Curbside blue bags explained

It’s a frequent question posed by new Abbotsford residents: Why does this city use blue bags for recycling rather than the more common blue boxes for paper, carboard and other items?

It’s a frequent question posed by new Abbotsford residents: Why does this city use blue bags for recycling rather than the more common blue boxes for paper, carboard and other items?

Tracy Kyle, Abbotsford’s director of water and solid waste, said the blue bag system is easier for homeowners, because all recyclables go into one bag.

The bin system puts more responsibility on the homeowner to sort recyclables.

In Surrey, for example, residents must sort recyclables into blue boxes, as well as blue and yellow bags for newspapers and mixed papers.

Abbotsford and Mission’s recycling is collected en masse and hand-sorted on a conveyer belt at the Abbotsford-Mission Recycling Depot.

Approximately 17,000 metric tonnes of recyclables are diverted from the landfill each year.

The blue bags are also recycled.

They’re the same material that sandwich bags and other plastics are made of, which are also recyclable.

Kyle says the blue bag system also does a better job of keeping discarded newspapers dry.

“If it comes in all wet, it’s not worth as much. This keeps the value of the paper high.”

For more about local recycling, visit acsrecycling.ca.