Glass Bottle Survey
Fredericksburg TX February 2011
Approximately 13 tons of glass per month were collected through the City of Fredericksburg recycling center from March 1991 through October, 2008. Glass recycling generated revenue through September, 1998, when revenue fell to “$ .00.”
Therefore, for nearly 10 years glass was being hauled away by the Waco based contract recycler, but since there was no revenue, it was being dumped into the solid waste facility in Waco.
As of November 2008, the city recycling center ceased accepting glass for recycling and paying transportation fees to Waco. Therefore, glass collected by the City and contract sources (e.g. A.C.I.) has been disposed of in the Fredericksburg solid waste facility (Source: City of Fredericksburg Recycling Tonnages and Revenues, January 1, 1991 through December 31, 2010).
In February 2011, I conducted an informal phone survey of following, which is not the total number in each category, but a majority:
If the Fredericksburg Recycling Center had been collecting an average of about 13 tons per month during the period March, 1991 through October, 2008, one might assume that a majority of this was collected from a portion of conscientious residential recyclers and does not represent all of the residential glass waste.
Add this conservative figure (also keeping in mind population growth) to the above survey, with the result being a minimum resource of nearly 24 tons per month of glass going directly into the City of Fredericksburg’s solid waste facility.
In addition, recyclable waste generated from community events like Octoberfest and the Texas Food and Wine Festival, need to be considered when searching for viable solutions to recycling glass (cardboard, and other) waste.
All parties contacted did not want to contribute glass to our landfill and were very supportive of an option to recycle the volume of waste glass generated by their business and were eager for a solution.
One beer bar bought it’s own glass crusher two years ago, which reduces the average monthly volume from 3256.6 pounds in their dumpster to several 5 gallon buckets, but this is still going into the land fill. (1 cubic yard of glass crushed = 1800 lbs.)
All owners and managers contacted were also concerned about waste cardboard. There is a small amount of cardboard recycling among the above businesses, but a fraction of what is generated. A convenient and efficient pick up method would be very welcome.
A.C.I. Recycling collects waste from city and rural businesses polled, and it is dumped into our landfill. When A.C.I. was contacted, I was told that they would like to participate in recycling efforts, but logistics prevented that (location/size/accessibility of dumpsters).
- Single-stream recycling, to include glass, would be one viable option to address residential recyclable waste.
- An efficient system needs to be put in place to address the volume of business, as well as rural, recyclable waste, particularly glass and cardboard.
- Although, presently there is no “value” in glass collected for recycling, efforts must be made to do the right thing and assure that it will be used and not dumped into our landfill, even if this means that we pay for it to be brought to a facility that can assure that it will be re-purposed, saving resources, energy, etc.
- Creative solutions for local use of recycled glass should be investigated, to include boosting our local economy while offering additional employment opportunities.
contributed by Darlene Stewart | Fredericksburg CARES | 4/23/2011