MILTON, Ga. — The headaches associated with recycling glass in Milton could soon be over. The city is hashing out a plan that could offer glass recycling drop-off locations for residents.
Recycling glass became a less convenient prospect in recent years, and the COVID-19 pandemic has only added to hoops Milton residents must jump through to reprocess glass.
In 2018, local recycling process centers stopped accepting glass, so the material could no longer be placed into a curbside pickup bin with other recyclables. The change, which went beyond the local level, stemmed from complications associated with processing glass, specifically expense and safety issues.
Glass damages machines, it can contaminate other recyclables and presents safety issues for workers, who sometimes must separate glass by hand.
With curbside service no longer an option, Milton residents who still wanted to recycle glass had to do the hauling themselves.
Perhaps the most convenient option was to take glass to the Roswell Recycling Center on Maxwell Road, but COVID-19 has slashed that opportunity. The facility was closed for several weeks during the pandemic lockdowns last year, and since it has reopened, service is only available for Roswell residents.
Milton Conservation Projects Manager Teresa Stickels told the City Council at its Feb. 17 meeting that residents can still bring the recyclables to the Keep North Fulton Beautiful recycling center in Sandy Springs. Of course, it is not a convenient solution.
“And while I am immensely grateful, we at least have that option at this time, you can well imagine driving glass down to Sandy Springs has become a dealbreaker for many of our residents,” Stickels said.
Last summer, two Milton High School students presented a partnership the city could agree to with a glass recycler. The company would offer a dumpster for glass recycling and provide hauling at no cost. Milton just needed to secure a location for the dumpster.
“But that’s actually turned out to be harder than it sounds,” Stickels said.
However, the city has been exploring sites and whittling down its options and could soon have its own glass recycling drop-off site(s).
“We feel like we are really close to having a local option for glass drop off in the City of Milton,” Stickels said.
Stickels told the Herald one drop-off location was originally proposed, but the city has been working with the recycling company on possibly adding a second site.
City Manager Steve Krokoff said the city has good locations selected and is working to ensure they are geographically dispersed across Milton.
Stickels said the outlook is subject to change, especially during the pandemic, but the city is hopeful it can provide glass recycling drop-off service beginning in the spring.