Program is now year-round and aims to defer glass from landfill
Pemberton, B.C. – A pilot program aimed at reducing the amount of glass that ends up in the Squamish landfill has been extended in the community of Britannia Beach, in Electoral Area D of the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District (SLRD).
The Britannia Beach glass depot pilot project was implemented over the summer, from June 30 to September 28, 2021 in an effort to divert glass from the landfill.
Glass is heavy and expensive to dispose of at the landfill: when waste materials are sent to the Squamish landfill as garbage and more than 5% of the waste is organics and recyclables (such as glass), the cost is $450 per ton, compared to $200 per ton for waste that is free of organics and recyclables.
In Britannia Beach, glass accounts for 8.2% of the total waste sent to the landfill. By comparison, in Squamish, glass accounts for 3.5% of the total waste sent to the landfill. That’s why the SLRD is encouraging residents to separate glass from other recyclables and household garbage and delivering it to the community drop-off depot to ensure that more of it is recycled.
“This is an important project, in terms of keeping glass out of the landfill,” said SLRD Electoral Area D Director, Tony Rainbow.
“The success of the program is due to resident participation, and we have been very pleased to see that the residents of Britannia Beach have been using the glass bins very respectfully throughout the pilot program. There was no contamination and no littering at the site,” he said. “Now, we need more residents to participate in the program so that we can continue to provide this service to our community and reduce the amount of glass going to the landfill.”
Recycle BC has also reported to the SLRD that a high percentage of glass is currently being put in the curbside recycling bins.
Residents are reminded that glass is not accepted in the curbside program because once it breaks, it infiltrates the fibers of other materials in the bin, making it impossible to separate. Shattered glass also has costly wear and tear effects on the mechanical components at the recycling facilities.
“Keeping glass out of the blue bin is the best way to ensure that recycling efforts are not in vain,” added Rainbow.
The cost to run the Britannia Beach glass depot program is $158 per month, which comes from the existing operational budget for Britannia Beach refuse.
For the glass depot to be successful, residents are reminded that:
- Glass containers must be clean
- Totes/ bins should only be used for glass bottles and jars
- No glassware, window glass or mirrors (broken or whole; these items must be disposed of as garbage, as they are not recyclable. Consider donating useable items such as glassware, windows and mirrors, etc. that are not broken.)
- Area around bins should be kept clean and litter free
- Remove lids (these can go in the blue bin)
Residents with questions about this program can contact the SLRD Utilities and Services department by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District
Located in southwestern BC, the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District (SLRD) is a local government federation consisting of four member municipalities (the District of Lillooet, the District of Squamish, the Village of Pemberton and the Resort Municipality of Whistler) and four unincorporated, rural electoral areas (A, B, C, and D). Headquartered in Pemberton, which is the approximate geographic centre of the region, the SLRD delivers a wide range of local, regional and sub-regional services to approximately 42,665 residents (2016 Census).
Squamish-Lillooet Regional District
Phone: 604.894.6371 x260