The new Glass Storage Facility located at the Fergus Falls Transfer Station accepted its first load of glass. The Facility was completed in late 2021 and will be the destination for all glass recycled in drop-off recycling bins around Otter Tail County. The Otter Tail County recycling program collects approximately 750 tons of glass each year. Glass, like other recyclable materials collected in the county, is sent to a recycling company for additional processing before getting made into a new product. Compared to other recyclables glass is very heavy, making transport to a recycling company in the Twin Cities more costly than the revenue generated by the sale of the material. Environmental benefit from recycling glass also diminishes when the environmental impact of transport is considered. Diverting glass to the Glass Storage Facility allows the County to use the material in a way that still reduces landfilling while also having a local benefit.
“It’s exciting to be able to keep our glass local and to save a considerable amount of staff time in trips with a heavy material to and from the Cities. It remains important to keep the glass clean and free of contaminants so that we can successfully and efficiently reutilize it for local projects.” – Rena Simon, Recycling Manager.
The Glass Storage Facility includes a fabric storage building large enough to contain several years-worth of collected glass at a time. Glass from Otter Tail County will be stockpiled at the location and may eventually include glass from other counties in the region. The material will be used in future road construction projects in Otter Tail County. Glass should be free of contaminants to ensure it can be recycled and reused efficiently – no boxes or bags. Stay tuned for updates to glass recycling guidelines as we move forward with this program change.