Broken Dreams – A Blue Box Story

Shifting gears from the existential to the pragmatic, exchanging damaged or broken blue boxes is common practices for many municipalities who provide these containers to residents.

Here are the Big 3 Questions everyone needs answered:

1. What to do with broken boxes?

Life continues for our lost blue friends. Many vendors will accept back damaged boxes, grind them down into small pieces, and then have them mixed with virgin materials in the manufacture of new containers.

“We gladly work with our clients and partners to reintegrate damaged blue boxes into our production process.” Ashley Clark – Sales Manager at Peninsula Plastics

2. Does this count towards Blue Box Diversion?

No, broken blue box containers are not Printed Paper or Packaging (PPP) material so it does not count as Blue Box tonnage.

However, if the broken blue boxes are recycled, the tonnage can be recorded in section 3.3 Non-Recyclables – Bulky Goods. The material reported in Bulky Goods counts towards the municipal program’s diversion rate.


Any municipal program that has elected to complete the Short Form Datacall will not have access to section 3.3 and will therefore not receive a diversion rate for the reporting year.

3. Are these costs Datacall eligible?

3.1 Replacement costs

Yes, replacement blue box costs are eligible and can be claimed in Section 3.2 (Services Provided by Municipal Staff): Collection Cost.

3.2 Costs to manage the replacement exchange process

In general, these costs will be automatically accounted for under the Blue Box administration factor which covers all day-to-day costs associated with running your Blue Box program.

3.3 Costs of shipping broken boxes back to suppliers

No, this is considered end of life management or disposal of capital purchases and are not eligible Blue Box Program costs.

Key Take-away

Take solace in knowing the dreams of our dear blue box friends don’t die when a caffeine deprived neighbour backing wildly onto the road inadvertently crushes their fragile bodies.  The essence of their being lives on, creating future generations all the while the cycle of blue box life continues to turn.

Contact CIF Staff

CIF staff is always ready to help with your Blue Box questions. We encourage you to contact any member of the team to discuss your issues and questions.