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Moore County Makes A Deal With Glass Recycler

A picture of glass bottles and jars
Creative Commons

Moore County has made a deal with the country's largest glass recycler, and now, officials hope it will enable county residents to keep glass bottles and jars out of the landfill.Market changes -- and a recent fire at a material recovery facility -- drove up the cost to haul recyclables fourfold, from $25 to $100 per ton. Moore County has opted to ban glass, which is the heaviest material, from the stream of recyclables it ships to a nearby processor.

Now, Solid Waste & Recycling Division Manager Chad Beane says glass will be stored in a separate  "bunker" until it can be shipped to a company called Strategic Materials. Beane says he hopes the county's high recycling costs are temporary.

“We'll continue to work through it, though,” Beane said. “It's a market. Just like any market, there's ebb and flow to it, so we're hoping it'll bounce back in the very near future.”

The sorting step will make the process slightly less convenient than the single-stream option, Beane acknowledges. But he hopes residents will continue to recycle.

“It's much needed to save the landfill space,” he said. “It creates jobs in North Carolina.”

Aberdeen and Pinehurst recently banned glass from their curbside recycling pickup programs.

Rebecca Martinez produces podcasts at WUNC. She’s been at the station since 2013, when she produced Morning Edition and reported for newscasts and radio features. Rebecca also serves on WUNC’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accountability (IDEA) Committee.
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