Tuesday, October 19, 2021 - 11:30 AM

Clear Bags for Garbage begins January 1, 2022

image on the right of two clear bags with garbage inside, one black garbage bag and two blue recycling bags. Text on the left: Let's be Clear with our Waste. Garbage goes in clear bags starting January 1, 2022. In the bottom left is the Curbit logo and City of St. John's logo.

Waste Reduction Week in Canada, October 18-24, 2021, has been recognized for 20-years and is a time to provide information and ideas to reduce waste in daily life.

One of the easiest ways you can reduce your household waste is by curbside recycling. You can put an unlimited number of blue bags of containers or papers at the curb on your recycling day every second week. We recycle much more than just pop cans and juice bottles so be sure you're recycling all that you can.

We know from a recent waste audit that more recyclables are being put in the garbage than are being recycled in blue bags. We want to divert useable waste from the landfill – to do that we need to ensure recyclables are put in blue bags at the curb, not in the garbage.

Clear Bags for Garbage
Starting on January 1, 2022 garbage put at the curb must be in clear, colourless bags - with the exception of one 'privacy' bag per week that can be in an opaque, non-transparent (ie. black) bag.

Using clear bags for your household garbage allows our collectors to quickly assess the bag for items that should have been placed in a recycling blue bag instead. 
With clear bags for garbage only, curbside recycling becomes mandatory in St. John's.

Reducing Waste
In order to reduce our collective impact on the environment, we want to increase the amount of recyclables going to the Materials Recovery (recycling) Facility. By increasing recycling we are supporting the environmental, social and economic sustainability of our City.

Diverting recyclables away from garbage and into recycling saves the City and its taxpayers money. The City pays $82 for each tonne of garbage it brings to Robin Hood Bay and only $22 for each tonne of recyclables.

Placing recyclables in garbage does not support the jobs created to handle and sort your recyclables or the supply chain work of getting that recycled material to markets for further processing.  No further benefit can come from recycling material when it is put in a garbage bag destined for the landfill.

Try Clear Bags
We anticipate some residents may need a period of adjustment to get used to buying and using clear bags for garbage.

We encourage residents try using clear bags for garbage now, before it is required, to have time to adjust to using them. 

The next time you're at a grocery or home supply store, have a look for clear garbage bags. Pick up a box to try for yourself so that your household is ready and using clear bags for garbage and recycling all you can in blue bags before the new year.

Clear garbage bags to encourage recycling is a new concept for St. John's but in other municipalities across Canada it's an old idea, including in Mount Pearl where clear bags have been required since 2017, in Central Newfoundland since 2015 and more recently in Western Newfoundland.

on the right images of: two clear bags with garbage in it, one black garbage bag, two blue recycling bags. Text on the left from top to bottom: Let's be Clear with our Waste. Garbage goes in clear bags starting January 1, 2022. At the bottom logos for Curbit and the City of St. John's