Solid Waste & Recycling


Buckhorn celebrates of blue box 25th anniversary

According to Buckhorn Canada, it's not widely known that the blue box program for recyclables is a Canadian innovat...

According to Buckhorn Canada, it’s not widely known that the blue box program for recyclables is a Canadian innovation, having been launched in Kitchener, Ontario, on September 17, 1981. Soon, the blue box program spread throughout the world and now forms the basis of recycling operations in countries such as the UK, France, Australia and many others.

Says the company: “It’s more than a little gratifying to reflect that Buckhorn has been associated with the program right from the beginning. Buckhorn helped get the program started and some of the company’s original boxes are still in use in the Kitchener-Waterloo area — a testament to corporate innovation and product durability.”

Buckhorn Canada actually started up in the same year as the blue box program, making 2006 the silver anniversary for both of them. Both have gone from strength to strength in the intervening 25 years. Buckhorn is the leading supplier in the container industry, while nearly all Ontario and most Canadian households now participate in recycling programs, diverting more than one million tonnes of secondary-source materials away from landfills every year.

“The achievements of the blue box program and what it has meant to Canada and the world should not be understated,” says Jim Morrison, VP and general manager of Buckhorn Canada Inc, who headed up the establishment of the Buckhorn Canada operation in 1981. “In 1989, the blue box program won the first-ever United Nations Environment Protection Award. It is generally accepted that the program has increased the capture rate of recyclable materials by up to 75 per cent — materials that would otherwise have been destined for single use only, so depleting our natural resources and contributing to landfill problems.

“At Buckhorn Canada, we are naturally proud of the role we played in helping to launch the blue box program but we are not content to rest on our laurels,” says Morrison. “In the years since 1981, we have continued to introduce new products to help bolster the effectiveness of recycling programs. It is part of our corporate commitment to develop products that satisfy the need for a cleaner, greener, conservation-conscious world.”

Among the most recent of those products is MegaKart, the lightweight, easy-to-use mobile container that comes in two sizes: 243 litres (65 U.S. gallons) and 360 litres (96 U.S. gallons). By promoting a much more cost-effective collection operation, MegaKart promises to deliver over the next 25 years what the Blue box program has achieved in the past 25 years. It is ideal for both recyclables and general waste.

In some ways, certain European countries have moved ahead of Canada in their recycling efforts by introducing 120-litre rolling carts, compared with our domestic curbside containers that are generally limited to an average 50 to 70 litres. Nevertheless, Morrison thinks it may be to Canada’s advantage to have waited before moving in a new direction.

“With the trend to non-segregation of recyclables at point of origin, it makes perfect sense to use a larger wheeled container,” Morrison says. “MegaKart will help ensure a much more cost-effective collection operation and is poised to help reduce pickup frequency, for even greater savings.”

The wheeled container is engineered for a long, productive life and combines the economy of injection molding with such outstanding structural features as ergonomic handles and reinforced lift points.

“Environmental experts urge recycling programs to be based upon the use of containers that convey a sense of uniformity,” Morrison says. “This fact communicates to users the importance vested in the programs by municipalities and other authorities. MegaKart truly satisfies that need.

“As well, it is essential for containers to be sturdy and reliable and backed by a supplier with history and commitment on its side. We already have agents in place to take care of stocking and service requirements, including a full exchange program.

“We have launched MegaKart as the worthy successor to present recycling programs. The success of the Blue box program may justifiably fill all Canadians with pride, but it is really just the beginning of our efforts to promote sustainable growth and prosperity throughout Canada and the world. You may be sure that Buckhorn Canada will play a leading role in those efforts so that we may all benefit in both economical and environmental terms.”

For more information on Buckhorn Canada’s commitment to recycling programs and the MegaKart product, please contact Jim Morrison, VP & General Manager, Buckhorn Canada Inc., 8032 Torbram Rd, Brampton ON L6T 3T2, phone 1-800-461-7579, email You may also obtain more details through the website of sister company Ameri-Kart at

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