems during the sorting process. What do you think?

 Meredith Daniels  Gordon Pricey  Jimmy Kennard Jr.
 Performance Artist  Landscape Coordinator  Information Construction Agent
“I have a solution! If the glass is breaking, I will wrap it carefully in my Smurf garbage blanket! I love that darned thing!”
“Does this recycling thing mean I have to give away my collection of toy animals crafted from toilet paper rolls?”
“If they packaged spaghetti sauce and mayonnaise using the same material as edible underwear we wouldn’t be in this mess, now would we?”


  1. Elling Lien · January 10, 2012

    Additional outtakes:

    “Finally I can sleep soundly at night knowing my mason jars are safe.”

    “This does not affect me, I will continue to burn all of my garbage.”

    “Bah! What has the environment done for me lately?”

  2. Andrew Harvey · January 10, 2012

    Give people a hard-plastic container which will keep the glass separate from other recyclables? People could put that out beside the bags and have a separate section to the truck for glass.

    Also, in general my criticism of the recycling program is that we are focused too much on provincial “waste diversion” targets, which measure tonnes of waste which is diverted, in our case, possibly as far away as Boston for sale to recycled goods markets.

    If we were serious about the environment, we would be more focused on the first two R’s, most importantly REDUCING consumption of goods which end up in a landfill, or even need to be recycled, and REUSING the goods we have. If we do have to recycle things, we should work on developing markets for the recycled materials on the island, instead of shipping them off the island for arguable environmental benefit.

    This is not necessarily a criticism of the City’s recycling program, which is excellent to finally have, but of the Provinces strategy. The fact that it is a part of a Waste Management strategy shows that the whole idea is predicated on having waste to manage, not reducing waste itself.

    P.S. This is a great new section

  3. Elling Lien · January 10, 2012

    I just heard an unconfirmed rumour that Atlantic Blue will pick up all the stuff the city won’t for just a few dollars a month. But nothing is up about it on their website:

    We’ll check into it..

  4. Elling Lien · January 10, 2012

    From a letter to all Atlantic Blue customers:

    “Dear Valued Customer:

    In October of 2010 the city of St. John’s will be offering its curbside recycling program. Atlantic Blue Recycling will still be offering the same services that it has provided over the past number of years. If you decide to go with the city program we would like to thank you for your business over the last number of years. We would like to point out however that the city will not be taking a lot of products that we currently take and will continue to take, such as any kind of glass jars, glass liquor bottles, beer bottles, jam jars and any kind of glass. Your recyclable products will have to be separated, such as paper and box board in one bag, plastic and food cans in another. And this all has to be in blue bags, unlike our service which can be in any type of bag. Also your cardboard has to be a certain size and tied up in bundles. The service that Atlantic Blue provides is much simpler for you as you can put all products in one bag. We hope that you will consider staying with us, however if you decide to cancel our services we will be offering a service to pick up those items that the city does not take once a month, for a small fee. If you have any questions please call or email any time 726-2583 or 690-7917

    Thank you,

    Ken Dodge,

  5. Rodney Wall · January 10, 2012

    I was curious to see how other cities handled glass, so I took a quick look on the internet. All the cities I checked (Halifax, Toronto, Edmonton, Vancouver) take glass in their regular recycling pick up.
    I don’t see why it should be a problem here, if it isn’t other places. I assume sorters would already be wearing heavy duty gloves, so cuts shouldn’t be a problem.
    I hope The City Of St.John’s will reconsider their stance, and glass will be a part of the recyling program in the near future.

  6. Andrew Robinson · January 10, 2012

    I was blown away by this when I went over the list of items I can recycle with the city. I guess driving to Nova Recycling with glass is an option for myself, but not everybody. People should write council about this.

  7. Natrix · January 10, 2012

    I was at first very pleased when I got the Curb It package, and then a little bewildered when I read through some of the material. It wasn’t just, “Oh, by the way, you can’t recycle A or B,” it was “You can’t recycle ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOP, but Q can be accepted on the third Thursday of every month if temperatures are within 5 degrees of freezing during southwesterly winds blowing not above 10 knots.”

    Hate to invoke Calgary, but the city provided all residences with a giant blue bin with wheels, to be collected and emptied on garbage day, where you just throw in every recyclable inside and it gets mechanically separated at the facility…BY ROBOTS.

  8. Forsamlingshus Fyn · January 10, 2012

    Perhaps take a look at Pen and Tellers “bullshit” on the subject of recycling :-P