In response to global changes in the recycling market, Prince William County removed glass from its curbside recycling program in 2019. It also asked the Prince William Board of County Supervisors to take the extraordinary step of formally removing glass from the list of materials required to be recycled in the county by ordinance. In concert with those steps – and in an effort to keep glass collection alive – the county’s recycling office launched a pilot program to collect glass in separate containers at the Prince William County landfill and the Balls Ford Road composting facility.
Although limited to just two locations, the program quickly gained traction with county residents. In 2018, the county recycled or reused just 18 tons of glass. After implementing the drop-off bins, Prince William County reported an impressive 227 tons of glass collected and recycled in 2019. In 2020, the county shattered that record with 537 tons of glass collected and recycled, according to Scott McDonald, manager of Prince William County Solid Waste Division recycling program.
MacDonald said he is absolutely delighted the purple bins are so popular with county residents and called the 137% year-over-year increase from 2019 to 2020 in glass recycled a sign the county is “heading in the right direction with our glass recycling program.”