Beginning September 1st, residents in the 14 Western Connecticut municipalities served by the HRRA, will be asked to begin separating all “food grade” glass containers from their mixed single-stream recycling, and instead bring glass to a local municipal drop-off center. State Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Katie Dykes, along with Housatonic Resources Recovery Authority Chairman Matthew Knickerbocker, Oak Ridge Waste and Recycling CEO John Decker, and other industry stakeholders, launched HRRA’s new glass recycling program in Brookfield yesterday.
Dykes says Connecticut is facing a solid waste disposal crisis, and increasing the amount of recycled material is one of the ways to solve it. Cross- contamination of glass, paper and plastic in the mixed recycling stream decreases the amount of material Connecticut is able to successfully recycle.
Although it is a state mandated recyclable, food grade glass is difficult to recycle once it is broken and intermixed with other recyclables. When mixed with other materials in the single stream process, a large portion of that glass becomes too contaminated to be recycled and is either sent for further processing or to landfills. HRRA’s program to separate and capture the higher-value food-grade glass from other recyclable materials will improve the efficiency of recycling programs, lower costs to homeowners and municipalities, and be great for the environment.
Examples of “food grade” glass containers include such items as pickle jars, pasta sauce jars, liquor and wine bottles, most clear and tinted beverage containers. It does not include items such as drinking glass, windowpane glass, mirror glass, auto glass, glass or ceramic coffee mugs, which cannot be recycled or remanufactured through the mixed stream recycling system. These non-food grade glass items should never be added to curbside collection bins as they only impede not improve the mixed stream recycling.
The HRRA region includes Bethel, Bridgewater, Brookfield, Danbury, Kent, New Fairfield, New Milford, Newtown, Redding, Ridgefield, Roxbury, Sherman, Weston, and Wilton.
Glass recycling containers are available at each municipal recycling center and or for the towns of Sherman and Brookfield, at a municipal location. Site locations are listed at HRRA.org