Toronto's Blue Bin recycling program to accept PET clamshells

Mike Verespej

Published: September 13, 2012 6:00 am ET

Related to this story

Topics Materials, Public Policy, Suppliers, Sustainability, Packaging, Recycling, Thermoforming

TORONTO (Sept. 13, 2:05 p.m. ET) — In the aftermath of a successful pilot program, Canada’s largest city, Toronto, is adding clear PET clamshell containers and all mixed rigid plastics to its Blue Bin recycling program.

Toronto becomes the third major Canadian city — along with Ottawa and Calgary — to recycle clamshells.

The Blue Bin program in Toronto currently accepts plastic bottles, jugs, jars, tubs and lids.

Those additions to the recycling stream are expected to divert 4 million pounds of plastics from landfills annually at a net cost to the city of $78,000, according to a report submitted Sept. 12 to the city council’s Public Works and Infrastructure committee by Jim Harnum, general manager of the city’s Solid Waste Management Services department.

“Solid Waste Management plans on adding all mixed rigid plastics, including plastic clamshell containers, to the Blue Bin program in the latter part of 2012,” Harnum said in the report’s summary.

“We applaud the expansion of collection to include clear PET clamshell containers,” said Dave Cornell, technical director of the Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers, whose members have more than 90 percent of the post-consumer plastic reprocessing capacity in North America.

“PET clamshell packaging is a valuable new source of raw material for PET recycling,” he said. “The announcement is a win for the city, a win for the province, and a win for the plastics recycling industry.”

What helped opened the door for PET clamshell recycling in Toronto — which has a population of 2.6 million — was the Canadian Grocers Initiative, which went into effect this past January. That voluntary industry initiative, supported by the five major grocers in Canada, mandated the use of PET thermoformed clamshell packaging for most food packaging in grocery stores.

“Until recently, the city could not recycle plastic clamshell packaging because [it was made from] multiple plastic resins, which existing sorting technology could not process to satisfy market specifications,” said the report from the Solid Waste Management Services department.

In the report, Harnum said the types of mixed rigid clamshells that Toronto residents can now recycle are clear fruit and vegetable containers, clear takeout food containers, clear molded bakery item trays, clear food storage containers, and clear egg cartons.

He said black clamshells, typically used by restaurants, should not be recycled at this point.

“We plan to use print and other applicable advertising methods to announce the addition of the new materials and reinforce the message,” starting this autumn, said Harnum in the report to the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee. But the recycling of such items can begin immediately.

A year-long pilot program conducted at the Dufferin Material Recovery Facility — which handles about half of the city’s recycling — demonstrated the feasibility of that MRF to sort rigid plastics to the specifications of plastics recyclers, said the report.

In addition, the report said Toronto has signed a seven-year recycling contract with the Canada Fibers Material Recovery Facility, now under construction, to replace three smaller processors — which have been handling the rest of the city’s recycling on a short-term basis — but who do not have the capability to sort mixed rigid plastics.

Construction of the new Canadian Fibers MRF, which will have optical sorting capabilities, is expected to be completed by May 1 when the contracts with those smaller processors expire, the report said.


Comments

Toronto's Blue Bin recycling program to accept PET clamshells

Mike Verespej

Published: September 13, 2012 6:00 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Vinyl siding's lead slips, but industry pushing back

July 29, 2014 2:04 pm ET

Vinyl siding continues to be the top cladding choice for home builders and remodelers but fiber cement is gaining ground — at an alarming rate...    More

Unipex Group buys Ferguson Chemical Innovation

July 29, 2014 1:57 pm ET

Chemical distributor Unipex Group Inc. announced July 29 that it had purchased Ferguson Chemical Innovation, a Brampton, Ontario-based supplier of...    More

Image

Reynolds considering sale of Closure Systems International unit

July 29, 2014 10:32 am ET

Packaging giant Reynolds Group Holdings Ltd. has put its closures business under review.    More

Image

Carbon black supplier Orion begins trading on NYSE

July 29, 2014 11:29 am ET

Orion Engineered Carbons S.a.r.l. has priced the initial public offering of 19.5 million common shares at a price to the public of $18 per share.    More

Image

Dow sees solid second quarter performance

July 29, 2014 11:19 am ET

Dow Chemical Co. has reported its second quarter figures, with its seventh consecutive quarter of growth, according to the company.
More

Market Reports

Plastics Recyclers Data Report & Directory

This exclusive MS Excel database contains all the companies from Plastics News' ranking of top North American Recyclers and Brokers by reprocessed volume and also includes a directory with materials processes, services offered and company contact information. Data is based on primary research by PN editorial staff.

Learn more

2014 Injection Molding Industry Report

GROWTH, OPPORTUNITY IN SIGHT FOR INJECTION MOLDERS IN 2014

In the wake of the economic turbulence earlier in this decade, molders today find themselves in much better shape. Molders are gaining a competitive advantage by investing in people, equipment and seeking inroads into new markets on a global scale.

Growth in the injection molding industry is going to be driven by low financing costs and a continued move to reshore some business.

Learn more

Shale Gas Market - Analysis of North American Region

This report highlights the impact of shale-based natural gas on the North American plastics market and features an in-depth analysis of production trends in the United States during 2013 and a forecast for 2014 and beyond.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events