Glass Recycling

Picture of glass containerThe City of Middletown is now offering a separate collection for glass bottles at the recycling center.  Glass is accepted in the mixed recycling, curbside, but it can be problematic when collected with all the other acceptable recyclables.  Glass will break when it is compacted and goes through the sortation process.  The glass pieces can attach themselves to the other recyclables, such as paper and cardboard, and reduce the value of that material.   In addition, the glass is hard on equipment, accelerating the wear and tear on conveyor belts, screens and other moving parts.

The glass itself that is sorted at the processing centers is usually contaminated with bits and pieces of other items such as small pieces of paper, bottle caps, metal, and straws. It is costly to clean the glass in order for it to be recycled. For decades, most curbside glass was sent to landfills as Alternate Daily Cover (ADC) and was never recycled into a new bottle or jar. That is not necessarily the case now. At least one facility in CT does have the capability to clean the glass enough to turn it into either into a recycled concrete product or possibly a new glass product. But it is very expensive to get it clean enough to meet these specifications. 

Processing recyclables is very expensive.  In Middletown, it currently costs a base price $90.64 per ton to process curbside mixed recycling. Glass is very heavy and adds to the tonnage and, thus, to the cost.  

Therefore, for those who are interested and willing, the City is offering a drop off for glass bottles at the recycling center.  This material will be a high quality material and sent to a local glass recycler to be turned into glass bottles, fiberglass insulation and other glass products.  It is a better way to manage the glass material, but it does take some effort.  

It is important to follow the instructions to recycle the right glass items.  If the glass container is contaminated with unacceptable items, it will cost the City more to dispose. In order to recycle the glass at its highest value, you must recycle only the acceptable items listed below. 

These items are: 

  • Glass Beer, Juice and Soda Bottles 
  • Wine and liquor bottles
  • Drinking glasses

 DO NOT Include: 

  • Ceramic items
  • Crystal
  • Clay flower pots
  • Mirrors
  • Light bulbs
  • Heat resistant oven wear
  • Propane canisters
  • Plastic bags 

 Thank you for making the effort to reduce costs and recycle better!   If you have questions about this program, contact the City Recycling Coordinator.