The glass is more than half full now as Ipswich City Council clears the way for residents to recycle their glass bottles and jars again.
Council has signed an exclusive contract with the world’s leading glass recycler, Owens-Illinois (O-I) and that means great news for our residents, with new drop-off locations set to be announced soon.
Both O-I and Ipswich are excited by the new partnership as the company – which has a glass recycling plant in Crestmead, Logan and a glass manufacturing plant in Brisbane – has not worked at this level with any council in Australia previously.
Works, Parks and Sport Committee Acting Chairman Cr David Morrison said it was a logical solution and was a significant step in council’s innovative measures to get on top of recycling and win the war on waste.
“We are delighted to sign an initial 12-month contract with O-I. They are the world’s leading glass recyclers and manufacturers, and in Australia alone use around 260,000 tonnes of recycled glass per year,” he said.
“We anticipate sending 2000 tonnes or more of glass to O-I a year for recycling. That means a lot of glass bottles and jars from Ipswich will be recycled by O-I into new glass bottles that are then sent to local beverage companies in SEQ.
“This keeps the glass material local and closes the loop from being used, to recycled and then reused again.”
O-I’s general manager for Australia and New Zealand, Paul Vine, said every tonne of recycled glass can be turned into one tonne of new glass packaging.
“Every kilogram of recycled glass used in our manufacturing process replaces 1.2 kilograms of the raw material – soda ash, sand and limestone – used to create a bottle or jar,” he said.
“It also provides an energy saving of approximately 3 per cent for every 10 per cent of recycled glass used and reduces carbon emissions by about 5 per cent for every 10 per cent of recycled glass used in production,” Mr Vine said.
When council announced in May its new Recycle 4 campaign – targeting just paper, plastic, cardboard boxes, cans and tins – residents were asked to stop putting glass in their yellow top bins.
“Broken glass is causing contamination of paper and cardboard that are recycled in the yellow top bin. We are focussing on getting our contamination levels down (from 52 to under 15 per cent) so we are asking you to please leave glass out,” Cr Morrison said at the time.
Council has provided bins for glass at the Riverview and Rosewood transfer stations, where glass can be dropped off free of charge. As a last resort, residents can place glass in the general waste bin.
But as of July, under the new contract with O-I, the glass bottles and jars collected at the two transfer stations will be taken to O-I’s Crestmead plant for recycling.
“There is more good news: we will very soon be setting up four other locations around Ipswich for residents to deposit their glass bottles and jars safely. They will likely be at convenient shopping centres across the city,” Cr Morrison said. He expected those sites would be available in a matter of weeks.
When the new glass recycling program is in full swing, residents will be able to dispose of all glass bottles and jars, of any shape and colour, and minus the lids. Glass that cannot be recycled includes items such as drinking glasses, window glass, pyrex or car windscreens.
“We want mixed colour, clear, clean glass. For example: beer bottles, wine bottles, soft drink bottles, food jars, vitamin tablet jars. Rinse them out if necessary and remove the lids.
“But, if it is not a bottle or jar, do not take it to the glass recycle depots.”
Acting Mayor Wayne Wendt said council’s glass recycling would complement a new State Government program.
“The Queensland Government’s planned Container Refund Scheme (CRS) is being introduced on 1 November 2018, which will enable you to take selected glass containers to drop-off locations and reverse vending machines for a 10c refund on the container,” Cr Wendt said.
“But that scheme focusses on beverage containers, including aluminium cans and some drink cartons, and will feature only selected glass products. The council scheme includes all glass bottles and jars.”
A recent council audit of yellow top bins found the average citywide contamination rates had dropped to 24.5 per cent, which means residents are on track to getting recycling right in Ipswich. However, there is still a lot of glass going into the yellow top bin.
The Recycle 4 campaign urges residents to put only the following in the yellow top bins:
Paper – newspaper, magazines, junk mail, office paper
Plastic – bottles and containers (milk, soft drink and shampoo bottles; yoghurt and ice-cream tubs)
Cardboard – boxes including pizza boxes
Cans and Tins – aluminium and steel (drink cans, food tins and aerosol cans)
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