Glass recycling was halted in Sylvan Lake due to the market drying up. At the recent meeting of council it was announced a new agreement has been put into place to once again begin recycling glass items. Photo courtesy of Pixabay

Glass recycling to make a return in Sylvan Lake

Sylvan Lake has entered an agreement with a company in B.C. to collect glass items

After the uproar surrounding the announcement glass items will no longer be accepted in the recycling program, Town staff began to look for a solution.

Following the announcement of June 14, conversations began surrounding the problem. Through online comments and questions, Sylvan Lake residents suggested looking at what the town’s neighbours have done in the same situation.

“It was during a discussion on social media when a resident suggested contacting a nearby town, who had recently resolved their glass recycling issue,” said John Watson, operations manager with the Town.

The Town of Innisfail found themselves in the same situation as Sylvan Lake and many other communities when it came to recycling glass items.

Innisfail joined forces with a company to collect glass waste and rolled out the new program this month.

Town of Sylvan Lake staff have come to an arrangement with United Concrete & Gravel from British Columbia to collect the Town’s glass waste.

“According to United Concrete & Gravel, they have been using crushed and filtered glass as sandblasting material for over 20 years. They also state that the Alberta oil industry is a significant user of their product,” Watson said.

A downside is the lack of curbside collection for residents. Instead Sylvan Lake residents will be asked to take their glass items to the Waste Transfer Site for “no-charge disposal.”

Watson says a second glass collection bin will be placed at the recycle depot on 60 Street, which will have 24-hour access.

He added additional glass recycling bins my be added at other locations if it is deemed necessary for public convenience.

“Although drop-off bins involves more effort from the public, it is a viable alternative for environmentally conscious residents to recycle glass products rather than land-filling,” said Watson.

There is no formal agreement in place between the Town and United Concrete & Gravel, either party can opt out of the service at any time.

Watson added with Fogdog Energy potentially taking over waste collection next year, the Town was prepared to look over other avenues for glass recycling as Fogdog cannot breakdown those items.

United Concrete & Gravel does not charge for glass tippage, whoever there is a charge of $60 per tonne to transport the glass to Quesnel, B.C.

“The current cost to the Town for landfilling glass is $135 per tonne, while the previous cost for recycling glass was $169 per tonne,” Watson said adding the Town currently generates about 12 tonnes of glass waste each year.

Watson says glass items can be dropped off at the Waste Transfer Site starting this week, and the second bin will be added in a few weeks.

United Concrete & Gravel will begin to collect the glass within a few weeks of the bins being put into place.

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