Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Glass Recycling to Return at Strategic Collection Sites; Curbside Service Still Out

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Glass Recycling to Return at Strategic Collection Sites; Curbside Service Still Out

Article excerpt

Byline: Drew Dixon, Shorelines staff writer

One month after St. Johns County ended glass recycling service to homes, officials are taking steps to let residents resume glass recycling.

But it won't be curbside pickup. The county has initiated central glass collection sites so residents don't have to throw it in with the waste that goes to landfills.

"Currently, people can visit our Tillman Ridge Landfill and they can drop their glass off there" at 3005 Allen Nease Road, said Jenny O'Dell, the county's public affairs officer.

The landfill is one of several locations the county is considering for glass collection, O'Dell said.

"We're checking around throughout the county for options," she said. "At this point what we are doing is trying to find locations to put glass recycling bins in certain areas."

The move comes after county commissioners and staff received a flood of complaints from residents when glass recycling service at homes ended Aug. 1. The new contracts for Advance Disposal and Seaboard Waste Systems, the company that collects trash in the northern end of the county, eliminated glass recycling after some county commissioners were wrongly led to believe that all facilities in Northeast Florida had ended glass programs. County officials also have said recycling glass is no longer economically viable.

But some county commissioners and residents have since said the cost isn't the main issue. Rather, protecting the environment and keeping glass out of landfills are a priority.

One of the strongest objections came from the Palm Valley Community Association. Last month, the board of directors unanimously opposed the county's decision to end the glass recycling program.

Garry Phillips, a Palm Valley board member, said the central collection concept is better than no glass recycling at all, but it doesn't make up for the lack of home service.

"There's no question it's a step in the right direction," Phillips said. But the county has to eventually return to home glass recycling service, he said.

"It's important that the county doesn't discontinue glass recycling," Phillips said. …

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