Pilot Project for Recycling glass

Starting September 25th and continuing until the end of February, 2019, two groups of 100 homes in the East end of Cobourg will participate in a pilot project to determine the parameters and viability of recycling glass in separate bins.  Yellow bins will be issued to these homes and they will be asked to use them for the bottles or jars now put in with other recyclables. This is separate and additional to the planned twin bins for recyclables and separate collection of organic waste planned to be implemented 1 Sept 2019 (see link below).  The pilot project is required so that the Waste Management people at the County can learn just what the volume would be and whether it is worth doing.

Below is a graphic showing the current separate ways for recyclables to be collected.

Northumberland recycling

LCBO and beer bottles have a deposit (refundable at the beer store) so although these will be accepted, it would seem their volume would be small.  There are other restrictions:

  • Please clean before putting them in the yellow box and place metal lids with your other recyclables
  • Broken glass cannot be accepted for health and safety reasons. Please wrap broken glass in multiple layers of newspaper and put in the garbage.
  • Only glass bottles and jars are accepted. No drinking glasses, mirrors, window panes, dishware, etc.

The yellow boxes will be collected by a special truck for this pilot project on the same day as regular garbage and recyclables are picked up (that’s generally Tuesday in Cobourg).   That’s weekly although I’d guess they will end up with a less frequent schedule for glass.  Separate collection will allow weighing, measuring and other testing on the materials collected, which will help determine the success of the project.


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22 September 2018 12:37 pm

Canada does a lot of things right, but I have to say, with respect to recycling, it could do a lot more. I lived in Germany for 4 years, and people there have great incentives to recycle (and get rewarded).

In most grocery stores, you’ll find a machine (or several) near the back that you can place your recyclables in. It reads the barcodes on glass bottles, plastic and aluminum cans (including alcoholic beverage bottles) and can then determine the value of the recyclable. The value of the recyclables are determined by the government, and it’s law that the grocery stores have to take the recyclables (no matter how many).

So, when you’re done putting these empties into the machine at your local grocery store (which most people have to go to anyways) you get a voucher. You can use the voucher when checking out and get the value deducted from your grocery bill! OR, there’s a box on the wall where you can drop it to donate to a charity called Wheelmap (www.wheelmap.org).

Here, all non alcoholic bottles and cans are picked up by the county (that people recycle out of the goodness of their environmental hearts), but there’s not really much incentive for people to recycle (other than pay less for a garbage tag), and the beer store has a monopoly on returns for alcoholic beverages.

Interestingly, there are many stories of people in Europe that were homeless. They started collecting other people’s waste (i.e liquor bottles or beer cans at events or normal cans and bottles in the trash). One I can remember recycled so many he was able to purchase his own vehicle, and does it now for a living.

Please see this video!

19 September 2018 8:16 am

Why are they adding another bin? Isn’t that what that big MRF sorting plant is for?

Deborah OConnor
14 September 2018 2:34 pm

This problem of our garbage is so much bigger than griping about the price of bag tags. Our main County dump is nearly full and finding a new place to get rid of our waste is both difficult and expensive – much more than we pay now. Even re-cycling destinations are saying no more. Where is it all going to go?

The oceans are apparently full of discarded plastic, the result of unchecked dumping over decades. Real solutions are needed, coming from people smart enough to grasp the seriousness of the issue. Inconvenient or not, it’s time to confront our garbage and find better disposal methods that don’t cause pollution and unsightly overflowing dumpsites.

This is not a lcoal Northumberland problem – it’s a world wide crisis. Time to stop blaming local politicians and bureaucrats and do our part to solve it.

manfred s
Reply to  Deborah OConnor
14 September 2018 2:50 pm

maybe every item that generates waste should help with the problem of its disposal by having a fee included in the price, a fee that’s proportional to the amount of waste it generates. Something that relates to the “eco fees” we have now on hazardous waste would be comparable. That also puts more of the onus on the cause and user and right where it makes some sense. That would also qualify as doing our part, I’d think.

Deborah OConnor
Reply to  manfred s
14 September 2018 3:41 pm

I have an even better idea. How about we add a fee on those corporations who go overboard with packaging? Is all that extra cardboard and plastic actually necessary or just used to entice customers to buy their product?

It’s a fairness issue. The end consumer always get stuck with the consequences while the manufacturers whose practices create the problem in the first place walk away whistling. Time for them to pay their share.

Read this and you’ll see why. https://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/packaging-recycling-problems-1.4658988

Reply to  Deborah OConnor
14 September 2018 4:54 pm

We have to blame local politicians Deb, they have known for thirty years how to eliminate waste and chose not to do it. Organic waste – that waste that can be composted compose up to 40% of the landfill capacity and has done ever since landfills were invented. Only this year the County has decided to compost organics. Thirty years ago the County cancelled a composting facility, that would have been sited at the MRF in Grafton. They bear total responsibility for filling up the landfill in Brighton and Seymour before their times. All I can say is that all of the County pols who have served since that decision was made should be ashamed of themselves for costing the County so much money in unneeded tipping fees and not being aware of the problem with organics filling landfills. And if they were aware of the problem shame on them for taking so long to remedy the situation.

