The city of Knoxville, Tenn., will no longer accept glass as part of its curbside recycling program effective January 1.
It was first reported this summer that the city was considering dropping glass from its program. The city also recently renewed its solid waste contract with Waste Connections. The company’s $2.9 million bid was the lowest of four submitted that the city.
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The change starts on January 1. Officials say because the recyclables are unloaded into a large compacting truck, dumped onto a concrete floor and sorted on a conveyor belt, the glass breaks into small pieces. This causes two problems. First, the intermingled mix of many types of glass produces a very low quality glass commodity which is difficult to sell. Second, small pieces of broken glass contaminate other types of recyclables.
Because of this, much of the glass that’s intended for recycling ends up going to the landfill anyway.