Central Arkansas recycling district sets plan for glass drop-offs

Recyclers in Pulaski County soon will be able to take their glass to five stations throughout the county, Regional Recycling and Waste Reduction District Director Craig Douglass said.

The district has yet to determine when the bins for glass will be available, but Douglass said it could be as early as Feb. 19. That's the district's target date.

The drop-off areas would provide a new option for Little Rock, North Little Rock and Sherwood residents set to lose glass recycling as a curbside-pickup option April 1.

The district has five "green stations" across the county, collecting hazardous wastes and electronics. They are at municipal sanitation or public works offices in Little Rock, North Little Rock, Sherwood, Jacksonville and Maumelle. Locations are listed on the district's website, MyDoRight.com.

One 275-gallon tote bin will be placed at each green station, costing the district $40 per month for each bin, Douglass said. Ace Glass, a Little Rock company, would pick up the bins.

The agreement with Ace Glass is a six-month pilot project, Douglass told the district's board at a Wednesday special-call meeting.

"We can do that," Douglass said. "We should do that."

North Little Rock Mayor Joe Smith indicated to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette earlier this week that he wanted to know the cost before offering an opinion on the proposal, but board members did not comment on Douglass' announcement, which included an assessment of the cost.

County Judge Barry Hyde asked Douglass whether the board needed to vote on the arrangement with Ace Glass, but Douglass said the board did not need to vote on the issue.

Ace Glass President and owner Courtney Little confirmed the plans Wednesday and said the company was also in talks to have drop-off bins at Edwards Food stores, liquor stores and in Pine Bluff for the Southeast Arkansas Planning and Development District. The company is also trying to work with the city of Little Rock to do curbside recycling for glass, separate from regular recycling pick up.

"Everything we read and everything we see ... tells us that the general public wants be able to recycle glass," Little said.

Douglass wants recyclers to feel less hopeless about the future of glass recycling.

"We need to make sure that the residential customers know there are going to be options to recycle glass," he said.

Last week, Waste Management officials said they were still contemplating whether to keep their glass drop-off area open at the Recycle America facility in the Little Rock Industrial Park. The company currently sends the glass it gets from curbside pickup out of state, and officials have said that costs too much.

Ace Glass picks up glass from recycling bins in other parts of the area, including the Natural State Recycling drop-off in Little Rock, but has not yet built a full processing plant to turn the glass into another marketable product.

Metro on 01/17/2019