Anne Arundel Offering New Way to Recycle Glass

Anne Arundel residents can now recycle glass bottles and jars at all three recycling centers in the county. The new program announced by the Anne Arundel County Recycling and Waste Reduction Division will allow residents to access a more successful recycling method in addition to curbside pickup.

Glass is a notoriously difficult material to deal with in the recycling stream. It breaks easily, and fragments can contaminate the rest of the waste stream, making other materials difficult to recycle. Additionally, glass containers often reach recycling centers contaminated with food. The best way to increase the likelihood that glass material will be directly recycled is for consumers to separate glass from other materials, then separate glass containers by color, and drop them off at recycling centers. Anne Arundel is now offering drop-off containers for glass separated by color at all three of the County’s recycling centers.

From the announcement:

The best way to ensure your glass bottles and jars are used to manufacture new bottles and jars is to keep them separate from other recyclables, sort them by color (clear, brown, & other), and drop them off at the nearest County Recycling Center. Doing this produces a clean stream of container glass that is much easier to process and incorporate into new glass bottles and jars.

If you’re interested in participating, check out the pictures below. It shows the drop-off container to look for when you visit a County Recycling Center as well as a list of what is and isn’t accepted. Note this list of accepted glass is the same as what is accepted in our County curbside recycling program. No drinking glasses, no ceramics (like coffee mugs/dishes/etc), no knick-knacks or figurines – just food and beverage glass bottles and jars only. And if you’re not interested, no worries – we appreciate that you’ll continue to place glass bottles and jars in your recycling container at home! Just remember that glass collected in this manner is normally not used to make new bottles and jars because of the high volume of non-glass material (contamination) present even after separating glass from other recyclables. However, the majority of it is beneficially reused, which is far better than disposal.

Visit the County’s Department of Public Works Recycling Centers page for more information.