Glass recycling begins Aug. 12 for Vigo County

·3 min read

Aug. 5—Vigo County residents will soon be able to recycle glass for free thanks to a three-year contract the Vigo County Solid Waste Management District has made with a company out of Indianapolis.

The official start time is 9 a.m. Aug. 12 at the district's recycling center at 3230 E. Haythorne Ave. The district's board of directors will be on hand to mark the occasion, said Karrum Nasser, executive director of the Vigo County Solid Waste Management District.

Glass recycling is limited to all food and drink containers.

"The biggest demand we have been getting [recycling] requests for are pickle jars, spaghetti jars, beer bottles and wine bottles. All of those items are recyclable," Nasser said.

"All of the glass food items at grocery stores are recyclable," Nasser said, adding glass, especially for food products, should be rinsed out. Additionally, lids, such as on pickle jars, should either be removed completely or tightened onto jars or bottles when tossed into the recycling bin.

"Don't put any lids or caps in the recycle bin loosely ... there is a machine that sorts this," and lose lids will interfere with that process, Nasser said. The district uses single stream recycling and does not require glass to be separated by color.

"It is not for drinking or wine glasses or plates or mirrors, that is a different type of process to recycle that," Nasser said.

Other items that cannot be recycled, Nasser said, include ceramics, Pyrex, or other heat resistant glass, computer monitors, phone screens, window or sliding doors, safety glass or car windshields, art glass and leaded crystal and light bulbs.

Glass must be emptied loosely into the recycling bin, with no bags or cardboard for beer bottles.

Nasser said the glass recycling will only be as successful as much as the public takes advantage of dropping off acceptable recyclables.

"Our rule of thumb is anything that we save from going into the landfill is a success," Nasser said. "The public has been asking for this since I came on board two years ago and we finally have an agreement."

The waste management district has a contract with Strategic Materials Inc. in Indianapolis. That company will haul glass for $100 per container, charged to the district. The company also provides the glass recycling container, which Nasser has repainted green and now has the word "glass" on the side to show what container is to be used for glass recycling.

The district has dropped evening hours, which had been every Tuesday and Wednesday, due to a lack of vehicles coming to the facility.

The new hours are now 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the first Saturday of every month.

The district's recycling is funded from tipping fees from Sycamore Landfill and not from property taxes.

Tipping fees are charges made per ton of waste disposed in the Sycamore Landfill through an agreement with Republic Services. Those fees generated $556,178 in 2021.

Reporter Howard Greninger can be reached 812-231-4204 or Follow on Twitter@TribStarHoward.