June 11, 2010

News Release

For Immediate Release

Solid Waste Secures New Market for Recycled Glass

The City of Springfield’s Solid Waste Management Division of the Public Works Department has secured a new market for the glass collected at the City’s Recycling Centers. Effective upon the final approval of Springfield City Council and the execution of the proposed contract, Ripple Glass, LLC, of Kansas City will begin processing the City’s glass for use in fiberglass insulation products.

Because of the relatively small number of glass end-users located in the United States, and because of the weight of glass, transporting collected glass to be processed and recycled is expensive and has resulted in many municipalities across the country abandoning their efforts to recycle glass. Springfield has continued to accept glass at the City-operated Recycling Centers at the rate of approximately 375 tons annually.

As a result of the agreement with Ripple Glass, the City will now be able to accept glass, without charge, from surrounding communities, the Center City entertainment area and other businesses as well as continuing the glass recycling at the City’s Recycling Centers.

The glass does not have to be separated by color. Labels do not have to be removed. Rinsing the containers is preferable but not required. Glass accepted includes food and beverage containers.

Glass is one of the items included in the City’s Curbside Recycling Program with collection services provided by private haulers. All solid waste haulers licensed to do business in Springfield are required to offer their customers the convenience of curbside recycling. Participation on the part of the customer is voluntary. Solid Waste haulers are required by City ordinance to accept milk jugs and pop bottles (#1 and #2 plastics); newsprint; aluminum and tin/steel cans; and glass beverage containers as part of their curbside programs. WCA, Allied Waste Services and Automated Waste have applied for and been given a waiver by the City that exempts them from the curbside glass requirement due to implementation of their single-stream/commingled recycling programs. Glass can easily become a contaminant due to breakage when it is included in the single-stream/commingled process. All other Springfield waste haulers are still operating under the glass requirement.

Container glass is l00 percent recyclable and can be recycled endlessly. Using recycled glass produces 20 percent less air pollution and 80 percent less water pollution than creating new glass (or fiberglass) from raw materials. Recycling just one glass bottle saves enough electricity to power a 100-watt light bulb for four hours. A six-pack of recycled beer bottles produces enough fiberglass insulation to fill a standard wall cavity. Every ton of virgin glass produces 250 tons of mining waste and contributes to the environmental impacts associated with mining.

For information about the City-operated Recycling Centers, call the Recycling Hotline at (417) 864-1904, or go to www.springfieldmo.gov/recycling.

Media Contact: Barbara Lucks, Materials Recovery/Education Coordinator Springfield Public Works, (417) 864-2005, or blucks@springfieldmo.gov

city of springfield

Department of Public Works

840 Boonville Avenue • P.O. Box 8368 • Springfield, MO 65801
417-864-1900 • springfieldmo.gov