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GREEN LIVING: Where does our Blue Box recycling go?

How your actions are keeping materials out of the Greater Sudbury landfills

The introduction of the Blue Box recycling program has provided communities with a convenient and effective way to separate and recycle Blue Box approved materials such as paper, cardboard, glass and plastics.

This initiative has not only reduced both greenhouse gas emissions and the amount of waste sent to landfills, it has also conserved valuable resources by promoting the reuse of materials.

Some people may think the items they place in their Blue Box for collection each week just go into the landfill, but here in Greater Sudbury, the majority of acceptable Blue Box materials are recycled.

Domestic companies who recycle the City’s Blue Box materials

You may be surprised to learn all the great uses and products created from your Blue Box materials. The following companies, located across the province, are examples of the domestic markets that have been reusing the City’s sorted Blue Box materials.


EFS Plastics

  • Listowel, ON
  • Materials recycled: high-density polyethylene (HDPE) #2 and mixed plastics #4, #5, #6

“EFS Plastics is a 100% post-consumer mechanical recycler. We’ve been operating since 2007 and process polyolefin mixed rigid plastics (PP and PE), HDPE containers and LDPE film plastics. Our main plant is located in Listowel, Ontario, but we’ve also got locations in Hazleton, Pennsylvania and Lethbridge, Alberta.

The plastics we receive from the Greater Sudbury area are shredded, ground and washed, after which it is extruded into pellets. These pellets are the raw material for various injection-molded or blow-molded products and replace virgin plastic resins. EFS Plastics also owns a custom blow-molding and injection-molding facility, EXI Plast, out of Exeter, Ontario, where we custom manufacture various products with recycled resin.

Examples of some products that we manufacture are: Hotfrog Composters (available online at Home Depot and Walmart), GridX, Sofun Umbrella Stands, dumpster lids, pylons, etc. These products are made of 100% recycled resins and can be sent back to us for recycling at end of life. We also supply recycled resins for various manufacturers that would like to replace virgin resins with recycled resins.”

- Arjun Krishnan, Recyclable Materials and Supply Manager, EFS Plastics


  • Guelph, ON
  • Materials recycled: glass

NexCycle services over 20 municipalities in Ontario, collecting and recycling glass from the Blue Box program.

“NexCycle does indeed receive Sudbury’s glass. What we do is purify the stream that is mixed with paper, plastics, organics and ceramics by a process of drying, screening, optical sortation and sizing to produce a cullet that adheres to customers specifications. The main cullets that are produced is container glass (used by customers to produce bottles, jars, etc.) and fiberglass (a fine, sand-like product used to make insulation).”

- Laurie Borg, President, NexCycle Canada

Examples of insulation that is made of recycled materials: ThermoShield, Sanctuary by GreenFiber, Owens Corning PINK NEXT GEN FIBERGLAS

Companies that use recycled glass: Anchor Glass Container, O-I Glass

Ice River Sustainable Solutions

  • Shelburne, ON
  • Materials recycled: Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) #1

Ice River Sustainable Solutions is a Canadian family-owned and operated company with a commitment to a closed loop process by being both a recycler and manufacturer.

Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is a type of plastic that is clear, strong, lightweight and recyclable. Ice River Sustainable Solutions purchases 85 per cent of PET collected in Ontario blue boxes.

Their green bottles are available at Canadian Tire, Loblaws, Independent and Real Canadian Superstore.

Different types of plastic, such as those found in the company’s bottlecaps, get upcycled into other things, such as recycled outdoor furniture. Examples include outdoor chairs from C.R. Plastic Products of Stratford, ON. Check out the CAPTERRA Recycled Plastic Adirondack Chair.


Atlantic Packaging Products

  • Scarborough, ON
  • Materials recycled: cardboard

Atlantic provides sustainable packaging solutions and co-packing services to customers across North America.

Paper Fibres Inc.

  • Mississauga, ON
  • Materials recycled: paper, cardboard and boxboard

This family-owned paper recycling company was incorporated in 1888 and has been serving the Canadian market for three generations.

HGC Management Inc.

  • Belleville, ON
  • Materials recycled: polystyrene

HGC Management receives and densifies polystyrene foam down into bricks using their Extended Polystyrene Recycling System (EPS), which can then be used to make picture frames, packaging, park benches, insulation and toys.

Triple M Metal

  • Hamilton, ON
  • Materials recycled: steel

Triple M Metal is one of North America’s largest, privately held, fully integrated recyclers of ferrous and non-ferrous scrap metals. After steel has been recycled, it can be used to make automotive parts, home furniture and appliances, food packaging (canned goods and beverage containers) and building materials.

These are just some of the many great examples of how some of the items you put in your Blue Box are processed and made into new ones. When purchasing new products, remember to look for items made with post-consumer recycled content.

Sorting your waste properly and using your Blue Box correctly is central to reducing environmental impact, conserving resources and promoting a sustainable approach to waste management in the community.

Let us help you sort your waste

The City of Greater Sudbury has an app that can help you master the ins and outs of your local collection program.

Use the Waste Wise app to:

  • get your recycling collection schedule and reminders
  • learn which items belong in your Blue Box or Green Cart
  • request a large furniture or appliance pick-up
  • schedule a Toxic Taxi collection appointment for household hazardous waste

While recycling of single-use products is a great way to extend the life of our landfills and conserve resources, waste diversion should always be discussed in the context of the 3 Rs; Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. The 3 Rs are a hierarchy of diversion, where reduction of waste should be considered first, then reuse, and finally, when the other two options are not available, recycling of that waste.

To learn more about recycling in Greater Sudbury and how to download the Waste Wise app, visit

If you have a project you’d like the City to highlight, contact Jennifer Babin-Fenske at [email protected].