Glass items no longer accepted in Sylvan Lake recycling program

The announcment was made Friday morning, caused by no market left for recycled glass

Sylvan Lake’s recycling program has changed the list of acceptable materials slightly.

The Blue Cart program will no longer accept glass effective immediately. This includes all glass items such as jars and bottles.

The market for glass recycling no longer exists, according to a release from the Town Friday morning.

CAO Wally Ferris told Town Council at a recent council meeting the recycling depot, Waste Management out of Red Deer, glass items put into the recycling carts having been transferred to the landfill “for the past several months.”

READ MORE: Sylvan Lake expanding charcoal ban in town parks

Joanne Gaudet, communications officer with the Town, said the contract never previously indicated this was an issue or the glass items were being sent to the landfill.

“We want to be clear what is happening and to educate out residents,” said Gaudet. “This is not going to effect to continued use of the recycle program.”

While glass is an item that can be recycled, the market for those purchasing recycled glass is nearly non-existent.

“There is just no interest in purchasing the glass,” Gaudet said.

Bottles with a deposit, such as wine or pop bottles, may still be taken to bottle depots where the deposit will be repaid.

Gaudet says the change only applies to glass items, all other recyclables will still be accepted as there is “strong stability” for all other recyclables.

“After what happened in Lacombe… we don’t want our residents to become discouraged with their recycling routine,” she said.

“We are fortunate to still have a recycling program, and to have curb-side pickup.”

READ MORE: Blue Cart program to roll out due to Fogdog delays

Glass items make up a small percentage of the recycling program. According to a press release only two percent of recyclables are glass products.

The vast majority of items placed into the Blue Carts are plastics – numbers one through seven. Plastics make up roughly 53 per cent of the recyclables collected.

“I guess the good news is glass less damaging to the environment than plastics, which is something we are worried about right now.”

Sylvan Lake recently signed a contract to move forward with Fogdog Energy, a company that proposes a no landfill solution to waste management.

READ MORE: A No Landfill Disposal Facility in the future for Sylvan Lake

Should the company meet requirements set by the Province, Fogdog will be able to recycle close to 99 per cent of Sylvan Lake’s waste into “fluff” which is sold off as an energy source.

Just like the current recycling contractor, Fogdog will also be unable to take on glass items.

“I think this just shows the province and federal government that we need more solutions and more options like no landfill companies,” said Gaudet.

An updated recycling guide is available to residents as a refresher for what is and isn’t accepted recyclable materials in the Blue Carts.

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