Are Blue Recycle Bags Costing You More In The Budget Than The Blue Bin?

It’s a mundane task but someone’s got to do it and no the pooch isn’t equipped to handle large loads. Each week we set the alarm nice and early to make sure we take the rubbish out to the road for collection.

Some of us are smart and put it out the night before, but potentially risk getting a visit by natures masked bandits (raccoons) and wake up to a mess.

Some weeks are better than others but for the most part we manage to toss out what we no longer use in our home. Sometimes  my neighbours pay me to walk my dog on bin day, and that’s ok I don’t mind. It’s amazing what people throw away but what’s most amazing is the cost comparison between blue bags and blue bins.

Each city is different in what they allow to be tossed in blue bins or bags but for the most part the list is standard. It’s always best to contact your city for details and by-laws.

Blue Bag Program Works For Some
Blue Bag Program Works For Some (Photo credit: newneonunion)

Are you literally throwing your money away using Blue Recycle Bags?

Canadian Tire
Canadian Tire (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Let’s do a comparison, shall we!

We will use Canadian Tire Regular Prices meaning they could get even cheaper if you wait for a Deal or better yet use your Canadian Tire Money…(that’s what Mr.CBB would do)

1x 87 Litre Blue Box = $11.49 that’s $12.98 with tax

1x 77 Litre Blue Recycle Bags (30 count) =$7.99 thats $9.02 with tax


If you use

1 Bag per Week = 52 Bags per year or

2 packs of Blue Recycle Bags totalling $18.04

OR  …. You could save the cash in your budget and find yourself a blue bin for free or pay a one time fee of $12.98 at Canadian Tire and save yourself $5.06 per year.

Our cost per year using blue bins: $0

Cost using blue bags per year:

  • $18.04 for 1 bag a week (52 bags a year)
  • $36.08 for 2 bags a week (104 bags a year)
  • $54.12 for 3 bags a week (156 bags a year)

Next Year- Cost for recycling $0

We have 4 bins all of which we picked up for free on-line and from friends in other cities. We do suggest you write in black marker your address on the bin in case it ends up in your neighbours back yard or down the street after a gale of wind.

Last year we saved over $54 by getting our bins for free and using them instead of Blue Recycling Bags.  So if you are allowed to use both the Blue bags and the Blue bins in your community and are using bags think of the potential savings I’ve provided you with-in your budget.

When you say I can’t think of ways to trim the budget, think hard I bet you will find something!

In 10 years with no inflation you keep an estimated $540 in your pocket depending on the cost of materials above… it’s still better than tossing it in the bin, is it not?

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  1. I don’t know if this is a Canadian or Nova Scotian thing but the recycling plant doesn’t actually use the blue bags! What I mean is that they cannot recycle them so they get thrown in the garbage! They can only use the clear ones or recycled plastic (ie grocery store bags). I use a large bin for my returnable items (pop cans) and grocery store bags every week for my non refundable (cat food/milk). Blue bags are a HUGE waste of money!

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  3. I’ve never seen the blue recycle bags, but I have seen the small blue boxes.

    We have city wide pickup. The city issued new tall bins to every house. I for garbage and 1 for recycle. Their new trucks have a lift on the side of them that the driver operates. It lifts the bin and tips it into the side of the truck. One truck comes around for garbage and a second truck comes around for the recycle. It has eliminated the second garbage guy that was throwing the bags in the back of the garbage truck.

    Is Ontario talking about doing these new bins? I know they have them in Saskatchewan already. Here is what they look like:

    They are quite tall and hold a lot of stuff.

    1. Yes we have blue bags for sale in Canada where some cities get the option to use either the bags or box or both. We just realized we were spending money on Blue Bags to toss the rubbish out.. kind of made no sense lol.. Cheers Siccora!

  4. We are given our blue boxes by the city. They just introduced a new, larger one and dropped one off at every home. I did buy a very small one that fits under my sink at Canadian Tire.

  5. I prefer bags. The difference in cost is one I can handle. Our city prefers bags as they are easier (less work) for the waste collection people to deal with which in the long run may save me taxes. Years ago my city provided bins to residents but that was probably 20 years ago. Plus we purchase our recycling and trash bags through a local non profit agency as one of their fundraising efforts (I am aware that we overpay on them but I’m okay with that since a relative benefits from this agency’s programs).

  6. we use bins. i did find a box of recycle bags on the top shelf of our laundry room last month when we painted! but i think i will find another use for them until they are used up. it’s interesting all the things we ‘need’ to buy, that we really don’t need. i’m glad we are not ‘forced’ by the township to use bags.

  7. We have GIANT rolling bins that we just throw ALL recylables into. No sotrting requited. Every other week the truck comes and dumps it for us. I really like it this way. The bin is covered, so nothing blows out. Our towns was one of ther first to use this program.

  8. In my area I’m pretty sure we can no longer use blue bags, we are supposed to use clear ones. We also have 3 different boxes that the city has provided us for free. We have a blue box, a grey box and a green container for organics. Residents can also use any comparable container to put recycling materials in as long as it meets size and weight specifications and is marked (i.e. don’t necessarily have to use a blue coloured bin). We just use the bins most of the time. The only time we use bags is for when we are putting out shredded paper, like the previous poster. Our city has extra bins for sale for $6.00.

  9. We have bins here, not even allowed to use those blue bags lol. In my city you can request a blue bin for free. I have 3, none of which I paid for! What a cost difference!

  10. I only use bags when I have a bunch of shredded paper to put out. The city (at least where I live) should provide one new free of charge when you move in. I’ve never had to buy one.

  11. We don’t even have recycling bins, bags, or recycling at all where we live! The garbage truck just comes around once a week to collect our garbage. But I do recycle cans, bottles, etc on my own, and take it to the nearest recycle depot.

  12. I’m in the situation where my apartment building does not offer recycling. It’s taking some getting used to after my last few apartments all provided that service. I feel pretty guilty throwing out all my recyclables now. I may have to see if I can drop them off somewhere nearby instead.

    If I end up living somewhere that gives me the option of bags or bins, I’d definitely go with the bins. They just seem like it would be much cheaper in the long run. It seems a bit counterproductive to waste bags on recycling.

    1. That’s just it. We are given the opportunity in our community to choose either/or. We understand every community is different and most flats don’t recycle. If given both options and given the cost of bags unless someone gets them free or well discounted it’s best to go with bins. Some communities will give out free bins at the City so it’s best to contact your local town hall to ask. We like to look at all the little ways as well as the big ways to save a buck!

      I know when we visit the relatives that they don’t recycle and it’s difficult for us to see that. We are so accustomed to sorting everything.

      Cheers Mate.

  13. We use the bins in our city! I have four stackable ones that we got at CT (bought with CT money). They sit on our porch and because they stack they don’t take up much room! We designate a different recyclable for each bin and make it easier on the recyclers when they’re sorting them in the truck (and if they’re the “good” ones and they see you at the window with kids they’ll dump the side bins into the truck for the kids to see)! I can’t imagine how much more it would cost me in garbage if we didn’t recycle! (We have tp pay $2.25 per bag for garbage, which I think is a rip off!)

    1. That sounds like you are well organized. Some cities I’ve heard use clear bags to recycle which they say are cheaper. Apartment buildings may not recycle at all but this post is for people who have the option of blue bags and blue bins. My point is chose the blue bins as the liklihood of savings being there is pretty good. Thanks for posting as always Shelley! Mr.CBB

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