Monongalia County SWA to stop recycling glass - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Monongalia County SWA to stop recycling glass

Posted: Updated:
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • UPDATE: Route 2 now open following tractor trailer accident

    UPDATE: Route 2 now open following tractor trailer accident

    Monday, August 25 2014 4:00 PM EDT2014-08-25 20:00:48 GMT
    A tractor trailer is blocking part of Route 2. The road is closed until further notice. Drivers heading in both direction are being asked to use the Big Ben Bowen Highway connector by Target to get around.
    A tractor trailer is blocking part of Route 2. The road is closed until further notice. Drivers heading in both direction are being asked to use the Big Ben Bowen Highway connector by Target to get around.
  • BusinessBusinessMore>>

  • Union workers at Frontier OK 3-year contract

    Union workers at Frontier OK 3-year contract

    Monday, September 1 2014 12:17 PM EDT2014-09-01 16:17:18 GMT
    The new contract will expire in August 2017. It covers about 1,500 employees in 42 West Virginia counties.
    The new contract will expire in August 2017. It covers about 1,500 employees in 42 West Virginia counties.
  • Shale activity spurs WesBanco growth

    Shale activity spurs WesBanco growth

    Monday, September 1 2014 10:00 AM EDT2014-09-01 14:00:29 GMT
    Managing growth has been a problem for some companies in the shale gas region of West Virginia, leading WesBanco to provide services to help them.
    Managing growth has been a problem for some companies in the shale gas region of West Virginia, leading WesBanco to provide services to help them.
  • WV workforce lacks oil and gas expertise — for now

    WV workforce lacks oil and gas expertise — for now

    Sunday, August 31 2014 5:00 PM EDT2014-08-31 21:00:19 GMT
    Despite the relatively high amount of natural gas production in West Virginia, less than 3 percent of employees in some of the major occupations that make up the sector's workforce live in the Mountain State.
    Despite the relatively high amount of natural gas production in West Virginia, less than 3 percent of employees in some of the major occupations that make up the sector's workforce live in the Mountain State.

The Board of the Monongalia County Solid Waste Authority decided at its April 29 meeting to stop accepting glass in its recycling program as of the end of June.

"Our program has seen no profit from accepting glass in over ten years," reads a posting on the SWA's blog. "With the changes in local/state recycling, our program was one of the last to still accept glass. The change of glass recycling is a statewide issue."

The SWA's recycling program is nearly self sustaining, said Recycling Coordinator Donnie DeBerry, with less than 10 percent of its budget coming from the Monongalia County Commission and the remainder from recycling proceeds.

The SWA hauled its glass to Bradish Glass in Greensburg, Pa. and received nothing for green glass and less than $10/ton for brown and clear glass, DeBerry said. It recycled more than 300 tons of glass over the past year.

"Last year alone we lost almost $48,000 from glass," DeBerry said, not counting the cost of maintenance and repairs caused by broken glass at the SWA's community recycling center in Westover and its nine satellite drop-off sites.

It's the only recycling stream that loses money. The program is otherwise successful enough that it currently is constructing a new community recycling center at the Morgantown Industrial Park in Westover, to open this summer.

"This site is too small for us and is laid out oddly because it wasn't made for this purpose," DeBerry said. "We're starting from scratch and designing it the way it should be designed. It's going to be large enough to house the commodities indoors. The steel is up and they've started pouring concrete."

Recycling glass is a problem in West Virginia because there's no market source nearby that wants it, said Mark Holstine, executive director of the West Virginia Solid Waste Management Board.

And it's always been a management problem for recycling facilities, Holstine said, because the various colors of glass can't be mixed, because it's heavy to haul, and because broken glass contaminates other recycling streams and creates a hazard.

And in contrast to some other materials that can be recycled, he said, glass is benign from an environmental standpoint.

"It breaks up into very small particles and turns back to what it was to begin with, which is sand," he said. "Not that we want to fill our landfills up but with it, but a Mason jar turns to pretty much nothing when you break it."

It's a fluid market, according to Holstine. Berkeley County is looking to increase glass recycling, he said, and Kanawha County recently announced that it would begin recycling glass again.

At the same time, he said, whether and how to recycle glass becomes less of solid waste management problem over time as packagers of soft drinks, juices and other grocery items turn increasingly to plastic and aluminum.

The decision to discontinue recycling glass was a hard one for Monongalia County, made over several months' time, DeBerry said.

"But it lets us continue collecting as much as we can and provide the other services we do now, and keep going with electronics recycling and tire events with the (state Department of Environmental Protection). We're hoping this isn't our final answer but it is our answer for now."