Blue Box (container)

Blue Box (container)

A Blue Box container is a rigid plastic container used to hold domestic recyclable waste. It was first introduced in the recycling programs, often called the 'Blue Box program', in Ontario in the 1980s. Blue Boxes were first introduced in Kitchener, Ontario's East Ward neighborhood. The curbside recycling concept was concieved by Jack Rosen, working with Nyle Ludolph he helped spearhead the worlds first 'Blue Box program'The boxes were used by householders to store separated recyclable materials including:

*Glass jars and bottles
*Aluminum or steel cans

Plastic PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottles used for beverages were added when they became available in Ontario.

Householders carry their Blue Box containers to the curb in the evening before or on the day of the recycling pickups in collection vehicles. Specially designed trucks are employed to collect the separated materials. The trucks are equipped with several compartments that hold one or more material. For example, old newspapers in one compartment, metal cans in another and glass containers in a third. The trucks are operated by a single person who not only drives but sorts the materials into the special compartments as required. Some programs now allow the householder to mix all recyclables in the same Blue Box. As a result, the new trucks do not have separate compartments for the items and the sorting is done at a Material Recovery Facility (MRF) by manual and mechanical processes using specialized equipment.

The Blue Box quickly replaced "paper drives" and other early forms of recycling.

Todaywhen, many municipalities operate Blue Box programs that accept all forms of paper materials, most plastic packaging, glass containers, aluminium cans and steel cans. For example, the city of Greater Napanee accepts:

#Glass bottles and jars, including all glass containers which previously contained a food or beverage product.
#Metal food and beverage cans, including all hard shell steel or aluminium containers which previously contained a food or beverage product.
#Aluminum foil meaning food wrap, food packaging and kitchenware such as pie plates made from a thin sheet of aluminum.
#Rigid shell plastic containers including polyethylene terephthalate (PETE#I), high density polyethylene (HDPE #2), low density polyethylene (LDPE #4), polypropylene (PP #5) and polystyrene (PS #6), which previously contained a non-hazardous consumer product.
#Rigid foam plastic containers.
#Newspapers, magazines, flyers and household papers.
#Old boxboard and old cardboard (non-waxed, flattened & bundled no larger than 30"x3O1'x8").
#Bundled plastic bags (LDPE).
#Other material as designated by the town from time to time.

The municipality provides the Blue Boxes to residents in areas serviced by the recycling program. This usually includes all single-family homes and townhouse units receiving garbage collection. Tenants of apartment buildings typically do not use Blue Boxes but rather deposit their household recyclable materials in larger containers located in or near the building.

In some jurisdictions, larger blue bins are replacing the blue box due to the limited space to hold large volumes of recyclable materials.

Other containers to collect recyclable products:

* Green box - used in North York, Ontario
* Green bin - composted materials
* Grey box - paper and cardboard
* Recycling bins - boxes with holes to allow users to drop in material for recycling
* Green Box - used in Timmins, Ontario for all materials being recycled

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