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Glass recycling efforts go for naught when other trash is added

Post Time:Sep 24,2008Classify:Industry NewsView:422

Jam-filled containers, tin cans and other trash items currently littered amongst the glass jars in the recycling bin next to the Civic Centre probably mean the entire bin of glass will just end up in the landfill.

All residents must take more care when recycling glass jars, or the city might eventually have to consider discontinuing that particular service, said City Engineer Ryan Johnson.

“We hate seeing stuff going to the landfill when it doesn’t have to.” He said the market for recycled glass is very limited in Saskatchewan currently, so it’s not worth the recycler’s effort to sort through polluted material.    

Johnson said the local glass-jar recycler, Potters Industries, has rejected several glass shipments from the Civic Centre recycling bins, because of contaminants in the material.

“We’re trying to encourage people to clean (glass jars),” he said

This is a situation where even a small percentage of poor recycling can ruin an entire shipment, as the contractor basically requires 100 per cent clean material.

If enough jars are dirty or still have the lids left on them, Johnson said all the material could end up going to the dump.

Steve Knott, Potters’ manager, said it has probably been over one year since Potters last accepted glass jars from the city’s recycling bin. He said there are all sorts of contaminants in with the jars and it’s not his staff’s job to sort through such potentially hazardous material.

He added the issue is far more serious than just a few labels and lids left on the cans, which Potters could probably deal with if that were the only issue. Inappropriate material in the recycling bin means Potters won’t accept such material.

Knott said the city’s current glass-bin recycling-system, which simply consists of a large open bin, is insufficient.

There is a sign in front of the north side bin that states, “Contaminated glass equals garbage.”

Jars that are recycled get turned into glass beads used as reflective materials in road construction.

Source: The Moose Jaw Times HeraldAuthor: shangyi

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