Potential improvements to the recycling system in Thunder Bay could bring benefits to other communities in the region.

The contractor who takes care of recycling for Marathon said if more materials were accepted in the city, the same would likely apply in Marathon. Marathon’s recycling facilities are based in Thunder Bay.

"The dream would be single-stream recycling at curb,” Bryan Hyshka said.

“Everything goes in one bag, and … it's sorted at the recycling facilities."

The town pulverizes glass at the landfill, because recycling companies in Thunder Bay don't buy it.

"Right now we're kind of bound by what Thunder Bay does. They're the centre and so, to have a contractor come and pick up our material, they're not likely going to pick up any that Thunder Bay doesn't,” Hyshka said.

Opportunity to expand

According to the operator at Triad Recycling in Schreiber, Charles Olive, growing recycling programs “would give me the opportunity to expand, to create jobs along the North Shore. I want to expand to Greenstone, to pick up in Greenstone because it's one big circle for me in Schrieber."

A report and recommendations on possible expansion of recycling in Thunder Bay will come out later this fall, but implementation could be much further down the road.

Dryden and Kenora share the shipping costs to send their recyclables to Winnipeg, to a company called Cascades Recovery.

A spokesperson with Kenora’s waste collection department said their materials are single stream, meaning paper, plastic, glass and cans, and so on, are all sent together.

The communities accept accept recyclable plastics embossed with codes from one to seven. Thunder Bay currently takes plastics marked with a “one” or “two.”