City of Alexandria Joins Region in Removing Glass from Curbside Collection to Ensure Recyclability

Page archived as of December 28, 2019

City of Alexandria Joins Region in Removing Glass from Curbside Collection to Ensure Recyclability

For Immediate Release: December 11, 2019

Effective January 15, 2020, customers who receive City of Alexandria recycling service must bring glass containers to one of the region’s 25 “purple bin” drop-off locations to ensure the glass will be recycled. As in other area localities, glass placed in curbside trash or recycling carts will not be recycled. Glass taken to a purple bin must be clean and empty.

Due to issues that include recycling contamination, rising recycling costs, and a lack of regional glass-sorting facilities, glass collected in curbside recycling by City contractors is ending up as trash in landfills. One of the action items in the City's WasteSmart Strategic Plan adopted by City Council earlier this year was to review the City’s position on glass and make a recommendation to continue the collection service or remove glass from residential curbside recycling.

Over the last few years, the global recycling market has experienced tremendous pressure and cities across the country are changing their handling of glass recycling, which has become both difficult to recycle and a significant expense. Based on these findings, the City is changing its approach to glass recycling to ensure the greatest environmental benefit.

The City has taken proactive measures to improve the recyclability of glass. In May 2019, the City partnered with other local jurisdictions to deploy special glass-only bins at all recycling drop-off centers and implemented a glass recovery awareness campaign. There are currently 25 regional bins, with five in Alexandria, including a new bin at MOM’s Organic Market (3831 Mt. Vernon Ave.) that will open in January. Since the launch of the Purple Glass Bin program, Alexandria residents have sent more than 170 tons of glass to the Fairfax County Glass Processing Center for recovery.

Glass Recycling Locations in the City of Alexandria:

  • S. Whiting St. (at the end of S. Whiting St., intersecting at Tower Ct.)
  • 3224 Colvin St. 
  • 4251 Eisenhower Ave.
  • Jones Point Park (at the end of S. Royal St.) 
  • MOM's Organic Market (3831 Mt. Vernon Ave.) - opening in January 2020

The City of Alexandria now joins Fairfax County, Arlington County, Prince William County and the Town of Herndon in removing glass from curbside recycling programs to ensure it will be recycled.

For more information about glass recycling, the Purple Glass Bin program, or WasteSmart, visit alexandriava.gov/Recycling.

For media inquiries, contact Andrea Blackford, Senior Communications Officer, at andrea.blackford@alexandriava.gov or 703.746.3959.

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This news release is available at alexandriava.gov/112716.

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