02/06/2013 07:54 EST | Updated 04/08/2013 05:12 EDT

Blue Box Glass Collection Could End In Metro Vancouver

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An employee of the Maltha glass recycling proccesses an enormous amount of bottles which arrived after the Christmas holidays in Heijningen on January 2, 2012. Trucks drive on and off to deliver the contents of the overflowing bottle banks across the land. AFP PHOTO / ANP / ROBIN UTRECHT ***NETHERLANDS OUT - BELGIUM OUT*** (Photo credit should read ROBIN UTRECHT/AFP/Getty Images)
Metro Vancouver could soon stop collecting glass in recycling bins because of industry concerns that it often breaks and contaminates other materials in the blue boxes.

Allen Langdon, chair of Multi-Material B.C., says that under the proposal, Metro Vancouver residents would have to take the glass to a recycling depot themselves starting in 2014.

Langdon noted the idea is still just a proposal and the agency is taking feedback until the end of the month. The blue box program currently collects about 210,000 tonnes of material each year, and only about 2,500 tonnes of that is glass, he said.

He says when the glass breaks in the blue boxes, it contaminates the other paper and plastics in the blue box, making them more difficult to recycle. Furthermore, recycled glass has little commercial value, meaning there are limited facilities to recycle it in B.C.

In 2011, B.C. amended its recycling regulations to require producers that sell packaging and printed paper to develop a stewardship plan with the B.C. Ministry of Environment or join a stewardship agency working on their behalf.

Multi Material BC was created by paper and packaging producers in B.C. to develop a plan for the industry. The nonprofit agency will be taking over paper and packaging recycling in 2014.

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