Recycling Collections Cut Back To Fortnightly

August 15, 2012

Residential recycling pick up will be cut back to once every two weeks instead of once a week in an effort to be more cost effective, the Ministry of Public Works said today [Aug 15]. You can download a PDF copy of the 2012 Garbage and Recycling schedule here.

The Ministry said that after monitoring waste pick up they found that in most cases, the bags containing recyclable materials were arriving and the Material Recovery Facility only half full. This change will decrease the cost of recycling significantly to less than half of its former cost, the Ministry said.

The full statement follows below:

The Department of Waste management within the Ministry of Public Works has announced that, beginning August 1, 2012 residential TAG [tin, aluminum and glass] recycling pick up will change from weekly to fortnightly.

The Waste Management Department carries out monitoring of waste pick up including recycling and has found that in most cases, the bags containing recyclable materials were arriving and the Material Recovery Facility only half full.

In an effort to be more cost effective, residential recycling pick up will now take place every two weeks. This move will decrease the cost of recycling significantly to less than half of its former cost.

For missed collections, please call either the new recycling contractor, Butterfield Excavation Limited can be contacted at 238-1066 or the Material Recovery Officer, Stephen Gilbert at 501-3024. Missed collections can also be e-mailed to

The 2012 Garbage and Recycling Schedule can be found on pages 28-29 of the BTC phone book Blue Pages or on-line at

Tin and aluminum recyclables are shipped to the North American recyclables market where they are melted-down, turned back into new cans and can be back on supermarket shelves within 60 days of recycling.

Glass is reused on-island in a host of construction projects and saves the expense of purchasing aggregate and fill-materials. In 2011 Bermuda shipped 134 20’ shipping container loads of various recycling commodities off-island to the US recyclables market.

The Ministry thanks the public for their understanding as this new schedule is implemented.

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Category: All, Environment, News

Comments (31)

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  1. Chart says:

    They are announcing the new schedule two weeks after it went into effect?
    The URL does not work.

    • Bernews says:

      Thanks for that, there was a typo in the domain which we just fixed…

      • Dockyard Lackey says:

        Unless I am very much mistaken, the fortnightly pickups have been the norm for at least a year, or maybe longer. I hope they have not been paying the contractor weekly.

  2. Confused says:

    I thought this was the case already? Maybe if mandatory recycling was put into place Minister the bags would be full. Or simply set up minirecyclable hubs around the island. We need to do better by our country and the environment and cutting recycling is not the way.

    • Chart says:

      Some time ago they announced they’d go to fortnightly … but they kept coming every week.

  3. Zombie Apolcalypse says:

    Yep. They’re out of money. Next they’ll have trouble making payroll.

  4. Skeptic says:

    I thought that collection for recycling was cut back from weekly about 2 years ago.?? I hope that we have not been paying for a weekly contract with bi-weekly services…..

  5. Street Smart says:

    This effectively means more Bermudian job loses are on the horizon!! Thanks to the Bermuda government for having Bermuda’s public purse and Bermudians in mind. Now, for those of us who believe in recycling will have to store refuse at our homes longer! This is what Bermuda government Thought of Bermuda Future………… GARBAGE!!!

  6. Family Man says:

    I stopped recycling more than a year ago when they switched to their new “randomized, guess-which-Friday-we’re-going-to-show-up” schedule.

    But their excuse for the switch is bizarre. They are reducing the schedule “because the bags arriving at the facility were only half full”. They said this with a straight face? Seriously?? What does it matter how full the bag is? Surely they need to measure the total volume of recyclables not the per bag amount? Under their logic, we should just switch to using smaller bags. Problem solved.

    • Come Correct says:

      Read it again

      • so-n-so says:

        you read it again mate.

        “The Waste Management Department carries out monitoring of waste pick up including recycling and has found that in most cases, the bags containing recyclable materials were arriving and the Material Recovery Facility only half full.”

    • Head up high! says:

      I wonder when the trash cutbacks are coming! I put my garbage out every Tuesday and Friday as scheduled and I cant tell you when the last time was that trash was picked up on both days as scheduled. The problem seems to occur on Fridays most of the time and garbage gets picked up most of the time by late Saturday.

      I don’t blame the garbage men as they have always managed to collect garbage on time and they are a hard working group. Not sure if the issue is with scheduling, management, equipment or something else.

      • Argosy says:

        Equipment… the buses, ferries, the list goes on.

        The wheels are coming off!

  7. Frank'N'Onions says:

    It’s been once every 2 weeks for months now! And they’re just announcing this now? Have they been paying the contractor for weekly pickups?

