- Leaders of Lubbock, TX, found it impossible for the city to continue collecting glass for recycling, but residents still have options for disposing of glass and other recyclable waste. Texas Tech’s Office of Sustainability is helping the city by allowing residents to drop off glass and other items at the university’s Physical Plant building.
- Years of costly maintenance on the city’s pulverizing machine, which grinds up glass into sand-like bits, led Lubbock officials to decide to quit collecting glass for recycling. Though the pulverizing machine broke down in 2012 and would have cost $150,000 to repair, the city stopped using it but continued collecting glass until recently.
- Since the pulverizer broke, Lubbock continued to accept glass but sent it to a landfill. Because accepting glass for recycling wasn’t profitable for the city and actually cost it money, city officials chose to stop doing it.
Texas Tech gets only $35 per ton for the glass, but the costs it incurs from sending the glass to a recycling company near Dallas is a few hundred dollars per truckload, said Melanie Tatum, Texas Tech’s director for Sustainability and Operations. If more universities could follow Texas Tech’s lead, some of the heavy costs associated with recycling that cities must bear might be reduced.