Opinion: Letter to the Editor: A New Method of Recycling

Opinion: Letter to the Editor: A New Method of Recycling

Alexandria city and Fairfax County have started a new glass recycling program with the goal to improve glass recycling rates. Previously, when the glass was accepted in the mixed stream, blue recycling bins, the glass would become broken and contaminated in transport. Most of the glass that Alexandria residents were sending to be recycled was ending up in landfills. The new glass recycling system will have residents separate out their used glass products and take them to one of four drop-off centers, meaning they must physically get in their cars with their recyclable glass and drive there. Although this system allows the city to recycle glass more efficiently, it asks a lot more of Alexandrians.

Participating in this new program will make our city greener and will help reduce our carbon footprint. Residents can help support the system and make it easier for their neighbors by offering to take each other's glass when they plan on taking their own to a center. Neighbors could take turns bringing glass to the drop off centers. Communities need to come together to make the new program easier for people who feel they don't have the time to make regular trips to one of the centers.

The drop off centers are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. All colors of glass bottles and jars are accepted for the glass drop off. Jars and bottles must be free of all food residue and metal lids can remain on. Once the glass is processed into sand or gravel, it will be used for local construction and landscaping. Items that are not accepted include porcelain, lamps, lightbulbs, glass sheets, and mirrors. This is a great way to repurpose used products instead of letting materials go to waste in landfills. The city will continue to accept glass in their curbside collection, but the glass will continue to be sent to landfills if it is not taken to one of these four drop off locations: Tower CT & Whiting Street, 3224 Colvin Street, 4251 Eisenhower Avenue, and Jones Point Park. This is a great opportunity for everyone in Alexandria to do their part to increase the reuse of materials and slow the growth of landfills, so let’s get out there and make a difference.