The BPU Should Not Get Rid Of Glass Recycling

According to the Dec. 29, 2020, issue of The Post-Journal, the BPU will be eliminating glass from its curbside recycling program.

The article also states the company has received zero complaints from the public regarding this. I am writing to express my formal complaint.

With the catastrophic economic and logistical effect China’s 2018 waste import ban has caused to the global plastics recycling industry, glass logically should be considered a highlight of success regarding our collective efforts combating climate change and the disastrous consequences humanity has faced recently both in our own community and across the globe.

Consider the following elementary information taken from the World Wildlife Fund website:

¯ The cost savings of recycling is in the use of energy. Compared to making glass from raw materials for the first time, [recycled glass] melts at a lower temperature. So we can save on energy needed to melt the glass.

¯ Glass produced from recycled glass reduces related air pollution by 20% and related water pollution by 50%.

¯ Recycling glass reduces the space in landfills that would otherwise be taken up by used bottles and jars.

This barely scratches the surface as for reasons why citizens of this community need to be taking a forward-thinking approach to solving the ever faster increase for the need to reduce our negative impact on this planet and its ability to support humanity and all other life on it.

David Rue, an engineer at the Gas Technology Institute near Chicago who recently completed a yearlong study of US glass recycling recently stated, “The U.S. glass-recycling shortfall comes down to the interplay between the quality and availability of cullet (recycled glass) and the economics of making glass … the recycling rate discrepancies between the US and other countries result mainly from differences in government policy and consumer education and habits.”

It is clear Jamestown needs to save money, but why at the cost of the environment we live on? It its my hope that 100% of any money saved from eliminating our current program go towards funding of consumer education on use of and implementation of a more efficient multi-stream recycling effort.

Eliminating the current program completely will solve nothing aside a trivial, short-term budgetary concern. At the same time, it is the city taking away the rights and abilities for the majority of its citizens to do their part in combating the current and ongoing destructive changes happening our world.

I have more to make my point, but I will limit myself to my to the above for now.

Robert Cortright is a Jamestown resident.


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