[Vision2020] Glass Redux (was RE: As we look forward to single-stream recycling)
moscowrecycling at turbonet.com
Mon Aug 24 11:43:12 PDT 2015
I agree that the article is very informative (
5 ), especially the issue with commodities and markets. It is also
interesting to note that due to petroleum prices being so low that it is
outcompeting the recycled plastic markets reducing demand.
Also, thank you for the comments on the glass bin at Gilbert Auto. I will
get together with Tim Davis at the City to see if we can come up with a
workable solution to make it easier for people to reach the opening in the
glass bin. If you are having problems with this container, there are still
the bins at Moscow Recycling that are easier to use.
To start, although we will not be accepting glass, we will be able to
accept other items that are currently not accepted at the curb such as more
plastics, milk and juice cartons and other items, please see attachment.
Second, glass is very problematic in single stream systems because:
1. It contaminates the other items in the stream making it less
marketable to mills, especially paper
2. Glass is very difficult to sort (like unscrambling an egg), and
the sorted glass is also contaminated with other small items like plastic
lids and such; many sorting facilities end up landfilling the glass due to
contamination and the fact that most glass mills want their glass sorted by
3. Glass is very damaging to the conveyor belt and baler at Moscow
4. By continuing to bring glass to one of the drop off sites, we save
sending 25-30, 53 foot truckloads to Oregon where are trash is landfilled;
this saves the city and its residents a significant amount of money; our
glass is reused at the transfer station for road and pad base material, it
is not landfilled locally.
We understand that bringing your glass to one of the drop-off areas is a
little inconvenient but we are hoping that people will use their old
curbside containers for this purpose and tie it in with other errands they
need to attend to in town (not making an extra trip just for glass
recycling). Many people will still be making trips to the recycling center
as there are still items that are not accepted in the single stream program
that can only be brought to the recycling center such as electronics,
rechargeable batteries, CFLs, etc. And, if you are worried about materials
that are placed into single stream not getting recycled, you can still bring
them sorted to the recycling center. Most sorted materials brought to the
recycling center are sold regionally and help support the regional economy.
Single Stream materials may be marketed regionally or internationally.
I would like to address some other issues the article and Saundra brought
The article talks about plastic grocery bags and the problems they cause at
the sorting facility (MRF). The company we will be working with, Republic
Services, accepts plastic grocery bags at their facility. They want them
tied off in a plastic grocery bag. I spoke to the folks at Republic at
length about this as the material we will be collecting will be baled
(crushed), likely breaking open the bags and wondered if this would be a
problem. I have read and heard that bags are a problem at MRFs. They
assured me it would not be an issue and this is why we are accepting this in
Saundra, because we are baling our single stream materials, your cartons
will get crushed. So please feel free to flatten your cartons if you wish.
The article states that education is the big issue when it comes to
contamination. This is true to an extent. Education works great for those
who want to be educated. So the folks on V20/20 read and do their best to
follow instructions. However, in my many years of attempting to educate
people on recycling or other issues, it is sometimes too hard to break
through peoples’ belief systems. There are always those who know more even
when they don’t. I imagine we have all dealt with people like this and if we
look inside a little bit we are guilty of this ourselves at times…. We also
deal with the wishful recyclers that the article refers to as well; those
who wish to recycle an item that is not accepted and they place out to be
recycled because they just can’t bear to throw it away. Ultimately, when it
comes to what is and is not accepted, it is impossible to list all the items
we can’t take because there are just too many items that can’t be recycled,
or are unable to accept for other reasons such as market value,
accessibility to markets or available storage space at the recycling center.
So education can help but it is not going to fix the entire problem of
A huge problem the article touches on is standardization within the
recycling community. When one moves from one community to another, the
items that can be recycled usually change as well (for some of the same
reasons listed in the previous paragraph). It would seem like a good idea
to standardize this but this to me does not deal with the essence of the
problem. And what is the essence of the problem? Many manufacturers don’t
build their products with recycling in mind. If manufacturers were required
to meet a recycling standard for their products, there would be less
confusion when it came down to whether an item is recyclable or not.
Standardization should start upstream not downstream.
I hope this begins to answer some of your concerns and please don’t
hesitate to contact me with any other questions you may have.
Latah Sanitation, Moscow Recycling, Clearwater Composting
208 596 0584
From: vision2020-bounces at moscow.com [mailto:vision2020-bounces at moscow.com]
On Behalf Of Saundra Lund
Sent: Saturday, August 22, 2015 12:44 PM
To: 'Moscow Vision 2020' <vision2020 at moscow.com>
Cc: tdavis at ci.moscow.id.us; council at ci.moscow.id.us;
blambert at ci.moscow.id.us
Subject: [Vision2020] Glass Redux (was RE: As we look forward to
Great article with lots to think about – thanks for sharing it, Ron. This
was new to me:
“PROTIP: Don’t crush your cartons before you recycle them, otherwise
they’ll get sorted in with normal paper!”
I’ve been trying to be positive about the move to single steam recycling,
which has some great aspect and appeal, but I remain troubled with the
elimination of glass from curbside pickup for several reasons.
Now, I’ve heard from several people this week who have wondered, “What the
heck are they thinking?!” with respect to the glass bin in the parking lot
at the old Gilbert Auto.
For those who’ve not yet visited it, it seems to me no one gave any thought
whatsoever as to how people are supposed to actually use it other than one
glass container at a time . . . and that’s assuming one can reach the
opening way up high, which will be challenging if not downright impossible
for more than a few in our community. Some people I heard from gave up in
frustration after the first visit and won’t be going back, which isn’t good.
After checking it out for myself, I can’t say as I blame them, though.
I sure hope people don’t wind up having to pay for larger garbage cans to
take glass to the dump that used to be picked up at no additional cost for
The moral test of government is how it treats those who are in the dawn of
life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the aged; and
those who are in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy and the
~ Hubert Horatio Humphrey
From: vision2020-bounces at moscow.com <mailto:vision2020-bounces at moscow.com>
[mailto:vision2020-bounces at moscow.com] On Behalf Of Ron Force
Sent: Friday, August 21, 2015 3:28 PM
To: Moscow Vision 2020 <vision2020 at moscow.com
<mailto:vision2020 at moscow.com> >
Subject: [Vision2020] As we look forward to single-stream recycling
Moscow Idaho USA
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