New grey boxes for Ghetto

Revised schedule will have alternate pick-up weeks for blue and grey boxes

New grey recycling boxes in Kingston will be alternated weekly with blue boxes for pickup.
New grey recycling boxes in Kingston will be alternated weekly with blue boxes for pickup.

Starting Oct. 2, your blue box will go out one week, and your grey box will go out the next.

The new grey box is specifically for fibre products, such as newspapers, phone books and catalogues.

Cereal boxes, milk and juice cartons, paper egg cartons and paper towel tubes can also be included, but you need to flatten them, place them inside an untied plastic bag or tie them in bundles.

Blue boxes will still be for other recyclables, such as aluminum cans and plastic containers.

Amy Paauw, the city’s public works co-ordinator, said the plan doesn’t require any more sorting than the present system because newspaper and cardboard waste already has to be placed either in an untied bag or a tied bundle beside the blue box.

“The difference is that you have to keep boxes around an extra week,” she said, adding that if students find they accumulate too much recyclable material in the two-week span, they can purchase extra blue or grey boxes for $6 from the city, and set out two boxes worth of material on the appropriate pick up day.

AMS Municipal Affairs Commissioner Ryan Quinlan-Keech said he’s worried the move to a two-week recycling schedule and further restrictions on sorting may exacerbate existing issues with the current system.

“Already, there are many students and Kingstonians who don’t have their recycling picked up because of sorting issues, [and] these changes will only compound this problem,” Keech said.

“Rather than moving to a two-week collection schedule with the narrow goal of saving money, we believe that there should have been more consultation with Queen’s students and other community groups prior to making this decision.”

Keech said he thinks the new policy discourages people from being environmentally conscious by making it harder to recycle.

“As things currently stand, it is tough for me to support the logic behind a policy that effectively makes it more difficult for people to do the environmentally responsible thing and recycle.” he said. “This consultation should have included the potential implementation of more effective and less problematic cost-saving measures.”

Paauw said the city’s recycling contractor originally brought the plan to council, which investigated and approved it.

The new pick up schedule is estimated to save the city $1 million over the next six years.

Since Sept. 11, the city has been distributing special grey boxes to facilitate further sorting of recyclables.

Detailed guides on what respectively can go in grey or blue boxes will be delivered along with each household’s grey box and collection schedule. They can also be found on the city’s website,, along with collection schedules for various areas and further information on the plan.

Extra boxes are for sale in the Municipal Affairs Commission office in the lower ceilidh of the JDUC.

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