Glass Drop-off Recycling Coming to Los Alamos

LOS ALAMOS COUNTY News:

At the June evening meeting of the Environmental Sustainability Board, staff discussed the addition of a glass drop-off recycling program in the near future. 

This program will allow residents to drop-off glass bottles and jars at Sullivan Field, Overlook Convenience Center or the Eco Station to be recycled.

Note: GLASS CANNOT BE PLACED IN BLUE RESIDENTIAL RECYCLING ROLL CARTS. 

Glass placed in the blue residential recycling roll cart will contaminant the mixed recycling stream; resulting in the need to send the entire mixed recycling load to the landfill. 

All of our mixed recyclables go to a Material Recycling Facility (MRF) in Santa Fe where glass damages their sorting equipment. 

Glass contamination can lead to costly equipment damage and safety risks at the MRF in Santa Fe, and therefore they are quick to send glass contaminated loads to the landfill and pass the cost along to the generator. 

Because of this – it is essential that residents only bring glass to the designated drop off locations and do not place this material in their blue residential recycling roll cart.

This new drop off program, with a tentative start date of September, will accept glass bottles and jars of all colors. 

Only bottles and jars will be accepted, and prior to being dropped off the bottles should be rinsed and the tops removed. 

Glass bottles and jars collected at the drop-off locations will be transported to the Eco Station where they will be pulverized to generate three-eighth inch minus glass pebbles. 

The pulverizer rounds the edges of the glass while breaking it down, resulting in a safe finished product that can be used in landscaping and art projects. 

The County will also utilize it for cap maintenance at the recently closed landfill and is considering using it as base course for the Canyon Rim Trail extension project.

The implementation of this new glass recycling program will help create a more sustainable community. 

The program is expected to divert anywhere from 200 to 400 tons of glass annually, resulting in significant financial and environmental savings from reduced hauling and the conservation of landfill space. 

Creating a local glass recycling program will successfully divert a hard to recycle material and provide a valuable commodity to the community. 

The success of this program will ultimately depend on the ability of residents to provide a clean glass recycling stream at the drop-off locations and to keep glass out of their blue residential recycling roll cart. 

Much more information about this new program will be disseminated in the coming months as the tentative program start date of September draws closer.

Contact Tom Nagawiecki at 662-8383 or tom.nagawiecki@lacnm.us with questions or comments on this program.    

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