March 20, 2007
Media Release

Shredded paper and plastic bags to be kept out of Blue Boxes

York Region launches advertisement campaign to help educate residents
NEWMARKET – The Regional Municipality of York has recently launched an advertising campaign to remind residents that shredded paper and plastic bags are not accepted in Blue Boxes throughout the Region.
Since opening the Waste Management Centre in the Town of East Gwillimbury in 2005, York Region adopted a co-mingled Blue Box program which allows residents to put all of their recyclable items in the same Blue Box, instead of sorting into separate containers.
The co-mingled system has never accepted shredded paper or plastic bags because the Waste Management Centre is not equipped for these materials.  Plastic bags become tangled in the sorting equipment and jam machines, resulting in the facility shutting down or a risk of fire.  Shredded paper gets mixed in with other recyclable materials, contaminating the streams of product and limiting our ability to recycle the materials.
All plastic film, including clear plastic bags, grocery bags and plastic sleeves around newspapers or water bottle cases, cannot be sorted by the machines at our Waste Management Centre.  As a result, plastic film, as well as all of its contents, cannot be recycled. 
Although some of these items have been picked up at the curb in the past, they have never been recyclable.  Local municipalities, responsible for collection of Blue Box materials, are now leaving these unacceptable items behind to help remind residents what can and cannot be recycled.
Tips for disposing of shredded paper:
• Shred more sparingly – only personal information, such as name, address and account numbers
• Place in backyard composters or Green Bins where service exists
 (all nine Regional municipalities are scheduled to have Green Bin programs by September 2007)
• Drop shredded paper off at one of York Region’s special waste events – More info:
Tips for disposing of plastic bags:
• Generate less waste by purchasing sturdy, cloth bags or grocery bins to carry your goods
• Many grocery stores will take back used plastic bags – Inquire with your local retailer
• Use plastic bags for picking up after pets and for wrapping food containing extra odour
• Use as extra packaging and padding for shipping gifts and wrapping presents
• Plastic grocery bags can be used to line the kitchen catcher in Green Bins
For more information on recycling and York Region’s Solid Waste Management Branch, please visit and click on “Services”, then “Garbage and Recycling” or call 1-877-464-9675.
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Media Contact: Tracy Smith, Communications Specialist, Corporate Communications, York Region
 Phone:  (905) 886-6767, Ext. 1209 or Cell: (905) 251-6412

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