In Philadelphia, as in many other parts of the U.S., waste haulers have seen an increase in residential trash volumes since stay-at-home orders went into effect. The city reported that it collected 22,000 tons of extra trash in March and April, compared with the same period last year.
But, collection volumes for one material—glass—are notably down. “Think of all the beer and wine bottles that aren’t coming from restaurants and bars, on top of existing glass shortages.” In addition, residents have been getting rid of fewer bottles.
O-I Glass, a large manufacturer of glass containers, observed that supplies of recycled glass were down 20% in April in Philadelphia. And the situation in the New York-Jersey region was even worse, with supplies down 62%.
Jim Nordmeyer, O-I’s vice president for sustainability, noted that, “At our facilities in Pennsylvania, glass is a perfect partner for a circular economy. It supplies Yuengling, the oldest brewery in America, and…a good portion of what Philadelphia recycles ends up back as a new Yuengling container.”
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