Editor: The Arlington County government’s decision to drop glass recycling is counterintuitive, and is confusing at the same time.
Counterintuitive because glass is a valuable home-grown industrial product that has strong, diverse markets. The nation’s largest glass processors are clamoring for more materials to meet the demands of the bottle, insulation, sandblasting, landscaping and aggregate manufacturing sectors.
Recycled glass reduces energy in manufacturing, extends the life of valuable equipment and substitutes for more costly and less environmentally friendly alternatives.
Companies are working with cities and counties to collect commercial and household glass in creative and cost-effective ways to capture this infinitely recyclable raw material. Fairfax County has a glass-crushing project that has caught the attention of the construction and glass-processing industry.
Glass is 20 percent of the single-stream recycling mix. If a community gives up glass, it is admitting defeat in the face of readily available alternatives.
Neil Seldman, Waste to Wealth Initiative/Institute for Local Self-Reliance, Washington, D.C.