More people in Greensboro seem to be upset about the fact that on July 1 the city will no longer accept glass in the brown residential recycling carts, than they are about the 3 cent tax increase or the $2.50 recycling fee which go into effect on the same day.
After July 1, glass which is placed in the brown residential recycling carts will go to the landfill with all the other contaminants. Anything that is not recycled by the city is considered a contaminant even if other places recycle it.
The main reason that glass will no longer be recycled by the city’s recycling center is financial. Mixed glass has a negative value which means after the city has gone to the expense of separating the glass from the other material and bundled it up, someone has to be paid to haul it away. The price fluctuates but it was $22 a ton about a month ago.
And that becomes more important after July 1 because currently the city is being paid $15 a ton for recyclable material, staring July 1 the city will pay $30 for each ton of recyclables produced at the recycling center. So that’s a $45 a ton differential and it only gets worse, next year the price goes up to $60 a ton and the third year of the contract to $90 a ton. The good news is that Greensboro has a much more favorable contract than a number of cities in the state.
But glass is also being eliminated because it causes problems, Greensboro Recycling Coordinator Tori Carle said, “Glass doesn’t play well with others.” There are a couple of big problems with glass one is that it breaks and pieces get mixed in where they aren’t supposed to be. It’s also hard to clean and stuff sticks to it.
The belief is that by removing glass from the residential recycling stream the expense of recycling will be reduced and the amount of material that has to be loaded up and sent to the landfill will also be reduced.
People who want to recycle glass will be able to take glass to the Greensboro Transfer station at 6310 Burnt Poplar Road or the old White Street Landfill at 2503 White St. With the completion of the Nealtown Road connector which connects Nealtown Road with East Cone Boulevard the White Street Landfill has become more accessible. More collection points for glass will likely be added.
Field Operations Director Dale Wyrick said that Greensboro has always had a problem with “wishful recycling.” People who aren’t sure if something is recyclable or not put it in the recycling cart in hope that it will be recycled. But the truth is, if it isn’t one of the items that Greensboro recycles, it’s going to the landfill. So the rule of thumb should be, “When in doubt, throw it out.”
Glass is the major item being eliminated on July 1 but there are a couple more. One is aseptic cartons and the next question is what in the world is an aseptic carton. They are the cartons that usually contain milk, juice or soup. Some people call them gabled cartons, but a lot of them have lost their gables. They are plastic on the outside and sometimes have a foil lining.
Cardboard or pasteboard cartons are still on the recycling list as is paper with the notable exception of shredded paper.
Aerosol cans, pots and pans and big pieces of hard plastic like yard furniture are also being eliminated from what is being recycled by Greensboro.
The next installment on recycling will be about the Recycle Right campaign and why the city may have sent you a post card.