- Nashville, TN doesn't currently offer curbside glass recycling, but has begun looking for new ways to recycle the material in response to requests from residents and the city's mayor.
- Metro Public Works recently put out a request for proposals to run a pilot program in the city's downtown area - where glass makes up half of the waste - but has only received two bids so far.
- A larger county study has also been commissioned to survey resident opinions, landfill usage, waste-to-energy potential and possible changes to recycling laws.
According to Nashville Public Radio, local residents have wondered why their city doesn't recycle glass when others do. It turns out that Chattanooga may be sending its glass to landfills and Knoxville may soon ban glass from curbside collection. Nashville's Metro Public Works collects glass at 12 drop-off sites, but has still been losing money on the program.
It costs Nashville $38.50 to dispose of material at the nearest facility in Atlanta. This fee, along with other costs, led to the city spending more than $140,000 on glass last year. This experience is similar to that of many other cities which have struggled with glass due to its weight and low commodity value.
Houston notably ended its curbside glass program, though recently added 10 new drop-off locations after public backlash. Salt Lake County, UT is currently experimenting with a voluntary, fee-based collection program that seems promising. While recycled glass is still attractive to many manufacturers, the collection and processing challenges have led to a dip in supply. The U.S. Glass Recycling Coalition - which includes corporate members from multiple industries - was recently formed to look for solutions to this problem.