County’s Glass Drop-Off Recycling Program Expanding

Glass cullet placed at the Municipal Building prior to being mixed into the soil. Courtesy/LAC

COUNTY News:

A new yellow glass drop-off recycling dumpster has been placed at the Los Alamos Cooperative Market to increase the convenience for residents to participate in the program. 

The program now includes four drop off locations; Los Alamos Co-op, Sullivan Field, Los Alamos County Eco Station and Overlook Park Convenience Center.  Residents can recycle glass bottles and jars of all colors at any of these locations. 

“I am happy that the Co-op is now a glass drop off location, which allows customers to save time by combine shopping trips with glass and TerraCycle recycling trips,” said Los Alamos Co-op Outreach Coordinator Sandra West. “As a cooperative, we are always looking for ways to improve and encourage sustainability as well as develop community partnerships.  We are glad that support from the county has allowed us to be a glass recycling drop off location.”

The new glass recycling dumpster adds to the already impressive recycling program at the store that includes the Terracycle program, which enables residents to recycle chip bags, cereal box liners, bagged cereal bags and packaging from Bear Naked products.    

“I’m extremely enthusiastic, through the help of the county, the co-op continues to exceed in environmental excellence,” Front end manager Cody Ulibari said. 

To learn more about this program, visit the Co-op’s website at www.losalamos.coop

Since the inception of the new glass recycling program in late September 2012 the community has recycled more than 100,000 lbs. of glass.  

To date, the program has eliminated the need to send two semi-trucks full of glass off the hill for disposal, saving money and significantly reducing environmental impact. 

“The County has been able to increase diversion, and create a valuable commodity to be used by the local community,” says Environmental Services Superintendent Leroy Chacon. 

The glass drop-off recycling program creates a finished product known as glass cullet. The glass bottles and jars collected are fed into a glass pulverizer located at the Eco Station. 

The pulverizer breaks down the glass into small pebbles known as cullet. The cullet is tumbled to dull the edges, creating a safe and shiny finished product. 

Glass cullet has a variety of uses including ornamental use in landscaping, a medium for art projects, and a replacement to pea gravel in a variety of projects.  Residents can stop by the Eco Station to pick up some free glass cullet. 

The County has already used more than 20 tons of the material. Glass cullet was mixed with dirt at the retention ditch on the east-side of the new Municipal Building to increase the retention and absorption properties of the soil. 

At the North Mesa Stables, glass cullet was used in place of pea gravel for drainage when installing frost-proof water hydrants.

The new glass drop-off recycling program has been a great success to date. In order to keep the program operating efficiently it is imperative that participants remember a few key rules:

  • Glass is not accepted in your blue curbside recycling roll carts;
  • When dropping off your glass at one of the yellow dumpsters please ensure that the bottles are empty and lids are removed; and
  • Only place glass bottles and jars in the dumpster, plastic bags and cardboard boxes should not be placed in the glass recycling bin. 

To learn more about the glass drop-off recycling program and general recycling in Los Alamos County, visit www.losalamosnm.us/gogreen or call 505-662-8383.               

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