On July 1, 2019, the City of Greensboro stopped accepting glass in the brown residential recycling bins and there has been quite a bit of chatter about it ever since.

At the Tuesday, Dec. 6 City Council meeting, the council is expected to approve a $171,000 three-year contract for hauling glass from the White Street Landfill to Strategic Materials in Wilson, NC, for recycling.

Greensboro is required by state law to collect glass beverage containers from bars and restaurants within the city limits and the current policy on recycling residential glass works in conjunction with that program.

When Greensboro stopped accepting glass in the residential recycling bins on July 1, 2019, four collection points were set up for residents to drop off empty bottles and jars for recycling.  With only four collection points, it wasn’t very convenient for many residents to participate in the residential glass recycling program.  However, now there are 19 glass recycling collections points in Greensboro, which means there should be one near you wherever you live.  Residents still have to take glass bottles and jars to a collection site rather than having them picked up in front of their house, but the process has become more convenient.

The city discontinued accepting glass in the residential recycling program because of the cost.  Greensboro pays a fee per ton for material to be recycled and not only is glass relatively heavy, the cost per ton for recycled glass is low.  The current program was set up with the hope that it would break even.

In 2021, of 60 loads of glass totaling 1,410 tons was transported from the White Street Landfill to Wilson for recycling.  The city receives payment for the glass based on the current market value and the cleanliness of the glass which means how free the glass is of containments.

There was only one bidder on the contract, Stout Trucking Inc., and although the contract was approved by the city’s Minority and Women’s Business Enterprise (M/WBE) Office, it is likely to be questioned by at least one city councilmember because there is no MWBE participation.  Since Stout does not plan to hire any subcontractors to perform the contract; there are no MWBE or other subcontractors to hire. This may seem simple to some people but the City Council has entered into long discussions about a lack of M/WBE participation on similar self-performed contracts.