Recycling expansion explored in southeastern communities

People in southeastern New Brunswick might be adding a third bag to the recycling system this fall in an effort to make diverting material from the landfill easier and cleaner.

Service commission looks at adding grey recycling bag to hold items that are not compostable or recyclable

The Southeastern Regional Service Commission is exploring the possibility of adding a third bag, likely grey, to improve the recycling program. (CBC)

People in southeastern New Brunswick might be adding a third bag to the recycling system this fall in an effort to make diverting material from the landfill easier and cleaner.

The Southeast Regional Service Commission is holding public meetings in the 15 communities that it serves to discuss the possible enhancement to the recycling program.

Roland LeBlanc, the commission's director of solid waste, said the initial move to a green and blue bag system did cause some confusion.

So, LeBlanc said he hopes a third bag will make it easier for people.

We believe the new changes will allow us a bit more flexibility.- Roland LeBlanc, director of solid waste

"We believe the new changes will allow us a bit more flexibility in the system so it'll be a lot easier and it'll be a lot cleaner material in the blue bags and the green bags," LeBlanc said.  

"So that's one of the major reasons that we're considering this new initiative."

LeBlanc said the blue bag would be just for recyclable material, such as paper, cardboard, plastic, metal and Styrofoam.

Green bags would be used for organics, yard waste and food waste.

And everything else would go in a third bag, which would likely be grey.

That would be for anything that isn't compostable or recyclable, including things such as toothpaste, jars and carpet.

LeBlanc said he hopes if all goes well, a new program could be rolled out in the fall.

"So I guess the timeline is that we're doing our public sessions at the moment, we'll be making a recommendation to the new regional commission in June, at the end of June," he said.

"And that will give us time to do lots of public education and communications for a start in October."

Adding apartments, businesses possible

The commission is also looking at adding businesses and apartment buildings in the expanded recycling program. Right now, they are not required to sort their garbage. (CBC)

The commission is also hoping to include businesses and apartment buildings in the recycling program.

Right now, they are not required to sort their garbage.

LeBlanc said he'd like to start out by encouraging businesses and apartments to take part on a voluntary basis, giving them incentives, such as a lower tipping fee.

Before any final decisions are made the Southeast Regional Service Commission must wrap up its public meetings.

So far, the agency has had a difficult time getting people out to talk about their recycling.

LeBlanc said sparsely attended meetings have taken place in Moncton, Riverview, Dieppe and Sackville.

"Low turnout at the moment — a bit disappointed on the turnout." he said.

"But we understand its spring time and there's sunshine and people like to get out so it's tough to get people to come and sit down for a couple of hours and discuss solid waste."

LeBlanc said he's hoping more people will turn out for the public sessions, so their comments and feedback can be included in any decisions made by the agency.

But he said all decisions on the future of the recycling program will be made by the commission's board.

The next meetings are in:

  • Tuesday:  Hillsborough
  • Wednesday: Riverside-Albert
  • Thursday: Cap-Pelé

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