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Waste & Recycling May 12, 2021 02:05:29 AM

Pittsburgh, PA’s Pop-Up Glass Recycling Program Is a Win-Win

Waste Advantage
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Recycled glass collected at the Pittsburgh-area PRC pop-up events are used at O-I plants across the eastern U.S. to manufacture new glass containers.

Pittsburgh, PA’s Pop-Up Glass Recycling Program Is a Win-Win

SEATTLE (Waste Advantage): When waste haulers serving the Pittsburgh metro area stopped accepting glass in curbside recycling bins at the beginning of 2019, the Pennsylvania Resource Council (PRC) came up with a solution that continues to grow in popularity: “pop-up” glass recycling bins that travel to different communities to collect glass bottles and jars. When families found out they wouldn’t be able to recycle glass curbside anymore, they demanded a solution. They wanted to recycle their glass containers. Justin Stockdale, director at the Pennsylvania Resource Council, reached out to O-I Glass and CAP Glass with a solution to the problem: pop-up glass collection events.

CAP Glass, one of the nation’s largest recyclers of glass, committed to collecting the glass and hauling it to a processing facility. O-I, one of the world’s leading glass bottle manufacturers, worked on a financial contribution to support the PRC’s work to organize and promote the events. “At O-I, we talk about people leading change,” Jim Nordmeyer, Vice President of Sustainability at O-I says. “[These were] individuals who said, ‘We can do this,’ and then went out and made it happen.”

Recycled glass collected at the Pittsburgh-area PRC pop-up events are used at O-I plants across the eastern U.S. to manufacture new glass containers. Some locations were so well-attended, the pop-up bins transitions to permanent ones. Early PRC pop-up glass recycling events collected 100 tons a month. The PRC pop-ups, along with the permanent locations, are now collecting upwards of 250 tons of glass a week. Not only is the pop-up glass recycling program collecting nearly as much as recycled glass as curbside previously did, but it’s getting a better yield to the plants because these traveling bin drop-off sites only accept glass containers – there’s no contamination from other materials.

Courtesy: www.wasteadvantagemag.com

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