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County Starts Recycling Glass

Post Time:Mar 16,2009Classify:Industry NewsView:271

Highlands County residents who recycle are seeing something that they haven´t seen in seven years - bins for the drop off of glass.

Bins to accept glass are in place at three of the county´s 13 drop-off recycling locations, at: DeSoto Square Mall/Sweetbay on US 27 in Sebring; the Durrah-Martin Sports Complex on West Bell Street in Avon Park; and at the Sweetbay supermarket on U.S. 27 in Lake Placid.

By Monday, glass recycling bins are scheduled to be added at four more recycling sites: the Max Long Recreational Complex, Lakeshore Mall and Sebring Square shopping center in Sebring, and the Lorida Community Center.

Christy Reed, the county´s recycling manager, said bins for glass will be added at five more recycling locations by the end of next week.

Every glass bottle or jar dropped off will not only benefit the environment, but also help stretch the county´s limited dollars for road resurfacing.

All glass collected will be crushed into fine aggregates for production of asphalt at the county´s asphalt plant, said Ken Wheeler, the county´s director of solid waste operations. Located at the county landfill, the plant went into operation in October as the first government owned and operated asphalt plant in Florida.

Using recycled glass has the potential to drop the cost of asphalt production by as much as $9 per ton, Wheeler said. Florida Department of Transportation regulations allow up to 15 percent of an asphalt mix to be made from recycled glass, he said.

"There is definitely a demand from residents who are committed to recycling to have the opportunity to recycle glass," Reed said. She said she´s received hundreds of calls over the past year asking why the county didn´t accept glass in its recycling program.

Glass recycling was halted in 2002 because there was no market for it, Wheeler said.

"The biggest complaint we´ve had on the (recycling) program is that we haven´t been accepting glass," he said. "Now, the asphalt plant creates our own market."

In addition to glass bottles and jars, glass baking ware, window panes and mirrors can also be recycled, Reed said.

Wheeler said people should be careful not to drop off dishware for recycling, because it is made from clay and cannot be crushed into a material for asphalt production.

"Baking containers like Pyrex are OK, because it´s glass," he said. "If you can see through it, it is glass. But if a dish or plate is glazed over, it is made from clay and we can not use it."

Glass recycling averaged about 400 tons per year before the county discontinued it in 2002.

"I´m hopeful to get more now," Wheeler said. "We´re hoping that the public participates in this opportunity to recycle glass."

Source: Highlands TodayAuthor: shangyi

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