Nova Scotia has successfully implemented a recycling scheme that asks residents to split the garbage into 4 separate containers:

  1. Blue bags for glass, plastic and metal
  2. Paper, such as newspaper and egg cartons.
  3. Green Carts for Food waste and yard waste.
  4. Black bags for garbage such as plastic wrap, styrofoam, toothpaste tubes, candy wrappers etc. The maximum amount of this remaining garbage you are allowed is ONE black bag each week.


Aerosol cans, paints, motor oil, fridges, needles, batteries, varnishes etc all are classed as hazardous wate and must be dropped off at special places.


If you fail to adhere to the recycling guidelines, the garbagemen leave your garbage where it is so you can sort it out properly. This is working perfectly across the whole of Nova Scotia, with real support from the population . This must seem draconian by Bermudian standards , but this is the level of commitment it is going to take if we are to reduce our levels of garbage in Bermuda, where we each currently generate more garbage than a the average New Yorker.


Other territories are trying new strategies too ; Switzerland charges on a per bag basis for garbage removal, and has achieved a 76% recycling rate, the city of New York fines those who throw away recyclable items. A similar process in Bermuda would help pay for the additional costs associated with processing and recyling garbage here. In the States, companies like Recology have sprung up, promoting recycling, composting, and other waste-reduction programs to minimize the amount of waste added to landfills (and making over 350 million dollars annually in the process) and this could create a commercial opportunity for Bermudians or Govt to benefit from.


So we have to ask ourselves how we could do better and how we could implement this in Bermuda. Certainly adding a "Green Bin" to our refuse is possible to collect organic materials like vegetable peelings and refuse that will decompose. This would require no overseas shipping or storage and would only increase the amount of compost and soil available in Bermuda, which already has facilities and places to dump and re-use this kind of refuse. Plastic refuse is also a real issue in Bermuda, but would require resources to store and probably shipment overseas, so it would have to be determined if this could be profitable, as it is with aluminum that is shipped off island in a similar way. It will take a change in the mindset of Bermudians to recycle like this, but this is why Greenrock exists, to try and promote these kinds of solutions and options.

Ed's Note: Click here to download Bermuda's 2010 Garbage and Recycling Schedule in PDF format. (2.41MB)

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