Waste Connections of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee, has announced that starting Jan. 1, 2017, it will suspend glass recycling through its curbside collection program throughout its eastern Tennessee region. The move will impact five cities in eastern Tennessee, including Knoxville, the largest city affected by the change.
According to the company, it decided to halt glass collection to remain “dedicated to maintaining a healthy and strong recycling program for all residents.”
In a letter, Doug McGill, Waste Connection municipal marketing manager, writes “Markets for recyclable materials ebb and flow, and changes in glass markets have made this change in service necessary. By removing glass from curbside collection, we will preserve the overall integrity of our recycling program.”
McGill says WestRock, which had been processing the recyclables collected by Waste Connections of Tennessee, “doesn’t want the glass anymore.” With WestRock discontinuing acceptance of glass from single-stream programs after the first of the year, there was no end market for the material in the area.
McGill says that in addition to limited markets for the collected glass, WestRock’s equipment was being damaged by the inclusion of glass.