We recently asked you for your most pressing recycling questions and glass topped the list. Why don’t we recycle glass curbside in Farmington? Why is there only a drop off location for glass? Let’s explore those head-scratchers.
What Happens to Recyclables?
First, a quick review of the recycling process…The recyclables you put in your curbside cart are collected by a Waste Management truck and taken to a recycling transfer station at the San Juan County Landfill. The materials are then transported to a Material Recovery Facility (MRF) in Albuquerque, where specialized equipment sorts, separates and bales products to be sold by the ton. Your bottles, cans, paper and cardboard become a resource for manufacturers that make new products, like packaging, fabric and paper towels. By recycling, you become an important link in our manufacturing supply chain!
Why Isn’t Glass Accepted Curbside?
Glass recycling can be a tricky business. Glass is highly abrasive on equipment, both for WM trucks and at the MRF. It can be difficult to separate cleanly in single-stream recycling, and its weight can drive up transportation costs. There are three strikes against glass recycling in New Mexico:
1. Shipping glass with your mixed recyclables to Albuquerque for processing would be very costly.
2. There are no facilities in the state that can separate or clean glass from mixed recyclables. These two steps require expensive, specialized equipment.
3. For glass to be recycled cost-effectively, there must a be a local end-market (such as a bottle manufacturer) that can use the material.
The costs of transportation combined with the lack of processing facilities and end-markets limit the reuse options for glass in New Mexico.
What About the Glass Collected at Drop Sites?
Despite these challenges, glass can have another life. When you leave glass in a dedicated bin at a drop site, it is put to its next best use in a local application. For example, it can be given a second life as landfill cover, reducing the need for fresh dirt to be excavated and transported for use. Taking glass to the drop sites makes good environmental and economic sense.
This Holiday Season
Try something new this holiday season. Collect your empty glass bottles and take them to the recycling drop off center, located at 101 Spruce St., Farmington, NM 87401. Your glass will be put to its next best use.
Please keep glass out of your curbside recycling bin at home. Taking it to the recycling drop off center is the best thing you can do to give your glass a new purpose.
You Make a Difference!
When you recycle your clean plastic bottles, metal cans, paper and cardboard, you make a big difference for our nation’s supply chain and our environment. Keep putting good, clean recyclables in your curbside cart and consider bringing your glass to a drop site to give it another life.
For more recycling tips and tools, visit wm.com/RecycleRight.
This blog article was provided by Waste Management in partnership with the City of Farmington. For more information about Waste Management services in Farmington, click HERE.