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Why Single Stream Recycling?

Single Stream Recycling Waste Management, Single Stream Process-Program Service Company

Single Stream Recycling

Increasing participation in recycling is a challenge. That's why a growing number of businesses and municipalities have already transitioned to single stream recycling where all recyclable materials are collected co-mingled in a single container. 

The benefits of Single Stream recycling for your waste program includes: 

  • Increased recycling participation rates.
  • Less space required to store collection containers.
  • Increased volumes of recyclable materials collected - with some organizations and communities more than doubling their volumes.
  • Improved public approval due the convenience of a simpler and easier recycling program.
  • Increased efficiency, cost savings and a reduced carbon footprint - when waste streams such as organics are co-collected along with single stream recycling.
  • Recycling program expansion; creating the opportunity to add new materials - with no significant incremental costs - to the program.


How to Transition to a Single Stream Recycling Program

The transition from multi- or two-stream recycling to single stream is easy. Just put all of your recyclables – paper, plastics and recyclable containers into the same container, toter, box, bag or cart - without sorting. Emterra’s single stream recycling facilities are designed to separate these materials effectively according to type. Making it easy for for you to recycle means greater volumes are collected and diverted from the landfill.

Only a handful of single stream recycling plants exist in Canada and Emterra currently has more facilities and expertise than any other company. 

Materials that Emterra can recover in our Single Stream Recycling Service*



Single Stream Recyclables Newspaper Inserts and flyers
  TV guides
  Junk mail
  Paper bags
  Phone books
  Pizza boxes
  Writing paper
  Aluminum: aluminum foil and aluminum foil containers
  Glass: bottles and jars
  Metal: all food and beverage cans and tins
  Plastics: all rigid bottles, jugs and tubs
Refundable Beverage Containers All beverage containers
Corrugated Cardboard All sizes
* Emterra  can add EPR materials as well.




Introducing Single Stream Recycling to Help Municipalities Achieve Higher Diversion Rates – Meet the City of Chilliwack


In 2004, the City of Chilliwack, BC moved from a system of recycling drop-off depots to curbside collection of single stream recycling. It chose single stream because of the convenience it offered residents as well as promising lower collection costs coupled with a higher recyclables capture rate. In the first year of single stream recycling, diversion rose from 13% to 34%, reported Janet deMarcke, Environment Manager of Chilliwack’s Engineering Department.

Emterra helped Chilliwack optimize its single stream recycling program to boost recovery and save landfill space. With single stream, we were able to reconfigure the use of our fleet, maximizing the load space thereby reducing the number of trucks needed to collect recyclables throughout the city and surrounding rural area. Fewer trucks and more efficient trips to the transfer stations added up to lower fuel requirements, less greenhouse gas emissions and a lower overall carbon footprint. A carbon footprint calculator on suggests that reducing a heavy truck fleet by two trucks saves an equivalent of more than 180 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions annually. (Solid Waste and Recycling Magazine October/November 2011)

By working with Chilliwack on its single stream recycling program, Emterra contributed to the City’s progress toward its Zero Waste goals.