Frederick County is trying to give glass recycling another chance. The county’s public works committee unanimously expressed support for resuming glass recycling at the Frederick County Regional Landfill. In November of 2016, the committee and the county’s Board of Supervisors agreed to suspend the glass recycling program due to the loss of a local market willing to accept the material.

The county’s recycler in 2016 would have charged the county a tipping fee of $72 per ton to continue glass recycling. Since the county recycled about 500 tons of glass per year, this would have been an additional charge of $36,000. The county also opted not to use glass as daily cover at the landfill because additional hauling costs would still be incurred only to have the material end up at the landfill.

Ever since glass recycling was discontinued, county residents have continued to request glass recycling services, and the county government has continually tried to explore alternatives for glass recycling. Solid Waste Manager Gloria Puffinburger on Tuesday proposed an option to transport the county’s glass bottles from a single drop-off at the landfill’s citizens’ center at 146 Landfill Road to Fairfax County’s million-dollar crushing operation in Lorton.

Since its inception in October of 2019, Fairfax’s operation has collected and processed about 4 million pounds of glass from its own residents and municipalities in the Northern Virginia area. According to a memo Puffinburger provided the committee, the material was first used primarily as construction aggregate. However, the recycled glass is now also marketed for building insulation and cullet is sold and turned back into bottles by Owens-Illinois at its plants located in Danville and Toano.

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Author: Virginia Daily
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