Agreement increases glass recycling market

Ohio Governor Ted Strickland announced that Ohio’s glass recycling market will be strengthened by an innovative agreement between Rumpke, Inc. and Owens- Illinois, Inc. Facilitated by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ (ODNR) Division of Recycling and Litter Prevention, the agreement will enable Rumpke to provide recycled glass feedstock to Owens-Illinois (O-I).

Recycled glass is used in the production of new glass containers. Historically, glass recycling has been a challenge for some Ohio communities when it has not been economically feasible. Further, Ohio’s recycled glass has not met the specifications of large users, such as O-I. This agreement between these two Ohio businesses will begin to close the loop on glass recycling in the state.

“Instead of looking outside of the state, Ohio companies, such as Owens-Illinois, can now utilize a valuable resource – locally recycled glass materials from Ohio’s community recycling programs – which provides economic as well as environmental benefits to Ohioans,” Strickland said.

The agreement calls for O-I to provide technical assistance to Rumpke in the development of a recycled glass treatment center which will provide up to 40,000 tons of ground glass annually. O-I agrees to purchase the majority of recycled glass cullet handled by Rumpke. Both businesses will work with ODNR to increase municipal glass recycling programs across Ohio.

Rumpke’s plans to expand their Dayton processing plant will create at least 20 jobs, which will also benefit other haulers and brokers, as well as improve regional glass collection programs. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the recycling and reuse industry employs more than 1.1 million people, generates an annual payroll of nearly $37 billion and grosses more than $236 billion in annual revenues.

Because of this partnership, more recycled glass can be processed to meet the needs of Ohio industry. The current market for recycled glass yields between $5-15 per ton. It is expected that the improved processing of glass collected in Ohio will enable community recycling programs to increase glass recycling collections, rather than sending glass waste to landfills.

The last waste characterization study conducted in Ohio concluded that nearly 60 percent of the waste going into state landfills can be recycled. Of that, five percent by weight is glass. ODNR has begun analyzing how much glass can be recycled and how to increase glass recycling.