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Tucson to eliminate glass from curbside recycling program

Starting February, glass items will no longer be accepted in blue bins
Updated: Dec. 10, 2020 at 9:08 AM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Glass in the city of Tucson no longer belongs with the rest of your curbside recycling.

Starting Feb. 1, residents within Tucson city limits will have to take their glass to one of 22 drop-off sites around the city. It’s all part of a community-wide glass reuse plan to reduce the city’s environmental footprint. City officials said transitioning from glass recycling to glass reuse will create a 69% drop in greenhouse gas emissions.

At the drop-off sites, residents will find big purple bins to drop the glass into. These bins will be within a two-mile radius of each neighborhood.

After collection, bins will be taken to the Los Reales Landfill for the glass to be processed through an industrial glass crusher. The crushed “glass” will then be used locally to fill sandbags or be used for construction projects.

Carlos De La Torre, Environmental and General Services Director, said the plan is to significantly reduce how much the residential curbside recycling program costs the city each year and to be more eco-friendly.

“The whole intent is really how can we reduce a lot of the waste that we generate and how can we reuse some of the things that right now we’re putting in the garbage?” De La Torre said.

While this may sound inconvenient, here’s what you need to remember.

By reducing costs for the city, residents will end up saving money too. De La Torre said switching from recycling to reusing will help them avoid hiking up rates or even cutting programs altogether.

If you’re interested in learning more, the city will also host three virtual town hall meetings that community members can participate in. Meeting date and times are below:

  • Tuesday, Jan. 12 at 5:30 p.m.
  • Friday, Jan. 15 at 10 a.m.
  • Thursday, Jan. 21 at 6:30 p.m.

Customers can expect to receive mail detailing the city’s glass reuse plan by the beginning of January.

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