Franklin Park launches pilot program for glass recycling

Tony LaRussa, The Tribune-Review, Greensburg
·3 min read

Mar. 2—Franklin Park has launched a pilot program to provide residents with a place to dispose of glass jugs, bottles and jars that no longer are being picked up from the curb with other materials being recycled.

The borough is the third municipality in the North Hills to set up a glass recycling drop-off site after Waste Management, which serves a number of local towns and boroughs, asked that glass be excluded from recycling.

While the company is still required to pick up glass if it is specified in its contract with a municipality, it is not required to take the glass to a recycling facility.

Waste haulers have cited the high cost of separating glass from the plastic, paper and cardboard left at the curb among the reasons for the near nationwide collapse of the glass-recycling industry.

Even when glass does get collected at the curb, it often doesn't get recycled.

Glass that breaks when it is mixed in other recyclables often results in the entire batch going to the landfill because it is too costly and dangerous for workers to manually sift through the material to remove the shards, according to environmental experts.

"Many residents showed an overwhelming concern that there was no outlet for the proper disposal of glass material," said borough manager Rege Ebner. "Franklin Park is happy to be pro-active in providing recycling options that are not available curbside to our residents and surrounding communities."

Ashley DiGregorio of the Pennsylvania Resource Council, which helped Franklin Park set up its recycling station, said glass collected at dedicated drop-off sites ends up at a facility that typically will fully recycle the material within 30 days.

Ebner said the pilot program will last for six months. The borough paid $1,000 for the recycling station to be set up with a recurring fee of $400 each time a full dumpster is removed.

"If all goes well and no issues arise, we hope to make this a permanent drop-off site," he said.

The Pennsylvania Resources Council also recently helped Ross and Hampton create stations for residents to drop off glass.

Franklin Park's recycling station is located in the parking area behind the municipal building located at 2344 W. Ingomar Road. It is open to residents of any community daily from 8 a.m. to sundown.

All colors of glass bottles, jugs and jars that have been rinsed clean are accepted. Caps, lids and labels can be left on the items.

Items that cannot be dropped off include cut glass, bakeware, mirrors, porcelain, ceramics, stemware, light bulbs and appliances that contain glass.

People who use the facility, which is monitored by surveillance cameras, are asked to clean up any glass that breaks outside the dumpster and not to leave bags and boxes used to haul the glass at the site.

Questions about the new drop-off site for glass should be directed to Donna Platt at 412-364-4115, ext. 302; or dplatt@franklinparkborough.us.

Tony LaRussa is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tony at 724-772-6368, tlarussa@triblive.com or via Twitter .