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Town to resume glass recycling in spring

By Staff | Oct 13, 2017

Shepherdstown maintains its commitment to good environmental practices by reinstating a glass recycling program.

The Corporation of Shepherdstown received a $56 thousand grant from West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, to once again pick up glass starting in Spring of 2018. The grant money will be used for the purchase of a dedicated skid loader to lift heavy commercial recycling containers, 700 residential glass-only recycling bins and 25 larger glass-only recycling containers to be put next to community trash cans in town.

Many of the town’s residents were upset when in April of this year, Apple Valley Waste declared it would no longer pick up glass due to the cost-prohibitive reality of recycling non-separated glass. Even though Shepherdstown is the only town in the county to have its own independent trash pick up service, Apple Valley’s decision still had an impact.

“We don’t have room in our alleys or on some of our streets for every person to have at least one bin per color of glass. Not only that, we had to have a special truck to pick it up and haul it. It was very cost-prohibitive and labor intensive,” said Town Recorder, Lori Robertson.

Glass is currently picked up with trash and going into the landfill, which council members agree is not optimal.

“As soon as we heard Apple Valley was going to stop accepting glass, we started to talk about alternatives,” said council member Mark Everhart.

In addition to a last-minute scramble to file the paperwork for the grant, Town Council was looking at all possible options.

“We reached out to Billy Maddert, Director of Jefferson County Solid Waste Authority in Kearneysville,” Robertson said. “We met with him and said ‘let’s see if we can do something about this.’ We worked it out that once we are ready to start picking up the glass, we will take it there to a designated collection area that they have at Solid Waste Authority. Then they will take it – with glass all mixed up – to a collection site outside of Pittsburgh. He was very helpful and we really appreciate him working with us on this.”

It is estimated that glass will be hauled to the facility two to three times per month.

“That’s not free for us. We will pay a little bit per truckload that goes up to Pittsburgh,” said Director of Public Works Frank Welch.

In order to resume glass collection in addition to regular trash and recycling pick up, three trucks are needed. The 17-year-old garbage truck that is currently in use will be dedicated for the glass, a smaller truck will be used for the other recycling such as a aluminum and paper, but a new garbage truck will be needed for trash pick up. The made-to-order truck has already been ordered but won’t be available for use until spring.

Prior to the launch of the recycling program, the Corporation of Shepherdstown will release specifics about which glass to include and which types cannot be recycled.