    Hope someone wasn’t pocketing the $$$ for weekly pickups.

  8. George says:

    Bernews you need to challenge the Govt. on the fact that its been fortnightly pickup for years now! Investigative reporting!

    I have a schedule and a nice backlog of TAG from Cup Match to prove it!

    • Chart says:

      They have still been coming to my ‘hood weekly. Scraggy white Talbot truck.

  9. Guy Carri says:

    JOKES! Like everyone has said, that’s been the schedule for a while while. Gov don een kno wha dey payin 4.

    Oh and if they recycle glass by using it in construction, what do they do with the tin???!!!!!

    • Confused says:

      Based on the Exhibts and info at the 2011 Beachfest, The Tin and Aluminum are crushed and sent in bales back to the US for re-use. The more we send back the more profitable the venture. We must not be breaking even, hence the cutbacks.

  10. Tulip says:

    that’s it for us. I don’t need to have bags of recycables outside attracting more ants for 2 wks.

  11. The truth shall set you free says:

    It’s been on a bi-weekly schedule for quite some time now. I have the pickup schedule right on my fridge.

  12. not surprised says:

    I agree with a statement above making recycling mandatory….We are very behind the 8 ball as far as doing better for our planet is concerned. If it was made mandatory, there would be more to collect and therefore a bit more profitable…Not to mention we would be doing our part in helping our planet :)

  13. Opressed says:

    How much is Junior making off this deal, will he get paid the same for doing less? After all, he is a staunch PLP supporter.

  14. Local says:

    Mine has been picked up pretty much every week since they started

  15. Check it out says:

    The message being what don’t bother orlets make it impossible?

  16. Octavia says:

    This piece of “news” has been recycled. i.e. it’s old news. i.e. they’ve been on fortnightly collections for some time. Yeah, it’s not really working so we’re going to make it less user friendly, then we can cancel it due to lack of participation.

  17. The Recyclathon says:

    Waste management in Bermuda is a total disgrace and no government has ever stepped up to deal with it in a responsible manner. The airport dump contains countless lead acid batteries and a variety of electronic waste, both of which contain toxic chemicals. This dumping practice would be completely illegal in most developed countries.

    The government built a $9 million recycling facility that has enough capacity to process all the island’s recylable waste and yet it runs at a fraction of its capacity. Recycling should be mandatory as it is in so many other developed countries, particularly considering that glass and metals which are not recycled are put through an incinerator. Of course some people will groan about it, but you know what, it’s about time we took a lot more responsibility for our waste than we do right now.

    Props to the Waste Management Section though who work tirelessly to promote recycling and increase awareness despite a shameful lack of political support :)

  18. Building a better Bermuda says:

    I am seriously perplexed by this sudden announcement, they have been collecting mine only once every 2 weeks since last year. It is even reflected in the official schedule that they released for this year. It shows pick up only once every 2 weeks since January. If this is only being announced now that it took effect on the 1st of this month, but was published to start on the January 1st according to the schedule the government mailed me prior to the start of this year. I am left to question who scr$@&d up? And I hope we have been paying the contractor for weekly pick-up, there was even a couple of instances where they didn’t pick-up mine for a month.

    I am in no way opposed to the shift in schedule, we do not go through that much TAG to warrant weekly pick up, I am just wondering why this is a case of the right hand not telling the left butt check what it is doing.

    Check your official ’2012 Garbage and Recyling Schedule’ that should have arrived in your mail box last year, it will show a bi-weekly schedule.

    While on the schedule, they need to fix the holiday alternate schedule for next year, why they have pick-up for the same areas back to back days. Example, for the labour day holiday on Monday the 3rd, the west end pick-up normally for that day has been moved to the Wednesday, so that for that week the west end gets pick-up the Wednesday and then again the Thursday. Talk about, inefficient collection, how much trash can the average household generate in 24hrs.

  19. will says:

    so basically everybody is going to throw bottles into their regular trash bags, i mean c’mon this is Bermuda guys have a beer most days after work

  20. green says:

    if i had known they were collecting weekly i would have recycled weekly. but the schedule instructed otherwise. sounds like government is knowingly using this fault to announce a reduced service, as a scapegoat. to reiterate, of course recycling will be low on the second week if there is no official announcement a collection will be made. government is not addressing this fault, but rather exploiting it. stupid plp.

  21. Polly says:

    As it has been stated previously that fortnightly collection has been in effect for some time now. I agree with this collection method as it usally takes me two weeks or longer to actually fill up my recycle bin.