Glass is a big problem for single stream recycling. A few years ago, Chattanooga decided to stop accepting glass in the curbside recycling bins. This is because glass shatters. The small pieces of glass embed themselves into other things in the recycling bin, particularly paper, and render them unusable and bound for the landfill. In short, putting glass in a single-stream recycling bin effectively turns a recycle bin into a garbage bin.
But Chattanoogans can still recycle glass!
In fact, glass as a material can be melted down and reused indefinitely (unlike plastic, which can typically only be recycled once or twice before going to the landfill). Using recycled glass also saves significant amounts of energy compared to creating new glass from sand.
Our city has five different recycling collection sites where you can drop off your glass for recycling. There, glass is further separated by color, which makes the end product even more valuable on the recycling market. I simply keep a milk crate in our kitchen to fill with our glass and bring it by the recycling center near the Chattanooga Zoo every few months. Above is a video of my drop off earlier this month.
Click here to see which Chattanooga recycling collection centers are currently open and what their hours are (scroll down the page to “RECYCLE CENTERS”).