Please use the right bag for recycling glass, householders asked

Sun 14 Apr 2024

Vale residents are being asked to make sure they recycle things in the proper bags – especially glass. The reminder comes after Recycling for Guernsey has noticed that some households are leaving bottles and jars for collection in plastic bags.

Why is that a problem?
Firstly, plastic bags are not as strong as reusable glass bags. They can split when full of heavy bottles and jars, and pose greater risk of crews being injured by broken glass sticking out. And once the glass has been emptied into the truck, what happens to the bag?

The department used Facebook to draw attention to the problem:

"It may not be the vehicle that collects other materials, so the collection crew can’t just throw it in another compartment. They also can’t leave it where they found it, otherwise there will be carrier bags blowing everywhere. So they generally end up going in the back of the truck, along with the glass, and we can’t then remove it. Because retrieving bits of plastic from a large pile of broken glass has obvious issues.

"It has become more of a problem over time, as more people have been separated from their ‘official’ bag. We need to avoid this sort of contamination, because with all recycling quality is important. It ensures we get best value, and materials don’t get rejected. If we do nothing, it will only get worse. We have therefore had to ask collection crews to stop picking up glass set out in plastic bags.
What about other containers? Are they all as bad?

"Not necessarily. But anything not designed for glass collections is probably not as good as our glass bags. As well as being safer, they have a high handle, so they can be picked up easily without having to bend down. They also have a handle on the bottom that makes it easier to tip out into the truck, and a weight sewn in to prevent them blowing around when empty (we are not saying that doesn’t happen, but the risk is reduced).

"It may not seem the end of the world if the collection crew have to bend down to lift containers. But consider they have to pick up literally hundreds each night, whatever we can do to make their task easier is a help. If we slow them down, collections cost more."

  • If you need a new bag, you can pick one up free of charge from the Household Waste & Recycling Centre, or from the Vale Constables office (please call first on 01481 244155 to check we have spares).
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