Greensboro scraps glass recycling

WFDD reports the City of Greensboro will no longer accept glass at its recycling facilities, effective July 1. The City Council voted to make the move at last night’s meeting. The reason—Greensboro would soon start paying its recycling service to handle glass, instead of the other way around:

Until now, the city’s recycling company Republic Services had been paying Greensboro $15 dollars a ton for its recycling, generating $375,000 annually for city coffers. But Waste Reduction Supervisor Tori Carle says that with handling costs soaring, and China halting virtually all recycled paper and plastic imports last year, huge supply and very little demand have led to tough choices.

“We’re going to start out at $30, move to $60 next fiscal year, and then $90 for the remainder of the contract,” says Carle. “And that might seem like a big shock like, ‘Oh, my gosh! Greensboro is going to be paying $11 million dollars over the life of this contract. That’s so much.’ But there are many other communities having to rip the Band-Aid off and they’re going right out the door having to pay $125 dollars a ton.”

And where will the glass end up? You guessed it—the landfill. As Wired quotes an expert in its story on the chaos surrounding the world recycling market–this will be a “real eye opener for a lot of folks who love to feel good about putting their recycling in their blue bin and then it magically turns into something else.”

Sam Hieb / Contributing Editor

Sam Hieb is freelance journalist from Greensboro, North Carolina. He is a contributing editor for Carolina Journal and for Piedmont Publius, a blog that focuses on political a...

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