City officials are dealing with a glut of glass from Calgary’s recycling program.
About 1,000 tonnes of recycled glass are sitting on a concrete pad at the East Calgary landfill as officials puzzle over what to do with the detritus that is proving to be a tough sell on the world recycling market.
Paula Magdich, who heads up the city’s blue cart program, said the city is continuing to collect the glass while it looks for a solution to the growing pile that currently is almost worthless as a commodity.
“There has been a downturn in the economy and that means we haven’t been able to move the glass,” she said.
“But this really is a low percentage of our overall stream, so it’s not a major concern.”
Magdich noted by the time glass bottles that could garner a deposit make the trip to the city’s recycling plant, there is little left beyond pieces of glass that offer little value.
Despite that, she said there are no plans to increase the city’s $8-per-month recycling fee that was added to the utility bill of every household.
Ald. Brian Pincott said he’s not worried about the leftover glass as long as it doesn’t wind up in the landfill.
“Markets will go up and down and this is low-risk material,” he said.
“Eventually there’ll be a use for it.”
Magdich said the city’s roads department is currently looking into using the leftover glass as aggregate for paving.
She added Calgarians should consider taking bottles that have deposits to depots so they can go back into the recycling stream.