In December 2018, local business New World Recycling went out of business. As the owners and operators of the only glass pulverizer in Flathead County, glass recycling ended December 10, 2018. This was an unfortunate loss for our community that will increase the volume of garbage sent to the Flathead County landfill.
We do not know when glass recycling will return to the Flathead, but we’re hopeful that there is potential for a successful glass recycling market here.
There is clearly a demand for glass recycling in the valley. From the first of the year through September 2018, 220,000 pounds of glass – approximately 500,000 bottles – were collected at the GNPL drop-off site alone. This doesn’t include glass collected from New World’s curbside routes or deposited directly at their business.
Glass is one of the only items we can process for recycling locally relatively easily, which is more important than ever before as we continue to watch global recycling markets crash. Crushed recycled glass can be used as a sustainable aggregate substitute in cement and asphalt, as well as decorative landscaping material. Combined with the growth occurring in the valley, we believe there can be a strong local market for this recycled product.
Our hope is that, by providing a consistent outlet for the end product, glass recycling will return to the Flathead Valley sooner rather than later.