Comox Strathcona Waste Management Service


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Recycling glass in the Comox Valley video


Why is glass being removed from the multi-material recycling depots?
The depots are for the collection of products that can be recycled.  For glass to be recycled, it must be sorted and shipped to out-of-province factories to be made into new glass, as there is no longer a glass recycling facility in BC. The glass collected at the recycling depots is of a poor quality in that it is often contaminated with other material, meaning that, in many instances, the product cannot be recycled anywhere.      

What do you suggest I do with my empty glass containers?
There are three options that residents have to dispose of their glass containers. 

  1. Residents are encouraged to reuse their non-refundable glass containers as many times as possible. Many glass containers (such as pop, juice, wine, beer and liquor bottles) require a deposit to be paid when the product is purchased, so residents should take those containers back to the point of purchase or to the Return-It bottle depots.

  2. Residents can drop off glass into the bins that have been relocated to secured and safe locations at the Campbell River and Comox Valley waste management centres.  The glass accepted at these locations will be repurposed as aggregate for roads or ground cover in the landfill.  Unlike food waste, glass is an inert material that does not decompose in the landfill to produce leachate or emit harmful greenhouse gases.

  3. Residents can choose to place their non-refundable glass containers in their household garbage for pick up. 

*NOTE: It is important to remember that glass containers are not accepted in the blue box municipal curbside recycling programs.

What kinds of ‘health and safety issues’ were of concern at the glass collection bins at the recycling depots?
At some depot locations during night-time hours, glass containers would occasionally be left on the ground outside the bins. Vandals would then smash these containers and leave the glass shards around the depot area.

Isn’t removing the glass from the depots at odds with the philosophy of diverting more from the landfills?
From an environmental perspective, we can reduce the fuel, emissions and costs from trucking this non-recyclable material to the landfills and at the same time address the health and safety issues by relocating the bins to safe and secured locations at the waste management centres.    

What is the amount of glass being collected within this region and what percentage of waste does that account for in the landfills? 
Waste glass currently collected at the depots is estimated at less than one per cent of landfill waste in our service area.  Landfilled waste glass does not decompose and as a result has no significant environmental long term effect.

What is the future of glass recycling and is it possible that other options to recycle glass might be available for this region?
Plans are underway to move recycling of packaging and printed paper to an industry-funded product stewardship program, commencing in May 2014. Glass packaging is included in the list of products to be collected under this program. Locally staffed collection depots may accept this material once the program commences.




June 25 news release
CSWM glass recycling
June 25 news release




CSWM three options for your glass containers

CSWM why is glass not being recycled?




Printer version
CSWM glass recycling FAQs printer version



Quick link
reycling depots