“Grey boxes” for glass recycling come to Vancouver

Say hello to the “grey box,” Vancouver.

The glass-only boxes are joining “blue boxes” in the city’s recycling program as a part of its contract with Multi-Materials BC.

Director of Waste Management Albert Shamess says the move is needed to protect the quality of recycled materials.
“The glass that is being mixed with everything else right now tends to get broken in the trucks and contaminate the paper and the containers. And so in order to provide a higher quality product, we’re setting up a program to separate glass in the truck.”

He says while the city’s contract requires them to separate the materials, the city would have adopted the move anyway, as the market for recycling gets more competitive.
“It’s a worldwide market for recycling now. And so downturns in other parts of the world affect the resiliency of the recycling market. So when we see that market tighten up, the quality restrictions get very, very strict. And so we would want to provide the best quality material.”

The boxes, with instructions, will start appearing at single-family homes by the end of January and roll out over the next 10 weeks. You can check your delivery date here.

Apartment buildings began sorting glass separately late last year.

Shamess says the new bins are costing the city about $400,000

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