Deborah OConnor
Reply to  ben
14 September 2018 8:53 pm

Thanks for the reminder of all those skeletons buried under the old County building. I believe you were there at County Council as Cobourg’s representative when it all happened. Regardless of who’s to blame though, we must solve the mess now.

Walter L. Luedtke
Reply to  ben
15 September 2018 8:16 am

We hope that it is a work in progress.
But continue to press for actions folks!

Bill Thompson
14 September 2018 11:59 am

On the garbage /recycling issue, is the black bag tag ( $2.75 each) intended to cut down on recyclable items being put in ground fill or is it a money grab?
With the level of taxes we pay I would have thought this issue would have been covered within the taxes.
I wonder how many municipalities have this programme ?

manfred s
Reply to  Bill Thompson
14 September 2018 12:21 pm

it seems the tax-based cost of waste disposal is unfair in that each property pays a share based on their property value, regardless of how much waste it generates. On the other hand, the bag-tag system prorates the cost over the amount of waste each user generates, thereby avoiding the issue of low volume users subsidizing higher volume users , as well as rewarding all users who recycle and compost. What’s the downside of that, if all or some of the cost of waste disposal is taken out of the tax bill? From this perspective, the term cash grab seems to be undeserved, Bill.

ken strauss
Reply to  manfred s
14 September 2018 4:16 pm

Agreed regarding garbage; I have no issue with paying for each bag. However, following your line of reasoning, why should property taxes be based on value of the property rather than the number of school age children, amount of snow clearing required, policing required or probability of needing fire fighting? Why should the cost of disposal of recycling bags be covered from taxes rather than charged on a cost recovery basis?

manfred s
Reply to  ken strauss
14 September 2018 5:23 pm

whose line of reasoning, Ken?

Walter L. Luedtke
Reply to  Bill Thompson
14 September 2018 1:34 pm

The folks, who belong to the you-know-association and whinge about Cobourg taxes. like the idea of ‘User Pay’.
But not when it comes to parking and landfill garbage.
Then they have to pay themselves and it’s a ‘money grab’.

manfred s
Reply to  Walter L. Luedtke
14 September 2018 1:47 pm

you know Walter, I put some of the blame on pandering politicians who respond to some complaints by saying they are or will be taking another look at it, rather than make a solid effort to explain the rationale behind a policy and offer a supportive defense of it, probably for fear of appearing dismissive of the complaint and being unresponsive to the almighty ‘taxpayer’. No wonder folks are critical of and annoyed by such policies.

Rusty Brown
14 September 2018 9:51 am

“Broken glass cannot be accepted for health and safety reasons…”
But, when they dump these glass bottles into the recycle truck, won’t it all become broken glass at that point anyway? And if they don’t actually have to touch the contents while dumping, what difference does it make?

Walter L. Luedtke
Reply to  Rusty Brown
15 September 2018 9:52 am

What I have seen of the folks who work the waste trucks is that they work hard and hustle under often challenging conditions.
And it is a dangerous job.
“While garbage collection may not seem like a hazardous job, Canadian industry officials say that it can pose health and safety risks that keep hundreds of the country’s almost 35 000 waste collectors off the job at any given time.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3626824/
Let’s not make it any more dangerous than it already is!

14 September 2018 9:03 am

Next comes the proposal that we gift wrap everything, then the Colors of wrapping paper will follow, time to get a grip.
I agree that we should recycle but

Old Sailor
13 September 2018 7:35 pm

Although I support recycling to the extent possible, we will have gone from no recycling containers and just garbage bags on the curb to six recycling containers plus garbage bags on the curb.

I doubt whether any homes in Cobourg have the storage capacity for all of these bins. No doubt more and more bins may be added down the road.

I would be happy to sort and drive some of these recyclables weekly to an in town recycling facility instead of converting my garage into a waste transfer station.

Reply to  Old Sailor
14 September 2018 8:09 am

Agree it is going to get a little out of hand. We already have two recycle bins, one garbage can, clear plastic bag for plastic bags. I guess the more work we do on our end the less the waste collection has to do.

Walter L. Luedtke
Reply to  Old Sailor
14 September 2018 3:27 pm

I remember being to able to take recyclable materials to a depot just off Ontario Street?
Hope I am right.

Reply to  Old Sailor
14 September 2018 8:57 pm

Agreed and what of those living in a condo and limited to the placement of 3 or 4 different bins in the the common element. Further, those with garages have the ability to protect the bins from night time creatures, others not so much.

Rusty Brown
Reply to  gerinator
18 September 2018 11:28 am

My recycling depot is in my kitchen. I don’t have a garage.