- Since August 2015, about 1.1 million pounds of Savannah, GA’s glass that Pratt Recycling collects and pays for has been landfilled, which the city’s recycling director Jimmy Rhodes was unaware of, according to Savannah Morning News.
- City spokesperson Bret Bell told the publication that because the city hasn't been notified of this operation, then that means the glass is not being dumped on the city’s landfill, and payments have continued. Pratt pays $15 a ton for mixed recyclables and another $1 per ton to put toward education.
- While Pratt must pay for the recyclables under its 10-year contract, effective till December 2018, there are no terms specifying how the company must handle the waste. The yield of recyclables has been consistent over the past seven years, at about 500 tons per month, said Pratt Recycling spokesman Shawn State. Collections from other customers, including businesses, raised last year's figure to 10,000 tons.
Savannah residents have complied with recycling expectations, with some of them saying they want to do more; their twice-monthly pickups are not enough to handle their salvageable waste, and many are disappointed that their glass is getting dumped.
While no comment appeared in the Savannah Morning News stating where Pratt was taking the glass, State did say, "Glass has historically cost money to recycle, but with the recycling commodity markets today, the cost to recycle is exceeding the cost to landfill. Therefore ... glass is being landfilled. Pratt, where under contract, is continuing to take glass, and we continue to exhaust all avenues to find an end market that keeps it out of the landfill."
The company has been making headway in Georgia, recently opening a high-tech MRF in Conyers — a facility that the company said would enable it to process many streams, which was key to "expanding our eco-campus capabilities," as reported earlier in Recycling Today.
Meanwhile, a nine-month pilot program in Savannah that ended last month cut litter in half on River Street, yielding 6.9 tons of recyclables and reducing trash pickup by 60%.
"That’s fantastic, but it’s a very small step. River Street is a big place, but look at Bay and Broughton streets, there’s nothing there for them," said resident Gretchen Hilmers to Savannah Morning News. Hilmers launched a Facebook group, "Recycle Savannah," calling on residents to rally and devise new ideas.
"I’m really hopeful Savannah can get in gear and make these things happen," said Hilmers.