Due to global recycling changes, certain items that we once collected no longer have a market to be made into new products. This changes what we can accept for recycling.
We understand that change takes time, and we appreciate your efforts as we work together to clean up the recycling as soon as possible.
It is also worth noting that the changes to the recycle program are only affecting a very small % of Flagstaff Waste’s recycled materials with plastics and paper experiencing changes. The following programs are continuing to divert a large amount of tonnage from our landfill every year:
- Community Compost Bins which accept leaves, grass and garden waste
- Concrete recycling into RCA (Recycled Concrete Aggregate)
- Cardboard recycling
- Office Paper & Newsprint recycling
- Metal recycling
- Tin Can recycling
- Tire recycling
- Mattress recycling
- Electronic Waste recycling
- Plastic recycling Suspended until further notice.
By modifying our program to separate various materials, we lower contamination levels which ensures we receive top value for recycled commodities.
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The Curbside Blue Bag Pilot Program in Sedgewick and Killam has not been renewed due to global recycling market shifts. Single Stream Recycling such as the Blue Bag program leads to the highest contamination rate which in turn creates costly problems for the recycling processor. Speaking with recycling processors about these changes have revealed that with the new extremely strict contamination standards that not only has processing costs gone up significantly, they are also landfilling upwards of 45% of the product coming from single stream programs. It is not sustainable to have the processor try to sort items that will not be accepted by international markets from our recycle bins for us. Their technology and staff cannot catch every piece of contaminated material or small bit of plastic film. Global Markets have also shifted considerably on which products are desirable and have an end use.
While we understand the removal of the program feels frustrating and a possibly a step back from the ease of participation and convenience that came with the Blue Bag Pilot Program we need to ensure that our program is both economic and that the products collected are truly being recycled end of day.