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Ending glass recycling gets 1st approval from Sioux City Council

Post Time:Jul 09,2013Classify:Company NewsView:313

SIOUX CITY | Roger Rozell, of Sioux City, spent Monday sorting bottle after bottle in the redemption center at Laurence’s Super Market. Green bottles in one area. Empty beer bottles in cartons. Entire grocery carts filled with open wine bottles, ready for processing.


City officials are hoping places like Laurence’s will get more bottles soon.


The City Council on Monday gave first-round support to a plan to stop accepting glass in curbside municipal recycling bins. The plan, which needs two more council approvals before going into effect, is based on the expectation that people will cash in bottles for the 5-cent deposit.


The city since 2006 has accepted glass, but the cost of processing the material has outstripped its value and officials worry that they may need to pass on a fee increase to customers. Property owners are charged $1.75 a month.


The city Environmental Advisory Board in May said it makes more sense for people to cash in bottles, which have had a 5-cent deposit since Iowa passed a bottle bill in the 1970s. Under the city plan, glass bottles that don’t have a deposit, like jars, would be thrown in the trash.


The City Council gave unanimous approval to the plan Monday. Councilwoman Rhonda Capron said companies can't make money recycling glass, which is why there are so few companies that offer the service.


The change could be a boon for businesses like Laurence's, at 2020 27th St., and the handful of Sioux City outlets that accept bottles.


"We hope the draw at our redemption center is to get more people in our store to buy groceries," said assistant manager Jake Barkley.


Sioux City Walmart locations also provide vouchers for bottles deposited.


"Walmart is very active in the recycle program," said assistant manager Sara Bird of the Floyd Boulevard store. "We've made an effort in our store to do so whether it is recycling plastic or boxes. We strive to help make it easy for our customers to help our environment."


Hy-vee and Fareway stores also cash in bottles.


Public Works Director Jade Dundas said they hope to expand the number and launch a public campaign on the deposit. Environmental Advisory Board members also have suggested partnering with nonprofit groups to take bottles.


Plastic, aluminum cans and paper still will be accepted in curbside recycle bins.


Jan King, of Sioux City, said the shift away from recycling glass is disappointing. She recycles bottles at the Southern Hills Hy-Vee.


"Maybe this is an area where the government could help by giving grants or matching funding to companies who want to recycle glass in the Midwest," King said.


Contractor Gill Hauling Inc. sends recyclables to First Star Recycling in Omaha and glass is given to a Kansas City, Mo., fiberglass manufacturer. Officials have said transporting the glass is too costly and difficult for such a small return.


The next City Council meeting is July 22.


Source: http://siouxcityjournal.com/news/local/govt-and-poAuthor: shangyi

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