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New State Authorized Glass Recycling Program In Effect July 1



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UPDATE: This report was updated at 11 am on July 1 to clarify recycling content versus waste stream — and how glass as a contaminate can impact its affect on other recyclable materials.

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Effective July 1, Newtown residents are being urged to separate and recycle all their disposable glass at the town transfer station. A new glass-only bin is being readied for the program’s launch, according to Public Works Director Fred Hurley.

A new regional glass recycling plan piloted by the Housatonic Resources Recovery Authority (HRRA) is aiming to minimize the kind of contamination caused by broken glass in the general recycling stream. That contamination could, in many cases, exponentially increase the cost to process recycling loads — with the expense accruing back to the community of origin and its taxpayers.

Hurley said those recycling at curbside can still place glass with other recyclables in their household bins, although the future possibility of “glass only” recycling pickups is being considered, with more information expected by August.

“Glass is a mandated recyclable in Connecticut,” Hurley said, “but the program can benefit taxpayers by helping keep recycling products free from contamination that glass can cause. That will keep our processing costs down.”

Eliminating glass from the general recycling stream can immediately generate as much as a 20 percent reduction in processing cost.

“Glass is significant cost generator, so providing a glass-only station at the transfer station makes sense financially as well as environmentally,” Hurley said.

Glass in the general recycling stream substantially increases its weight and related fees, the public works chief explained, and a broken bottle or two in a load of other recyclable materials can reclassify and reduce the value of other mixed recyclables, so the cost multiplier is even greater to the municipality and taxpayers.

On February 28, The Newtown Bee first reported the anticipated summer launch of a separate glass recycling program.

Read that report by CLICKING HERE

The current plan for the separated glass is to send it to Urban Mining a new recycling company here in Connecticut, the HRRA website states. Urban Mining then turns that material into Pozzotive — a high-performance pozzolan and functional industrial filler, which is made from 100 percent recycled post-consumer glass.

The Glass Packaging Institute (GPI) recycling glass containers provide for unmatched production efficiencies and significant environmental benefits:

Saves raw materials — More than a ton of natural resources are conserved for every ton of glass recycled, including 1,300 pounds of sand, 410 pounds of soda ash, 380 pounds of limestone, and 160 pounds of feldspar.

The container and fiberglass industries collectively purchase 3.2 million tons of recycled glass annually, which is remelted and repurposed for use in the production of new containers and fiberglass products.

Lessens the demand for energy — Energy costs drop about two to three percent for every ten percent cullet used in the manufacturing process.

Cuts CO2 emissions — For every six tons of recycled container glass used, a ton of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, is reduced.

GPI states that the recycling approach the industry favors is any recycling program that results in contaminant-free recycled glass. This helps ensure that these materials are recycled into new glass containers.

Glass is 100 percent recyclable, and recycled glass can be substituted for up to 95 percent of raw materials.

That means manufacturers benefit from recycling in several ways: Recycled glass reduces emissions and consumption of raw materials, extends the life of equipment such as furnaces, and saves energy, GPI says.

Recycled glass containers are always needed because glass manufacturers require high-quality recycled container glass to meet market demands for new glass containers. And since recycled glass is always part of the recipe for glass, the more that is used, the greater the decrease in energy used in the furnace.

This makes using recycled glass profitable in the long run, lowering costs for glass container manufacturers — and benefiting the environment.

While curbside collection of glass recyclables can generate high participation and large amounts of recyclables, GPI states that drop-off programs like the one launching July 1 in Newtown tend to yield higher quality recovered container glass.

Effective July 1, Newtown residents are being urged to separate and recycle all their disposable glass at the town transfer station. A new glass-only bin is being readied for the program’s launch.
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