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Thursday, September 22, 2011

GPI Issues Executive Summary on Glass Recycling Survey

On September, 15, 2011, the Glass Packaging Institute issued an Executive Summary of their Survey of U.S. Glass Container Recycling Programs for Bars, Restaurants and Hotels.  The in-depth telephone survey included ten bar, restaurant, and hotel glass container recycling programs in eight states (CA, CO, IN, MO, NC, OH, TX).  Of the programs surveyed, four were initiated by a hauler/recycler or glass processor, another four by the city or county and two were started by a bar/restaurant or hotel.

In addition to collecting data on containers and processes, economics and logistics, the survey also identifies the following eight best practices:
  1. Build partnerships that utilize and advance the local economy.
  2. Ensure sufficient participants for economic feasibility.
  3. Do not underestimate "set-up" time and personnel requirements.
  4. Consider separate glass collection for a closed loop system.
  5. At a minimum ensure cost-neutral economics.
  6. Work with a collection team dedicated to glass quality.
  7. Match storage containers, collection vehicles, and participants.
  8. Keep inside collection containers adaptable and clearly marked.
“The glass container industry has always known that bars, restaurant, and hotels are a source for high-quality recycled glass. And this survey provides some details and best practices that we hope will encourage more communities to assist local foodservice and hospitality businesses recycle their glass bottles,” says Lynn Bragg, GPI president.

With the Zero Waste Zones ready for national expansion, it is promising to witness the growing awareness of separated glass collection for the most efficient, effective programs.  The zones provide route density to aggregate sufficient bar|restaurant|hotel collection stops for a glass recycling program to make economic sense.

Stay tuned as an Atlanta separated glass collection pilot is in the exploratory stage with the goal to create a template for other cities to implement.

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