Shenandoah, Warren continue to recycle glass

Shenandoah and Warren counties don’t plan to stop recycling glass waste though some localities have done so as demand for the material falls.

Frederick County eliminated glass from its recycling roster this week – the first time the county eliminated a commodity from the program. The county publicized the change through the drop-offs, its website, Facebook page and the local cable channel. Solid Waste Manager Gloria Puffinberger said Thursday the county didn’t make the decision lightly and it’s not the first community forced to consider eliminating glass from its recycling program.

Meanwhile, neither Shenandoah nor Warren county plans to cease glass collection and recycling. Shenandoah County’s Solid Waste Manager Patrick Felling said Thursday the landfill in Edinburg doesn’t send glass it collects to a recycler. Instead, the landfill crushes the glass and mixes it with soil to make the cover layer for the active cells, Felling said.

Warren County doesn’t operate a landfill. Instead, the county transports the waste and recycling collected at the convenience centers to the Battle Creek Landfill in Page County. The facility’s permit through the Department of Environmental Quality allows it to crush and mix the glass with soil to cover the trash, Landfill Projects Director Lynda Minke said Thursday. Meanwhile, Page County intends to continue to accept glass at its collection centers and the landfill and segregate the material from other waste, Minke said.

“There is no market for glass,” Minke said. “I did know (Frederick County) was going to stop altogether.”

The region remains geographically challenged without a cost-effective outlet for glass recycling, she said.  “What Page County does is we continue to recycle in hopes somewhere, somehow a market will open up for it.”

For Frederick County, the cost to transport the heavy material eats up most of the economic value glass provides once it reaches the market, Puffinberger explained. In the past, the local recycler offset the cost to process glass by the money paid for selling other commodities such as paper, cardboard and metals. Frederick County’s glass recycler no longer intends to process the material without increasing the charges for the service, Puffinberger said, given the falling prices of all commodities.

While Puffinberger expressed disappointment at the decision, she noted that, thanks to support and participation, the county expanded its recycling efforts to include cardboard, electronics, scrap metal, light tubes, household batteries, shoes and textiles.

The county intends to look for another market or alternative use for glass and Puffinberger has asked people to continue to support conservation measures such as recycling.

Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or abridges@nvdaily.com.