Could glass recycling be on its way out? If you ask certain communities throughout the country, the answer is a resounding “yes.”
That’s because glass, one of the most popular materials that gets pitched into the recycling bin, is also one of the most difficult materials to recycle, and recycled glass product either yields very little or no profit at all. Many communities are finding that accepting and recycling used glass products and packaging isn’t sustainable any longer.
According to the Glass Packaging Institute, or GPI, glass is a 100 percent recyclable material. Unlike other packaging options, glass is endlessly recyclable, meaning it can be done so over and over and over again without any difference in quality or purity.
Not only do recycled glass products help glass manufacturers craft cheaper products and limit their environmental footprint, but doing so also is a great assist to the environment as a whole. It’s estimated that for every ton of glass that is recycled, about a ton of natural resources is conserved.
But if the “no glass” policy that many communities are now adopting continues to gain traction, all the good that glass recycling does could soon be undone.
The “No Glass” Movement
So just why are many communities eliminating glass recycling from their curbside offerings? We already mentioned how it’s no longer convenient for them to do so based on the high cost of recycling it and minimal profits, at best, that can be achieved by doing so. But another big reason has to do with availability.
For instance, in Birmingham, Alabama, the city has put a temporary ban on glass recycling because the plant that all glass used to go to for processing recently stopped accepting the material. In order to continue to accept glass recycling, it would have to be shipped to processing centers out of state, which is no longer a viable option for the community.
The good news for Birmingham is that the glass recycling ban is only temporary. This is not the case for other communities, such as that of Greenville County, South Carolina, where residents will soon be asked to throw used glass in the garbage instead of the recycling bin. In Greenville County, they no longer have the capacity to accept glass.
Contact Us Today
While many communities may be soon phasing out glass recycling, it’s important to note that there are various other materials that can be reprocessed via municipal or industrial recycling efforts. These include the likes of metal, paper and plastic, all of which we are happy to collect and reprocess at Central Kentucky Fiber Resources. For more information on our services and capabilities, and to schedule a consultation, contact us today at 859-225-8100.