GREENSBORO, N.C. — Big changes are coming to what you can or can’t put in your recycling bin.
In a little over a month, if you live in Greensboro, you will no longer be able to put some of your everyday items out on the curb.
“Recycling is a service, just like garbage, just like fire and police. So, in order for your recyclables to be sorted from one another there is an overhead cost,” says Tori Carle, the Waste Management Supervisor for the City of Greensboro.
A cost that continues to climb.
That’s one of the reasons why Greensboro is saying goodbye to recycling glass on July 1st.
“It’s really abrasive on the equipment and it costs a lot to recycle glass,” says Carle.
There’s a lot of glass at the Greensboro recycling facility.
“Glass is about 25 percent of our recycling stream, so the projected budget could decrease by 25 percent if we take all glass out of recycling,” she said. “We have 25 percent contamination in our recycling, so if we were to take out all of the wrong things that are not recyclable, we could also see the ton-ages decrease because of that.”
That weight is important.
“Because glass is so heavy, if we take it out of our recycling stream we will be paying less for our recyclables because we pay by the ton,” said Carle.
The less the city pays, the less you may pay in the future.
“[In] future contracts, we could see more revenue share or a decreased fee or something like that,” she says.
But the changes also come at an inconvenience.
If you want to recycle glass, you will have to go to one of two locations to drop it all off.
It will be stored and group with glass products from restaurants and bars and re-purposed.
“That glass is collected and stored at our White Street Landfill,” said Carle. “It’s then transported to a glass recycler in Wilson, N.C. They clean it, process it, recycle it. It’s made into new adult beverage bottles and pickle jars.”
Carle knows most of the glassware will likely end up in the landfill with the other trash.
But she says it’s not a bad thing.
“For glass, it’s okay if it goes in the landfill. It won’t mix with other things and create dangerous chemicals, something going on in the landfill,” she said.
The drop off locations will be announced closer to July 1st.
If you have any questions on what you can or can’t recycle there’s an app on your phone, and a “Waste Wizard” on their website, that allows you to find out what goes where.