By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN
BG Independent News
Load up the glass that’s been collecting in the garage for the last two months. If all goes as planned, the Bowling Green Recycling Center will start accepting it at noon on Thursday.
The Wood County Commissioners and the recycling center have come up with a deal. The agreement works for the county – which is paying for it. The agreement works for the recycling center – which will do the work and arrange transportation. And it works for local residents – who would rather see their glass recycled than landfilled.
According to Bill DenBesten, president of the Bowling Green Recycling Center, glass will be accepted at the 24-hour drop-off site in Bowling Green, the 24-hour drop-off in Bradner, the weekend drop-off in North Baltimore, and the satellite trailers.
Two months ago, the Bowling Green Recycling Center stopped accepting glass. The decision applied to all the center’s locations, including the 24-hour drop-off site in Bowling Green, and the satellite trailers and satellite facilities scattered throughout Wood County.
Glass for recycling is particularly difficult to haul since it is very important that a load not be contaminated. Glass collected in Bowling Green and throughout the county usually has to be transported every three to four weeks, when 22 to 23 tons are collected.
Glass recycling has been a costly operation for some time. However, paying for glass to be landfilled isn’t cheap either – with dumping costs at about $40 a ton.
The recycling center had been sending glass from Wood County to a recycling site near Dayton. It was costing $30 a ton to ship the glass, for which it was paid $25 a ton. Late last year, the shipping costs were raised to $40 a ton, and payments were cut to $10 a ton.
Several solutions to the glass dilemma were discussed, but none worked until now. Officials talked with Bowling Green State University and Owens-Illinois in Perrysburg. They discussed using the city’s salt shed as glass storage. But that idea was rejected once it was realized that would mean moving the glass multiple times – plus it would have ill effects on the tires of the city’s equipment used to load it.
Then a deal was very close with a company in Dunkirk, Indiana, to take the glass.
But this Tuesday, the Wood County Commissioners and the Bowling Green Recycling Center entered a verbal agreement. The agreement is expected to be official on Thursday.
“The most important part is it doesn’t go in our landfill,” Wood County Administrator Andrew Kalmar said about the glass.
Glass collected in Wood County will go to a Dayton-based processor that supplies two plants in Ohio – an Owens-Illinois bottle plant in Zanesville, and a Johns Manville insulation plant in Defiance.
The deal is possible because Wood County agreed to resume its $30 per ton payment, and “due to the generous support from a few anonymous benefactors who stepped up to cover the remaining costs,” DenBesten said.
The Bowling Green Recycling Center will be temporarily adding additional capacity in anticipation of higher than normal glass volumes.
Glass will still not be accepted through the curbside recycling programs due to employee safety issues, and contamination of other recycling items.