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Since last week’s Tribune Press Reporter article we’ve had many residents with questions regarding the city’s recycling/solid waste center. The short answer is, “We don’t foresee any major changes for you.”
Yes, we have checked with solid waste disposal companies to compare the cost of curbside pickup with what it costs to operate our recycling/solid waste center. Our recycling/solid waste center remains the least costly method.
Glenwood City was one of the first communities to require “mandatory recycling” back in the 1980s. At that time there was a ready market for recycled cardboard, newspaper, glass, tin and aluminum. In addition, when we began the recycling program, the amount of solid waste we’d been hauling to a landfill was cut nearly in half.
Now, fast forward to 2019, and we find that demand for recycled materials has been drastically reduced. The bottom has dropped out of prices. One of the larger recycling/solid waste haulers indicated they are grinding all the glass they receive and mixing it with road gravel because there is no market for it. He also predicted that in the near future, instead of selling our recyclable materials it will cost us to get rid of them. If you google “recycling” you will find that some larger cities have stopped accepting glass at their recycling centers and instead send it directly to landfills.
It seems almost like a “sin” to send recyclable materials to a landfill. Everybody knows recycling is good for the environment. We remain hopeful that prices for recyclables will eventually rebound. In the meanwhile we’ll begin stockpiling our recyclables.
What can our residents do to help ensure that Glenwood City can maintain it’s recycling center? Well, we can start by working harder at providing a cleaner, more desirable product for the buyers of our recycled materials. Cleaner materials will equate to higher prices being received.
How to Prepare Your Recyclable: Empty contents of containers, labels do not have to be removed, rinse clean and allow to dry.
Aluminum – pop, beer cans, cat food cans. NO foil or pie tins
Glass – glass bottles & jars. NO window glass, dishes, pyrex, ceramic or light bulbs
Tin Cans – soup, vegetable and broth cans
Cardboard – clean corrugated cardboard (breakdown & flatten). NO pizza boxes
Mixed Paper – papers must be clean and dry, newspaper and all inserts, magazines, catalogs
Plastic Bottles – If you look at the number inside the triangle on your plastic, it will range from one to seven. We accept only #1 and #2 plastic. Number 1 containers include clear, tough plastic such as soft drink, juice and water bottles. Number 2 containers include common white or colored plastics such as milk jugs, shampoo bottles, laundry detergent. NO plastic bags, egg cartons, berry containers, Styrofoam.