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Beginning in July, Ogden residents will have another avenue to help save the planet with the implementation of glass recycling in Ogden City. Glass recycling bins will be in place at three locations around the city, and the containers marked “glass recycling” should be in place by July 15, located at Bonneville Park (360 Monroe Blvd., Ogden), the green waste disposal site (1845 Monroe Blvd., Ogden) and Ogden High School (2828 Harrison Blvd., Ogden) in the south parking lot. This will mark the first time glass recycling is available in all of Weber County.
“It’s long overdue that we finally get some glass recycling in place, so we’re excited,” said Jennifer Bodine, sustainability coordinator at Weber State University.
The recycling will be managed by Momentum Recycling, a company aimed at helping the greater Salt Lake community reduce landfill waste, specializing in items that are often more difficult to recycle, such as glass or organic waste.
John Lair, the president of Momentum Recycling, said glass is one of the more difficult materials to recycle in a community like Ogden because of the economics behind it. Glass tends to be heavier than plastics or other recyclable materials, and because of the smaller size of the Ogden community, gathering and transporting glass to a recycling facility can be expensive. Lair said his company is working on solutions for some of these problems, solutions that can be implemented in similar communities nationwide.
Momentum Recycling’s glass recycling plant is new to Salt Lake City, having opened in 2012. Recycled glass products are turned into cullet and used in a variety of different things, primarily for industrial purposes — including fiberglass insulation, cement formulation, an abrasive for sandblasting, and water filtration media (primarily swimming pool filters) — and turned into glass bottles again. Lair said about half of the material recycled at Momentum Recycling’s plant is turned into fiberglass insulation at a facility in Nephi, with the other half distributed through a range of different uses.
Lair said the recycling of glass is more of a resource conservation issue, and recycling glass helps reduce and conserve raw materials used to produce new glass.
“You know, glass — unlike plastics — is not harmful to the landfill or the environment,” Lair said. “It might take a few million years, but it’s ultimately going to turn back into sand . . . From my perspective personally, it’s more about resource conservation and just being smart with the limited resources that we have on our planet.”
According to the Recycling Coalition of Utah, recycling one glass bottle saves enough energy to light a 100-watt light bulb for four hours, and glass takes about a million years to fully degrade in a landfill. In addition, recycling glass only takes 30 percent of the energy needed to create new glass from raw materials, and glass never wears out — it can be recycled forever.
Bodine said much of the WSU community is also excited about the new recycling opportunity. Bodine said the Energy and Sustainability Office has been hearing from people all over campus that glass recycling has been wanted for a long time.
“We’re personally psyched to have it right here in our backyard,” Bodine said.
Bodine also mentioned the possibility of glass recycling on WSU’s campus. She said WSU doesn’t really generate much glass on campus for recycling, but her office is looking at getting a community glass recycling station at the Dee Events Center.
“We don’t generate enough glass on campus to have separate containers all over campus, so we’re looking at getting one container for the campus, like a Dumpster size,” Bodine said.
Bodine said having glass recycling available in Ogden is a great step toward conservation, as she used to travel to either Layton or Salt Lake to recycle her glass.
“I think it’s important to recycle as many and all materials as we possibly can,” she said, “just because, at the end of the day, where does it go if it’s not recycled? It ends up in the landfill and, in many cases, like with the case of plastics and glass, it stays there for years and years and years and years.”