Glass Jars From Top

Ongoing Negotiations Mean Glass Goes In The Trash

Released June 08, 2017 01:56 PM

The City of Alpharetta is advising its residential waste and recycling collection customers to temporarily stop placing glass items in their recycling bins.  Any recycling that contains glass is being redirected to landfills by recycling companies.

Earlier this year recyclers began advising local governments that they would soon stop accepting single-stream recycling that includes glass items.  While cardboard and paper are considered valuable by recycling companies, glass can damage recycling equipment, produce shards that can injure workers, and has a poor cost to revenue ratio to recycle.  Because of this, many recycling companies are now rejecting glass from their recycling stream and instead ship it to landfills.  Some continue to accept glass recyclables but only if they are separated from other recyclable items before being placed at curbside for pickup.

In April the City of Alpharetta voted to continue curbside glass recycling collection; a move that would requires homeowners to have a separate container for glass recyclables and likely pay an additional cost on their monthly sanitation bill.  The program has not yet begun, however, as the City continues to negotiate a deal with their waste collection provider.

“Currently our Finance Director is working to negotiate the best possible deal for our customers,” said Assistant City Administrator James Drinkard.  “We know that the maximum monthly increase that they would see for the new program would be $3, but we think we can get a lower price.  The negotiations are delaying the launch of the glass recycling program.”

According to Drinkard, until the program begins customers are left with two options.  “For now they either have to take their glass recyclables to facilities like the Roswell Recycling Center or place them in the trash,” he explained.

The City believes that negotiations will be concluded this month and the new glass recycling program rolled out to customers in July.