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When Dealing With Garbage Issues, We Need To Be Creative

The end of glass recycling by the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities makes economic sense for the BPU.

It costs more to pick up glass recycling and transport it for disposal, so ending glass recycling will help the BPU avoid solid waste rate increases. And, for the utility, it means additional pickup of cardboard and plastic, two items that many city residents are inundated with.

Dave Leathers, BPU general manager, said BPU officials also know from the RFID tags on city residents’ orange recycling bins that fewer people had been taking recycling to the curb on glass weeks even though glass was only being taken every eight to 10 weeks.

The BPU has made the right decision for ratepayers, but there needs to be some thought given to how city residents can continue keeping their glass out of the Chautauqua County Landfill. Building new landfill cells has become quite the fight in recent years as Ellery residents don’t want to see the landfill keep expanding unnecessarily. Having additional glass in city residents’ garbage doesn’t help that problem.

Ideally city residents will take their glass to the South County Transfer Station so that it can be recycled there. That is the system followed in many towns and villages throughout the county and it works well for them. City residents can also purchase goods packaged in plastic containers so that their spaghetti jars and the like can still be recycled.

Dealing with glass recycling locally is small potatoes compared to the problems with glass recycling globally. As China and other nations become more discerning of the materials they’re importing, it is incumbent on the United States to find domestic solutions to its garbage issues. That may mean more paper and cardboard mills domestically that can handle recycled paper and boxboard rather than shipping those materials overseas. A Virginia transfer station is grinding up glass and using it as part of a mixture to pave the road into its county recycling transfer station.

It’s time to get creative when it comes to dealing with our trash.

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