Last year, officials running the county’s recycling centers encouraged residents to separate their glass from other materials. Now, it’s mandatory.
Beginning April 4, residents can no longer co-mingle their recyclable glass with plastic and cans. The centers have separate receptacles for the materials, but until now residents had the option of depositing their glass with the rest and the county sorted it. The county made the change at the request of its vendor, officials said.
“Requiring citizens to separate glass is going to assure we have good quality glass to send to markets,” Leslie Hatchell, recycling educator/coordinator for York County Solid Waste Collection and Recycling, wrote in an email Friday.
“The change is required by the vendor that York County sends mixed recycling to. We are thankful for the ability to continue to accept glass in the recycling program. Many local governments are removing glass from the list of materials accepted,” Hatchell wrote.
Last fall, the county started encouraging residents to sort the glass from the other materials on their own and gave away sturdy plastic bins for glass containers. Hatchell said there has not been a noticeable increase in voluntary sorting since then.
“I'm not sure if there has been more separation of glass since giving away bins,” she wrote, adding that the bins are still available to anyone who wants one.
“A supply of bins was recently delivered to each center and more will be sent again soon,” Hatchell wrote. “If anyone wants a bin, they can ask the attendants on duty if any are available.”
The county runs 16 facilities, including two in Fort Mill – one across from the Springs Recreation Complex called Fort Mill East and another on S.C. 160 West called Baxter.
At peak efficiency, the county expects to take in between $800,000 and $900,000 a year for its general fund by selling the material it collects to reprocessing facilities. Some of the larger centers, such as Baxter, average 100 cars an hour.
Hatchell acknowledged that enforcing compliance won’t be easy.
“Attendants at the centers are working to educate citizens of the change,” she wrote.
“They will try to monitor what citizens are putting in the mixed recycling and it will be hard to enforce due to the number of people delivering materials to the centers. Residents that don't comply will put the county at risk of having to pay for loads of mixed recycling that contain glass and the potential for loads to be sent to the landfill. This is going to take all of us working together.”
Want to know more?