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SPARTANBURG, S.C. (Feb. 3, 2016) — Due to significant changes in the recycling marketplace, glass will no longer be accepted as of March 1 at Spartanburg County recycling centers or through the City of Spartanburg’s residential curbside recycling collection program, county and city officials announced jointly today. City residents should stop putting glass in their blue rollcarts following their final collection day in February.
Sweeping changes in the recycling marketplace have forced the change, including a dramatic drop in the price for glass recyclables. As a result, many communities across the nation have been left with no viable opportunities for their glass recyclables.
“Unfortunately, due to the drop in the market value of glass and the resulting lack of outlets for residential glass recycling we will no longer be able to accept glass for recycling,” said Kevin Farmer, Spartanburg County Solid Waste Manager.
While glass recycling is being discontinued, both the County and City recycling programs now collect cardboard cartons, such as those for milk and juice, which previously were not accepted.
“Spartanburg County residents will now be able to recycle cartons (milk, juice, soy milk, broth, wine) with commingled recyclables at our recycling centers,” said Jes Sdao Swanson, Spartanburg County Recycling Coordinator. “Cartons should not be recycled with mixed paper and will need to be processed with plastic containers, aluminum cans, and steel cans.”
City residents can simply toss the cartons into their blue rollcarts.
While many cities and counties across the country are facing similar dilemmas regarding glass recycling in particular, some are facing even more widespread issues and making more significant cuts to their recycling programs. Recycling costs are rising nationwide at a time when demand for recycled materials has fallen as lower oil prices has reduced the costs of producing new materials.
An important way citizens can help improve the efficiency of their local recycling program is by keeping garbage and plastic bags out of the recycling stream. Both garbage and plastic bags — even trash bags — cause major problems at sorting facilities. This increases their cost, which gets passed down to the cities and counties, and it reduces the number of items that can be truly recycled.
“We encourage everyone to recycle as much as possible, but it also is very important to keep non-recyclable items out of the recycling rollcarts and recycling centers,” said Tim Atkins, Coordinator of the City of Spartanburg’s Solid Waste Department. “Please remember that there are some items that should never be thrown into the recycling rollcarts, including food waste, yard waste and electronics.”
When the City moved to single-stream, curbside recycling rollcarts in January 2010, it did not accept glass. Glass recyclables were added in May 2012.