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Yukon recyclers don't want your glass jars anymore

Yukon's recycling depots say they're in a pickle with too much useless, non-refundable glass. So they're putting a lid on it.

As of Nov. 30, local depots will accept glass beverage bottles, but not non-refundable glass

Starting Nov. 30, Yukon recycling depots will no longer accept glass jars, containers, and other non-refundable glass. (CBC)

Get ready to pitch all those empty pickle and jam jars right into the garbage, Yukoners — local recycling depots don't want them.

The depots say they simply have no use for all the glass. Right now, a lot of it ends up crushed and sent to the landfill, and that puts a strain on the processors handling all the material.

So, they're putting a lid on it. Starting Nov. 30, Whitehorse processing facilities and rural depots will no longer accept glass jars, containers, and other non-refundable glass. They will however continue to accept refundable glass — beer, juice and liquor bottles.

Yukon does not have a glass recycling facility, and has never shipped the material out of the territory because of the cost.

Still, the local depots have long accepted all kinds of glass and crushed it up to be sold to local businesses or used in construction — for example, on walking paths or in sand-blasting material.

Some glass collected by the depots has been crushed and used on walking paths or sold as construction material, but the depots say it's not a viable business. (Paul Tukker/CBC)

That was a pretty small market, though.

The depots — Raven Recycling, P&M Recycling, and Whitehorse Blue Bin Recycling — therefore told the Yukon government and the City of Whitehorse that they can't take all that useless glass anymore.

The two governments said they support the decision.

"It is unfortunate that we cannot find a viable solution for glass locally, but we understand the need to have a sustainable recycling industry in Yukon," said Community Services Minister John Streicker, in a statement.

The depots will continue to accept other recyclable material, such as plastic, aluminum and cardboard.  

Glass beverage bottles are also OK — some refillable beer bottles are used locally or sent south for refilling. Other drink bottles are crushed and used as landfill cover. 

Written by Paul Tukker

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