ST. JOHN’S, NL – Michelle Bartlett Bishop has been to so many stores in the greater St. John’s area in recent weeks looking for clear trash bags that she has lost count.
“I’ve been looking for them everywhere,” she told the Telegram on Tuesday, January 4, days after the city’s new garbage bag regulations came into effect. “I think it’s ridiculous. … I am more than frustrated.
The 51-year-old mother-of-three said it was hard enough keeping recyclables stored in her tiny rental unit, let alone worrying about trying to find the right color bag for her trash .
“I will have no choice but to go to the city dump myself from now on, if they allow it even now,” she said.
As of January 1, residents of St. John’s are required to use clear, colorless plastic bags for curbside garbage, with the exception of one “privacy” bag per week for personal items.
The switch to transparent garbage bags is part of the city’s efforts to increase recycling, to reduce the amount of hazardous waste that ends up in the landfill of the Robin Hood Bay Waste Management Facility, and to improve the safety of staff at collection.
This process was not designed by @CityofStJohns A counselor was interviewed on @CBCNL Here and now tonight. The “personal / security black bag can be placed in the transparent bag. The use of transparent bags will not be checked until at least May to accustom people to the process 1/2
– G_erry (@ gtp_58) January 5, 2022
While many residents seem to think this is a good concept, the problem so far has been trying to find the clear bags in stores in the area. Many are so bored that they have taken to social media to let off steam.
“I couldn’t find any (transparent) bags earlier this month,” Laura Wardle wrote on Facebook. “With the COVID numbers now being so high, we shouldn’t be visiting multiple stores looking for them. “
Claudia Pink, manager of the Home Hardware building center at Bennett in the Goulds, saw several customers looking for clear bags.
“Oh, people are definitely looking for them,” she said. “A lot of people have asked for us, but we are waiting for more to arrive.”
Pink said the store, like many businesses, is expecting truck shipments. She said the company’s Atlantic warehouse in Debert, Nova Scotia – from where shipments are made to Newfoundland and Labrador – has experienced a shortage of clear bags from the supplier, Inteplast Bags and Films. Corp. in Ontario, due to COVID-19 issues and greater demand.
“But here we are,” Pink said. “We’ve ordered a bunch and they’re due out next week.”
Com. Sandy Hickman said the city has received numerous calls and emails from residents complaining about the lack of availability of transparent bags.
“In December, people realized it was time to go out and start buying them. The stores were available, but they were bought out, ”Hickman said.
“Second, there is a supply chain problem with many commodities around the world and of course COVID has had an impact on that as well.”