Ninety-six percent of residents and consumers expect to be able to recycle glass, according a survey conducted by the Glass Recycling Coalition (GRC) of more than 250 public sector representatives, glass industry professionals and material recovery facility (MRF) representatives. The survey results, released at the Resource Recycling Conference in Minneapolis, found that the top priorities among public sector respondents for recycling programs are fulfilling resident satisfaction, meeting sustainability goals and reducing contamination.
“The GRC strives to better understand challenges and attitudes about glass recycling from those in the industry and local and state governments,” says Lynn Bragg, president of the Glass Packaging Institute (GPI), Arlington, Virginia, and founding GRC member. “This survey will help GRC support local needs and address concerns to grow glass recycling,” she says.
Thirty-one MRF representatives were asked to list the top end-markets for recycled glass: glass containers (cullet), fiberglass and road base aggregate led the list. According to MRFs, the top three factors in selecting an end market for glass are transportation costs, prices paid per ton and lowest cost per ton and highest and best end use.
Of the respondents with glass recycling concerns, lack of end markets, contamination and transportation barriers are identified as challenges to glass recycling. Financial resources, such as public-private partnerships and grants, could be beneficial in addressing these concerns. More than 50 percent of respondents say they believe costs associated with recycling should be shared among manufacturers, haulers, the public sector, MRFs and end markets.
GRC says it plans to conduct this survey annually to measure industry changes in attitudes, track progress in improving glass recycling and guide the direction of the GRC.
The full report of the 2017 Glass Recycling Survey can be downloaded here.