Curbside glass recycling comes to MidvaleApr 07, 2021 11:29AM ● By Erin Dixon
A Sandy City resident has had his glass container for over a year. Midvale residents will be able to have containers like this at their own homes. (Erin Dixon/City Journals)
By Erin Dixon | [email protected]
Curbside glass recycling is coming to Midvale.
Momentum Recycling is the only glass recycling facility in Utah. The large collection bin that has been in Midvale City Park for many years is collected by Ace, but is delivered to Momentum.
Midvale residents join Sandy, Park City, Salt Lake City and other cities on the east bench with curbside glass bins.
“People have been clamoring for this since I have been on council,” Midvale Councilmember Dustin Gettel said. “I couldn’t be more excited.”
“Momentum is ready,” Glen Kennedy, Midvale public works director, said in a March council meeting.
“They have a sign-up page and an FAQ on their website.”
After a resident signs up, a 35-gallon container with wheels, a small version of the street garbage bins, will be delivered.
“There’s a one-time set-up fee for $25 and $8 per month for service. It’s month to month and can be canceled at any time,” Kennedy said.
Momentum picks up the glass recycling once a month. Midvale City passed the ordinance to allow Momentum to service the residents, but does not have any direct ties to the program. Payment and logistics are managed entirely through Momentum.
What are the rules for recycling glass?
Intact or broken glass can be recycled, as well as any colored glass. Unlike plastic, it doesn’t need to be cleaned or even de-labeled.
“The rule of thumb, if you can tip it upside down and nothing comes out then you’re fine,” Jason Utgaard, general manager of Momentum, said.
“Don’t use a bunch of water rinsing it out, don’t put it in your dishwasher and use water there. If your candle is melted all the way down, we can take those as well. If folks do leave the caps on there, we will extract them but we do say it’s better to take those off and put them in your mixed recycling bin,” Utgaard said.
In other cities, the amount of glass being placed into large public bins increases rather than decreases. “Once we get out there and tell people you can recycle glass then it raises awareness of public drop-off locations,” Utgaard said.
A benefit of recycling glass is that it can be processed endlessly.
“Aluminum breaks down. Cardboard and paper breaks down. Glass is inert, it doesn’t break down,” Utgaard said.
Several years ago, the recycling world took a hit when China drastically decreased its purchase of U.S. recyclables. “[It] didn’t [affect us] at all. It would be foolish to think you could ship glass a long distance and do it cheaply. It has to be localized,” Utgaard said.
What if we don’t recycle glass? In the United States, there is only one source of a main ingredient.
“A main component in glass is soda ash,” Utgaard said. “There’s only one soda ash deposit in Green River, Wyoming, but it only has max 40-50 years left on it. Once that’s gone, it’s gone.”
What can recycled glass be used for?
A lot of Momentum’s processed glass is sent to Utah County where it is turned into fiberglass insulation. “The other glass goes into sandblasting media. It can also be used for water filtration,” Utgaard said.
The average U.S. resident generates about 70 pounds of glass per year.