Glass Recycling Shows Us the True Solution – Self-Sufficiency in managing our Recyclables (Locally)
Were you aware that Teton County Idaho is regarded as one of the most efficient glass recyclers in the State… and beyond?
Clear, brown or colored it’s all accepted and getting a long-term second life without ever leaving our County Transfer Station!
Recycling Glass saves money TWICE!
- First, because glass would be more expensive to landfill by ~75%. So for every ton of glass not landfilled, there is a cost savings of ~$56!
- Secondly, since glass is an inert material, it is stockpiled and crushed over time at our Transfer Station, then used as road base (under the ¾ in crush stone) throughout the transfer station campus roadways. So instead of buying fill or crushed stone, the County uses the collected glass when they resurface the campus roadways!
Why do recycling services still cost money?
Two (main) reasons:
- “Island Economics” applies since we live in such a remote area. Teton Valley is like living on an island, you always need to go a long distance to get to the next nearest metropolitan area that has a recycling processor. And it is costly to transport recyclables to that processor, but luckily not as costly as land-filling. The commodity buyers will only pay fair market prices to buy recyclable material. However, when you consider the cost of labor and operations to prepare, then load glass onto a truck, then pay for the transportation out of the valley, the market value does not cover the expenses. On top of that glass is DENSE & HEAVY to transport! Therefore transportation volume can be maximized, meaning that you can’t fill an entire tractor trailer with glass, it’s too heavy. This is actually one of the benefits for a micro-brewery to offer their beverages in aluminum cans…they can ship more product in each shipment.
- Curbside pickup is just that… it’s a convenience service at your curbside so you don’t have to bare the time and expense to take it yourself. It has cost in labor, insurance, equipment, repairs/maintenance…and there is a tipping fee to pay at the Transfer Station to cover processing costs. But that’s why the service is optional, so you can still take it yourself. And as part of the service RAD accepts glass from both businesses and residences.
THE KEY TAKEAWAY
The great thing is that we are insulated from the cost-barrier of transportation and fluctuating market values for glass since we have identified a local re-use for it, improving the roadways at our transfer station, therefore its 110% worth recycling glass. With fGlass, we’ve accomplished the key goal of recycling that cuts out both the financial cost and environmental cost of transportation out of the Valley!
We simply ask to take an extra second before you choose to put that glass bottle in a trash can, and instead choose to find a recycling bin. It’s you thinking about your children and/or the next generation. The reality: it’s 75% more expensive financially to landfill versus recycle in Teton Valley and guess what? Recycling creates 5-times as many jobs while costing less. Thanks for choosing to start recycling, encourage a neighbor or a friend to as well.
Consider share the graphic below on social media to help increase diversion. Thank you.