Using your blue recycling cart in Calgary | BluPlanet

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November 29, 2021

Using your blue recycling cart in Calgary

Recycling has become an essential component in sustainable waste management that can be practiced within the household and workplace. Recycling not only provides your “waste” with the opportunity to turn into something new but can help reduce the amount of material from entering our local landfills.

Calgary’s Road to Recycling  

For over 10 years, Calgarians have been actively reducing the amount of waste from entering our landfill by participating in Mixed Recycling services. Proud to service over 40,000 residents and many local businesses; in 2021, BluPlanet helped divert 3,946,344 kilograms of mixed recycling material from entering our local landfills. For more information on how BluPlanet Recycling contributes to waste diversion in Calgary, please visit our sustainability page. 

Let’s get ready to recycle!  

It is our responsibility as residents, businesses owners, and environmental leaders within the community to ensure that material is being disposed of correctly with the support of education.  

What plastics can be recycled?  

Let’s be honest, recycling can get become confusing at times when you have different styles of packaging. To make cleanup easier for yourself, co-workers, and family, BluPlanet Recycling has prepared an information graphic to refer to when recycling assistance is needed. 

It is important to know that not everything that is plastic is considered “recyclable”. Some items contain multiple layers and material that cannot be separated correctly within the recycling facility. When sorting any unknown or unique items in your waste, please visit the search engine provided by the City of Calgary called, What Goes Where

What is accepted in Calgary's recycling Blue Cart? 

  • Paper – newspaper, magazines, flyers, envelopes, office paper, shredded paper (contained in bag), clean paper cups, etc. 
  • Cardboard and boxboard  
  • Glass bottles and jars  
  • Food cans and foil  
  • Refundable beverage containers 
  • Plastic containers (with recycling symbol 1-7, except Styrofoam) 
  • Juice boxes and cartons (such as Tetra Paks) 

All items listed above must be non-contaminated and cleaned prior to disposing within your container.  

Where does my recycling material go? 

Once you dispose of your recycling material into our carts, they are transferred to reliable processors who turn your material into new products.? Explore below the common household recyclable items and what they can turn into after the recycling process.!  

  1. Newspaper = egg cartons 
  2. Plastic bottle/containers = recycled fleece   
  3. Glass = sandblast (construction) & home insulation  
  4. Bundled bags = plastic lumber (zoo park benches) 
  5. Milk Cartons (Polycoat) = napkins / cardboard packaging  

By visiting the Alberta Recycling Management Authority webpage, you can learn more on what your common household recyclables end up to be.! 

What common mistakes are Calgarians making when using their Blue Cart? 

Dirty Containers 

Always remember to rinse before you recycle! Consider this - would you like to have a fleece sweater full of ketchup? No way! When recycling, it is important to rinse your containers prior to disposing within your Blue Cart. When material is found contaminated with leftover food this is no longer considered a valuable recycling product.  

Plastic Bags 

After a large grocery shop, you may take home a lot of extra plastic bags. A common mistake that many make, is that they recycle bags all loose into their blue cart. By bundling all your plastic bags into one, tying a knot, and placing within your blue cart, this can help ensure that they are recycled successfully. 

Why do we bundle our bags?  

  1. Reduce the risk of contamination from seeping onto your plastic bags; and 
  2. At the recycling facility, bags will be easier to sort to allow them to be recycled correctly. 

What types of bags are recyclable? 

  • Stretchy – is recyclable. If your plastic bag can stretch without ripping, this is considered an approved recyclable plastic. Stretchy plastic examples include grocery bags and produce bags. Please note – plastic wrap although stretchy, is unrecyclable.  
  • Non-stretchy – is not recyclable. If the plastic rips and crinkles, this material can be disposed of within the garbage container. This type of plastic is commonly used for chip bags, candy bar wrappers, and more. 
Multi-Material Packaging  

When reviewing your plastic item, take a closer look at the materials used. If the packaging used appears to have one type of exterior material and a different interior material, this is considered “multi-material packaging”.  As these two (or more) layers are unable to be removed and properly sorted at the Recycling Facility, this item cannot be disposed of within the Blue Cart Program. 

Examples of multi-material packaging include, chip bags, beverage canisters with interior foil lining (I.e., juice, hot chocolate, coffee), and pet food bags. To learn more on what items are included, please visit the page on Multi-Material Packaging provided by the City of Calgary.  

Styrofoam / Polystyrene Foam (EPS) 

Styrofoam is a common and messy item that may try to dispose of within their recycle container. This item is complex as many companies place a recycle symbol although, this is not approved as a recyclable material within Calgary.  Where does this item belong? Styrofoam can be disposed of within the garbage container where it will then be transferred to a local landfill.  

What can you do to reduce your waste? 

As mentioned above, Styrofoam and other multi-material packaging is not approved within the local recycling facility. To help reduce the amount of material from entering our landfills, it is encouraged for multi family residents to reevaluate their choice of packaging to ensure that it is either recyclable or compostable.  

An example of sustainable packaging includes transitioning from Styrofoam take-out trays to paper-fiber (molded-fiber) material packaging as this can be disposed of directly within the compost container.  

Need mixed recycling and waste assistance?  

For additional assistance or to add a blue cart containers to your business or residential complex, please click the button below and we will get back to you within 24 hours.


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