Subsidies to help communities remove items from the waste stream by recycling have been available since the early 1990’s in Manitoba.
When the program was introduced it subsidized five materials: newsprint, tin cans, aluminium cans, #1 plastic (beverage containers) and glass. Communities are required to recycle all these materials to be eligible for the subsidy.
Glass has been a challenge.
As a material, glass can be recycled quite easily into new glass. Less energy is required to recycle glass than to make it from scratch. It is also used in the manufacture of fiberglass.
It must be clean which doesn’t refer to dirt which is easily removed by washing.
Problems arise when ceramics (like dishes) and other materials are mixed in. There are machines which detect and remove ceramics.
Very little glass from Manitoba is recycled. It is reused for other purposes such as sandblasting or aggregate for road building and ground cover.
The main reason is location.
The only glass recycling plant in Canada is in Ontario. There is a plant in Minnesota. A fibreglass manufacturer in Alberta uses recycled glass.
The cost of shipping is the problem.
The Recycling Centre is currently looking at a couple of options for glass which will require that our glass is ‘cleaner’.
Cleaner means does not refer to washing. It means the lids need to be removed. There cannot be any dishes, light bulbs, mirrors, or anything that is not a glass jar or bottle. We will need to make sure glass items are removed from the bags or boxes they arrive in.
Please send only glass jars and bottles to the Recycling Centre and remove the lids. It will be greatly appreciated.