Conservation • Recycling glass saves on raw materials and expands the life of the landfill.
By Christopher Smart - Orignally published by The Salt Lake Tribune
If you live on Salt Lake City's east side between State Street and 2100 East, you no longer have an excuse not to recycle glass.
Momentum Recycling in conjunction with Salt Lake City will begin optional curbside recycling on Nov. 1. The program will expand to the rest of the city in April.
About 1,200 customers already have signed up.
"This is a major step forward for our glass recycling program in Salt Lake City," Mayor Ralph Becker said Monday. "We're diverting hundreds of tons of glass from the landfill. With curbside recycling, we will divert thousands of tons of glass from the landfill."
It's part of Salt Lake City's sustainability program aimed at diverting 50 percent of waste citywide from the landfill by 2015, the mayor said.
Momentum Recycling will provide each curbside customer with a 35-gallon bin for monthly pickups, according to Debbie Lyons, Salt Lake City recycling program manager. The service costs $6 a month. East side or west side residents can sign up at www.slcgreen.com.
Until now, residents wishing to recycle glass could drive to one of 20 recycle bins around the city, Lyons said. Those bins will remain. Last year, Salt Lake City recycled 1,700 tons of glass. Lyon said she expects that figure to double with the curbside program.
Much of the clear and green glass is recycled at an Owens Corning fiberglass insulation plant in Nephi, said Kate Whitbeck of Momentum Recycling. Brown glass is now being shipped to the Coors plant in Colorado.
But, she added, Momentum is seeking to develop new markets closer to home to cut down on fuel costs and emissions. Among those new local markets are sandblasting and water filtration.
Momentum Recycling also operates a glass recycling program in Salt Lake City for businesses, Whitbeck said. Twenty-six businesses have signed up since that program was launched in December 2010.
One of them is Squatters Pubs and Beers, said James Soares, the company's director of environmental responsibility.
Squatters recycles about 65 percent of its wastes, he said. The company saves about 30 percent on its disposal costs through recycling.
Curbside glass recycling
For details on curbside glass recycling or to sign up, go to www.slcgreen.com or call 801-535-6999.
One ton of recycled glass
Conserves 410 pounds of soda ash, 380 pounds of limestone, and 150 pounds of feldspar.
Reduces mining waste by 70 percent, water use by 50 percent and air pollution by 20 percent.
Saves 40 percent of energy over production of new glass.
Sources: Glass Packaging Institute, Environmental Defense Fund and the Natural Resources Defense Council