Each person has a different idea of what’s recyclable. People come from different places and different places have different rules about what can and can’t be recycled. For example, in Sackville (part of Westmorland and Albert counties of New Brunswick) waste is sorted differently than in Nova Scotia. In Nova Scotia, glass can be recycled and goes into the blue bins. In New Brunswick glass goes in the regular garbage. It is not a surprise to see waste missorted in Sackville as Mount Allison students come from all over Canada and around the world. Here are eight items you might not know how to throw away correctly in New Brunswick.
- Glass: Refundable bin (at Mt. A) or garbage
Glass does not go in the regular recycling bin. Currently, Eco360 (the waste facility where most of Sackville’s and Mt. A’s waste goes to) does not have a recycling service for glass for Westmorland and Albert counties. This is because the glass shards become too fine to easily collect during the sorting process at the facility. However, if you are willing to drive your glass jars directly to the Eco360 facility in Moncton you can have them recycled.
For students in residence or on Mt. A property, glass goes in the refundable bin. This is the bin that has a blue plastic bag and often has a lid with holes in them to fit beverage containers, like plastic water bottles.
- Disposable coffee cups: Blue bins
Most disposable paper cups have a plastic or waxy inner lining on the inside to prevent hot liquids from seeping through the paper cup. It is challenging to separate this plastic lining from the paper during the recycling process. Although they can’t be recycled in many places, Eco360 says to recycle disposable coffee cups.
- Styrofoam: Recyclables
- Empty aerosol cans: Recyclables
Aerosol containers can be recycled as long as they are empty (no more air comes out upon holding down). This way no Freon, a toxic gas that is often used for refrigeration, will be released during the recycling process.
- Sponge: Garbage
- Toothpicks and wooden coffee stir-sticks: Organics or garbage
- Pens and pencils: Garbage
Pens and pencils are often made out of cheaper, non-recyclable plastics. They also contain ink and graphite (the “lead” in pencils) which are not recyclable and therefore belong in the garbage.
- Pots and pans: Recyclables
Metal is a precious resource that can be remelted and recycled.
At Mount Allison, we have a lot of room to up our game in sorting waste correctly. We need to take more responsibility for knowing what goes in the recycling, organics, regular garbage and refundable bin.
For more information on how to sort waste properly in New Brunswick check out the Eco360 website at eco360.ca. With more education, people will feel confident sorting waste correctly.