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Decatur’s new glass collection service starts July 1

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Decatur’s new glass collection service starts July 1


Starting July 1, City of Decatur residents will no longer be able to mingle glass with other recyclable materials.

The City Commission approved the changes at its June 6 meeting. Glass recycling products will now be placed in a separate container, provided by the resident. The bins need to be 18 gallons, or smaller. Paper, plastics and metal can still be recycled in a single container. The City Commission approved increasing the collection fee by $25 each year – from $250 to $275 – to cover the cost of the collection services. An online survey conducted by the city found that more than 90 percent of respondents were willing to pay the extra $25 so the city could continue providing curbside pickup for glass. Mover than 76 percent said they would be willing to provide their own bins, according to the city.

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The changes are a response to the way recycling companies handle mingled materials.

Other governments in the metro area are reconsidering their recycling practices in light of the problems associated with glass. DeKalb County recently signaled it may stop taking glass products. Avondale Estates has already stopped accepting glass. The problem is that broken glass contaminates other recyclable materials.

The city recently sent out a reminder about the changes and it contained this FAQ:

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do recycling facilities no longer want glass mixed in with other materials?
While a co-mingled recycling collection program provides many benefits, it has contributed to a system of poorly sorted recovered materials, with pieces of glass, plastic and metal being delivered in bales of fiber; the wrong types of fiber going to paper mills; and, plastics, glass, and other materials being delivered to incorrect product manufacturers.

Will the glass collected actually be recycled?
Yes. The glass collected from the separated residential curbside program will be sent to a recovery facility called Strategic Materials. They are a processor for recycled glass used in a wide array of products such as containers, fiberglass insulation, and countertops

I still have my old red glass-only recycling bin. Can I use that instead of getting a new bin?
Yes, we encourage you to use those bins if you have them. If you do not have a bin, you must provide your own separate bin to place at the curb on your regular collection day. The bin should be 18 gallons or smaller, but any type or color is acceptable.

How does this affect City of Decatur residents?

– Residents will need to place glass in a separate bin for curbside pickup on their regular collection days. These bins should be 18 gal. or smaller, but any type or color is acceptable.

– All other recyclable materials can continue to be placed together in a separate bin.

– The annual sanitation fee for the new fiscal year increased from $250 to $275 to cover the cost for separated glass collection services. Residents will see an adjustment of $25 on the second property tax installment bill sent later this year.