The do’s and the don’ts of glass recycling within the Corporation of Shepherdstown
SHEPHERDSTOWN — On April 1, 2017, Apple Valley Waste notified the Corporation of Shepherdstown with some unexpected news — the recycling business would be stopping its glass recycling program.
As an environmentally conscious town, not having a glass recycling program in town was not an option. And so the Town contacted Jefferson County Sold Waste Authority, to see if they could begin recycling glass with them instead.
According to Director of Public Works Frank Welch, JCSWA agreed to accept the town’s glass, and advised the Town to find a way to collect the glass and transport it to the Jefferson County Sold Waste Transfer Station in Kearneysville.
Over the next year, the Town was able to repurpose one of its garbage trucks to be used for the pickup and transfer of the glass, and a grant from the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection was secured, to help cover some of the costs of setting up a glass recycling program.
“The grant itself was for receptacles and glass bins for our streets and our residents,” said council member Lori Robertson, referring to green glass recycling bins Public Works gave to Shepherdstown residents and the 12 newly-installed trash and recycling receptacles along German Street.
Made 97 percent from plastic milk jugs, the receptacles replaced many worn-out recycling containers and trash cans along German Street. Some of the recycling containers and trash cans that were in better condition have remained downtown, to discourage littering.
According to Robertson, the new receptacles were bought because they would blend into the landscape. During the receptacles’ installation process, small cigarette butt recycling bins were attached to the side of the receptacles, to encourage people to recycle the butts and help beautify the town. Some town residents have already told the Town Council they have noticed a decrease in cigarette butt litter downtown, since the receptacles were strategically placed along the street a couple weeks ago.
The start of the glass recycling program on June 26 has also seen a lot of success, according to Welch.
“People within our town’s corporate limits like to recycle. In two months, we collected 3.3 tons of glass,” Welch said.
However, Welch said glass recycling isn’t being done properly by some town residents, and asked for residents to inform each other about the importance of not placing anything other than emptied glass items in the recycling bins. In some instances, residents are placing plastic bags or cardboard carriers holding empty beer bottles in the recycling bins, forcing Public Works employees to pick through the bins to find the glass items.
“Our Public Works guys are busy. They want to be able to hop off their trucks, reach down and go,” Robertson said. “The problem we’ve had in a few instances, is people are putting their glass containers in with cardboard and plastic bags. If you have neighbors who you see doing that, mention it to them.”
For more information about Shepherdstown’s glass recycling program, visit www.shepherdstown.us/recycling.