By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN
BG Independent News
The glass recycling operation may resume soon for Bowling Green and all of Wood County. The behind the scene operations may be a little different, but residents will once again be able to drop off their glass recyclables as they have in the past.
“The public should see no difference from before,” Wood County Administrator Andrew Kalmar said Thursday morning.
The new solution calls for the glass to be shipped to a new location in Dunkirk, Indiana.
“The commissioners are optimistic this will work,” Kalmar said.
“The most important part is it doesn’t go in our landfill,” he added.
The county commissioners selected a proposal from Strategic Materials, with costs of $20 a ton for shipping paid to Strategic Materials, and $10 a ton for handling paid to the Bowling Green Recycling Center.
The county will pay the entire $30/ton fee.
Strategic Materials is interested in a three- to five-year agreement.
”This arrangement is uncomplicated, restores glass recycling county citizens, cost effective, and keeps glass out of the landfill,” Kalmar said.
Bill DenBesten, of the Bowling Green Recycling Center, said the center board will review the decision made by the commissioners.
“Since this new proposal includes a change of partners, increased due diligence is required before we formally respond. We have already begun informal discussions and are planning a more comprehensive meeting, likely on Monday evening,” DenBesten responded. “I’ll let you know just as soon as the board has made its decision.”
If the agreement proceeds, people dropping off glass will once again be able to use the bins at the recycling center. The option previously discussed of using the city’s old salt shed as storage for glass was discarded since it would have meant moving the glass multiple times.
“The city was generous to offer,” but the idea would not have been efficient, Kalmar said.
“This really should get us back to the arrangement we had before,” he said.
Earlier this summer, 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.
BGSU sustainability director, Nick Hennessey said that when the recycling center stopped taking glass, the glass drop-offs started growing at BGSU. “We’re interested in getting it resolved,” he said.
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.
The BG center then found a company in Sylvania to take the glass at no cost. However, that agreement ended abruptly, leaving the Dayton site as the only option. The commissioners refused to pay the higher amount, and began searching for less costly options.