Archive for Monday, February 27, 2012

City of Lawrence unveils four new locations for recycling glass

February 27, 2012


About that pyramid of beer bottles in your garage following Saturday’s game: You don’t have to keep it anymore, unless of course you want to.

A new glass recycling bin opened to the public on Monday at On the Rocks liquor, 1818 Mass. The bin is one of four that are part of a new glass recycling program run by the city of Lawrence and Kansas City-based Ripple Glass.

A new glass recycling bin opened to the public on Monday at On the Rocks liquor, 1818 Mass. The bin is one of four that are part of a new glass recycling program run by the city of Lawrence and Kansas City-based Ripple Glass.

Lawrence city officials on Monday unveiled four new locations where glass can be dropped off for recycling.

“There has been a lot of glass dropped off at the Walmart recycling center since the 12th and Haskell center stopped taking it several weeks ago,” said Kathy Richardson, the operations supervisor for the city’s Waste Reduction & Recycling Division. “This should help alleviate that a lot.”

The city will run the program in cooperation with Ripple Glass, which will take the glass and sell it to companies that will use it to make beer bottles for Kansas City’s Boulevard Brewing Co., and fiberglass insulation.

The bin locations:

• Dillons, 4701 W. Sixth St.

• Hy-Vee, 3504 Clinton Parkway

• Hy-Vee, 4000 W. Sixth St.

• On the Rocks liquor store, 1818 Mass.

City crews will monitor the bins each day and will empty the glass once the bins become more than half full. The glass will be stored on city-owned land at the former Farmland Industries property. When enough glass to fill a semi has been accumulated, Ripple will pay to have the glass shipped to its facility in Kansas City.

Mayor Aron Cromwell said Monday he sees the new system as a step toward increasing the city’s recycling efforts. The city’s Solid Waste Task Force has recommended creating a new citywide curbside recycling service. But Cromwell said such a service can’t feasibly accept glass, which led him to approach Ripple about creating a Lawrence service several months ago.

“I just see these four bins as a first step,” Cromwell said. “We want to look at how we can expand it downtown and have them near several bars and restaurants that produce a lot of bottles.”

The service accepts more than just glass bottles. Mike Utz, a principal in Ripple Glass, said his company also uses food jars and can accept both dark and clear glass. The dark glass is used to produce new bottles for Boulevard Brewing Co., and the clear glass is used by a Kansas City-based fiberglass insulation manufacturer.

Ripple, founded in late 2009, recycled 18,000 tons of glass. Utz said the area is in a unique situation of operating a successful glass recycling business because there are several users or recycled glass in the Kansas City area. He said most areas struggle to recycle glass because the cost to transport the material very far is greater than the selling price of recycled glass.

“When we started looking at this, there were 80,000 tons of glass in Kansas City going into the landfill each year,” Utz said. “We saw there was a huge opportunity there, but it has taken awhile to figure out a system.”

It is not taking Lawrence residents long to figure out there’s a new glass recycling system up and running. The bin at On the Rocks was drawing users on Monday morning while city officials were holding a ceremony to open the service.

“I will be using it a lot,” said Rachel Hunter, who said she lives three blocks from the new bin. “Recycling should be easier to do in Lawrence, and this will help.”

The new bins are a definite shade of purple, but not even that seem to cause many concerns with Lawrence residents on Monday.

“We can get over that,” said Matt Easley, general manager of On the Rocks, “especially if we keep winning.”


GUMnNUTS 6 years, 1 month ago

Why not one downtown for all the bars to use?

Adrienne Sanders 6 years, 1 month ago

First of all, one would not be enough. Second, they would have to keep all the glass separate which would be a lot of effort. (that second one is more of an excuse than a reason)

MattressMan 6 years, 1 month ago

In the past it was necessary to separate the colors but not any longer.

Frank A Janzen 6 years, 1 month ago

Yes, Chad, what about colors? Clear, brown, green. Who will separate the glass? Walmart had different bins for different colors.

Keith 6 years, 1 month ago

I was surprised to find that Walmart doesn't separate colors any more either. The article says the glass is used to make fiberglass insulation so I guess they don't care about mixed colors.

Keith 6 years, 1 month ago

I see I missed the part about brown glass vs clear glass.

Hooligan_016 6 years, 1 month ago

This is great! I would much rather recycle my glass with Ripple than Deffenbaugh!

George_Braziller 6 years, 1 month ago

The bin I saw at On the Rocks had both Ripple and Deffenbaugh printed on the side.

Hooligan_016 6 years, 1 month ago

Noooo ... haha. I've heard (uncorroborated) stories of Deffenbaugh just dumping. That was all.

George_Braziller 6 years, 1 month ago

A friend of mine works in a management position at Deffenbaugh. They have a lot of skeletons in the closet.

