- Because recycling companies say they will pay less per ton if glass is included or will charge when large amounts are glass are included, glass recycling is becoming too costly for some cities across the U.S. Many are finding it makes more sense financially for residents to skip the recycling bin.
- Charleston, WV and Harrisburg, PA told residents to stop placing glass with other recyclables and instead, include it in with waste or bring it to a drop-off recycling center.
- In November 2014, the city recycling center in Charleston, SC stopped accepting glass due to rising costs in transportation and processing.
Most of the glass from regional glass processors eventually ends up at Strategic Materials, the country’s biggest glass recycler. Curt Bucey, the executive vice president of Strategic said the company had to invest in expensive equipment to separate the glass it received from waste materials. Strategic used to pay for glass, now it is charging to accept glass due to the prevalence of contaminated waste.
Waste Management’s CFO James Fish, said glass is difficult to handle, hard on machinery and "the only recyclable commodity it has to pay a processor to take." The company is considering charging customers extra if they want glass recycled.
Glass manufacturers are interested in using more recycled glass, but it is difficult to find quality materials, said Ryan Modlin, vice president of government affairs in North America at Owens-Illinois Inc.