Press Release:Protect Local Recycling Opportunities Put $12,000 In Cash To Use In The Bow Valley

Media Release: Waste Reduction Week (OCT. 14 TO 20, 2012)
Contact: Regional Zero Waste Coordinator at (403) 688-1627 /

In recognition of Waste Reduction Week we would like to congratulate Bow Valley residents and businesses for placing almost 200 tonnes of glass per year into the recycling programs offered by our local municipalities. We are grateful to Lafarge Canada who, until recently, have accepted this glass into their cement manufacturing process as a community service to ensure our recycled glass is put to good use. This recycling opportunity has been special to the Bow Valley as other Alberta municipalities struggle to find a beneficial use for the glass they collect.

In late July Lafarge found it necessary to stop accepting our glass because excessive amounts of unacceptable items were interfering with their manufacturing process. This has resulted in glass collected from Bow Valley recycling programs being stockpiled at Francis Cooke Landfill. BVWaste recently examined the amount of unwanted items found in the recycled glass. This test confirmed that people are frequently placing problem-causing material such as plastic, metal lids, hazardous light bulbs, and ceramic foodware in the Valley’s recycled glass bins. In addition, over $12,000 per year is unavailable to the Bow Valley because refundable glass drink containers are being placed in recycling bins instead of being taken to a bottle depot for a refund. It is quite likely that non-profit organizations in the Valley would rather put that cash to good use than have it flow out of the Valley as unclaimed deposits. Once these bottles find their way into the glass bins it is difficult and dangerous to retrieve the refund value because the bottles get broken and mixed with hazardous material.

BVWaste is now working with Lafarge Canada to implement a plan that will make it possible for glass to once again be recycled in their cement manufacturing process in early 2013. We encourage people in the Bow Valley to continue their glass recycling efforts but to take extra care to keep unwanted items out of the glass bins. This will ensure that material collected for recycling maintains its value and can be passed on to a beneficial use. If the bottle refund is not of any use to you remember that the money is important to someone. Please take glass beverage containers, like beer and wine bottles, to the Bottle Depots in Banff and Canmore. Please see the attached Bow Valley Glass Recycling Fact Sheet and visit our Bow Valley Recycling Guides for more information.

Glass Recycling Fact Sheet

  1. How Much Glass Is Recycled?
    Almost 200 tonnes of glass per year are recycled in the Bow Valley. About 25 percent of the material deposited in the glass recycling program is beverage containers, mostly beer and wine bottles.
  2. Where Should Glass Beverage Containers Be Recycled?
    Glass beverage containers should be taken to Bottle Depots to receive a refund. These bottles will be shipped to a long established recycling program with well developed uses for the glass. Glass beverage containers placed in other recycling bins amounts to about $12,000 per year of unclaimed refund money that could otherwise be kept or put to use in the Bow Valley.
  3. What Types Of Material Should Be Placed In Glass Recycling Bins?
    Only clean food container glass should be placed in glass recycling bins. Plate glass, mirrors, metal and plastic lids, ceramics, dishes, tin cans, plastic bags and light bulbs are common examples of things that must not be mixed in glass recycling bins. These foreign materials can cause the glass collected for recycling to be rejected by recyclers and then landfilled.
  4. Other Towns Have Difficulty Finding Uses For Their Recycled Glass So Where Is Bow Valley Glass Recycled?
    The Bow Valley is fortunate to have Lafarge Canada consider recycling clean glass as part of their cement manufacturing process. It is important to respect their community spirit, and this special opportunity, by placing only acceptable glass in the recycling bins. More glass recycling information is found in our regional recycling guides or visit your Town’s web site.
  5. What Other Products Are Made With Recycled Glass?
    Established uses for recycled glass include additives to road marking paint, fibreglass manufacturing and production of sand blasting products. Glass can also be included in asphalt pavement used in the bottom layers of road surfacing.

Pie chart of recycled glass contentsContents of Recycled Glass Collected in the Bow Valley

Thirty-eight percent of the material placed in the glass recycling bins should not be there. This includes 26 percent as beverage containers that could otherwise be generating refund money for personal use or donated to good causes in our communities.

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