Dunadan 6 years, 1 month ago

Thanks to Mayor Cromwell for brokering this deal. It's a good step forward for the City of Lawrence.

d_prowess 6 years, 1 month ago

Yes, thanks for taking us one step further to a city-wide curbside recycling program that would still require me to collect materials and drive them to a drop off point. If I am going to have to do that for glass, why not do it for the other materials too?

And I understand that this program would probably result in an increase in recycling city-wide and I can't complain about that, but it still frustrating that right now I pay someone to pick-up all of my recycling and in the future I will still have to pay them, along with paying the city, if I want it all picked-up.

MattressMan 6 years, 1 month ago

The main issue with recycling glass with the type of city wide system they are dreaming of is everything is picked up together and dumped into a truck. In that scenario if glass is included it will break thereby contaminating the other recyclables. I posted a link to Ripple's faq below.

slvrntrt 6 years, 1 month ago

They have that in other places. Back home it's all one bin and you can put glass in with everything else.

DillonBarnes 6 years, 1 month ago

Sounds like what happens to me after a night on Mass St.

Adrienne Sanders 6 years, 1 month ago

One in central Lawrence and three on the West side?

News_to_me 6 years, 1 month ago

Go figure. Everybody knows people on the west side of town are so much more environmentally conscious, etc. etc. etc.

amac 6 years, 1 month ago

I have a the glass containers have to be washed before they go in the recyle bin?

George_Braziller 6 years, 1 month ago

Rinsed out is usually good enough unless it originally had something in it like mayonnaise or peanut butter that will eventually stink or attract insects.

kernal 6 years, 1 month ago

Beer bottles that aren't rinsed out are very attractive to those cute little brown German cockroaches.

MattressMan 6 years, 1 month ago

Good info from Ripple web site for those that are interested.

pace 6 years, 1 month ago

thank you for posting the info site. I found it enlightening.

d_prowess 6 years, 1 month ago

I understand but that is the problem in my mind. They have a plan for a city-wide system that can't be complete and will require folks to still pack up recyclables (glass) to take them somewhere. If I am going to do that, why don't I also bring my cardboard with me, along with my plastic. And then at that point, I don't need city recycling because I am taking everything to a drop off spot.
OR I could just keep paying the $7 a month to a private company that picks up everything (glass included) from my curb once a month.

d_prowess 6 years, 1 month ago

I will acknowledge that if the city does pass this plan and it adds about $4-5 a month to my utility bills, I will just consider that an added tax by the city and continue to pay the private company to pick up my recycling because I understand I am paying for convenience. However, if this plan no longer makes it viable for this private company to operate in Lawrence and leaves me with no private option, I will be ticked off.

David Reynolds 6 years, 1 month ago

Why is our recycling/trash task force going to decide we do not need nor want there plan?

woodlingwho 6 years, 1 month ago

Why not one more central, like the MERC.
I would rather the city opt for a dual stream curbside. Pick up my glass, but keep it seperate from the paper. More value to the recyclers. Let's not be short sighted.

pace 6 years, 1 month ago

My thanks to Ripple, Dillons, HiVee, and Rocks liquor. I am delighted to see glass drop off sites set up. Glass drop off sites will really help create the best recycling options. The glass drop off sites are the complement we need for developing the best city wide curbside collection . Don't dismiss all the people saying that adding glass to the curbside collection is a bad idea. I don't have a lot of glass but I will be using the drop off sites. I pick up glass litter at some parks and nature sites and will also include food containers from my kitchen. I would prefer a bottle bill but the beverage industry lobbyist have owned the Kansas legislature for decades. Don't believe the beverage industry about supporting recycling until they quit blocking bottle bills.
I wouldn't let Deffenbaugh on my property, near my trash, nor would I give them a dime. I have worked with them. Their deals are too good to be true, meaning don't trust them with something that is important. Oh, am I too blunt?

Lomo56 6 years, 1 month ago

I think these are great. However, please: if you're going to drop off your glass, remember that there are homes nearby. The sound of glass crashing into a dumpster is loud, and echoes through our street. Please (please please please) do your recycling during the daytime hours, rather than at 11pm. Or early in the morning, for that matter... we'll see what tomorrow brings.

Enlightenment 6 years, 1 month ago

Tired of hearing the complaining about recycling. Recycling should be done by all residents. If everybody would willingly recycle, there wouldn't be a problem or a debate about who will provide and pay for the service and if the service will include glass pick up. The whole idea behind the city offering recycling services is to make it easier for those currently not recycling. At this point, I think it's a good start to have the glass bins throughout the city for the folks that currently have curbside pickup (minus glass).

blindrabbit 6 years, 1 month ago

d_prowess: Getting a little-too bit execised about the whole recycling thing perhaps! Do you recycle coffee grounds and coffee containers also! Better yet, if this is all that aggravating, just quit buying the products that create the recyclable material to begin with. Remember the the R's emphasized "Reduce".

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