The Town of Oromocto has launched a four-month pilot project for disposing of glass food jars to prevent the recyclable material from ending up in landfills.
Rayan Environmental Solutions, a glass recycling company based in Moncton, was looking to expand its recycling program to another area of the province.
The company picked Oromocto for the pilot project because they had received phone calls from residents about where to go to dispose of glass.
“It just sort of evolved from there,” said Elisabeth Rybak, advisor for the company.
Glass beverage containers have been collected and recycled in New Brunswick since 1992. Oromocto’s program is the first to also collect non-beverage glass containers for recycling, according to the Department of Environment and Local Government.
Some centres in the province, like Fredericton Region Solid Waste, don’t accept those containers for disposal because transportation, collection and handling costs are too high.
The pilot project is a partnership with the Department of Environment, TRI-R Redemption Centre and Rayan Environmental Solutions. It is funded through the Environmental Trust Fund.
Oromocto Mayor Robert Powell said he’s been saving his glass and is glad there’s finally a spot in his town to drop it off.
“They chose us and we’re so happy and thankful they did,” Powell said.
After glass is dropped off at Oromocto’s redemption centre, it’s transported to Rayan’s processing facility and sorted by colour. The company grinds the recycled glass to make new bottles, or to use in fibreglass, paints and for sandblasting.
The jars can be brought to the TRI-R Oromocto Redemption Centre at 16 Lewis St.
Glass jars should be scrubbed clean, but labels do not have to be removed. Lids should be taken off before the glass bottles are brought to the recycling centre as well.
“When we’re making products from recycled glass. It’s very important that we get clean, uncontaminated glass,” Rybak said.
“You have to make sure it’s clean, otherwise it basically prevents you from manufacturing high-value product.”
The pilot program will be reassessed in July. Rybak hopes the province will permit all types of glass to be accepted at redemption centres.
“I think this is something that consumers would like to see. I don’t think anybody these days wants to see more glass going into landfills.”