Anchorage, Alaska gets glass recycling, again
November 8, 2012
By Suzanna Caldwell | The Alaska Dispatch: Starting later this month, Anchorage’s eco-conscious residents will have the chance to recycle glass again, thanks to an expanded service for the city. Although curbside service will not be available to residents of Alaska’s largest city, a service that ended in 2009 is being jump-started by Central Recycling Services, with a facility that will collect bottles and glass to turn into essentially gravel.
Kauai Alpha, recycling director for Central Recycling Services, says the collected glass will be turned into pea gravel — 1/8-inch pieces of processed glass that can be used in construction projects, similar to the type of gravel found around neighborhood playgrounds. The gravel will used for a variety of projects: pipe bedding, trench backfill and other construction projects.
Central Recycling spent the summer trying to figure out what to do with the 800 tons of glass leftover from a pre-2009 glass-recycling operation at Point Woronzof near Anchorage’s international airport. A lot of crushed glass later — which was done to test for compression and density — and CRS has developed the pea gravel-like product. It sells for about $15 a ton, less than what it would cost to for the same amount of regular gravel.
Mary Fisher, executive director of Alaskans for Litter Recycling and Prevention (ALPAR), has been coordinating glass collection with the city. She says the glass recycling is scheduled to begin Nov. 15 — just in time for America Recycles Day — but the launch may be pushed back. “Dates are soft right now due to a problem with the bins that is getting fixed,” she said in an email Wednesday. “My guess is that they will be in place on” Nov. 15.