Bluewater Recycling Association seeing changes

( file photo)

The president of the Bluewater Recycling Association says changes in packaging and smaller families have had a major impact on their business.

Francis Veilleux said the material they recycle and sell is priced by the ton and many of the heavier, and easier-to-handle materials are disappearing.

“Newspapers are disappearing, which was heavy, very low cost to handle. Glass containers, again, very low-cost materials to handle, but they’re being replaced with plastic,” said Veilleux. “Plastic containers cost anywhere from $700 to $1,500 a ton to handle, but they’re worth two, three, four five-hundred dollars on the market.”

Veilleux also notes that families are much smaller today and more people are living on their own. That means large containers of things like yogurt are now being replaced by individual cups.

“One of the things that we run across here is that yogurt we used to get in a half a litre tub that we could manually pick or machine-pick on the line, now we’re getting a little cup that two to three inches in size and we need to just physically pick that,” said Veilleux, who compared it to trying to separate confetti.

He added that technology is helping them deal with some of the problems. They now have cameras that can identify many of the materials and separate them as they go down the line.