According to NBC Montana, retail giant Target plans to end its glass recycling project all across the state by the end of February. This news comes especially hard to environmentally-inclined ears since Target is the only retailer in the state to offer glass recycling and has been since 2010.
What originally began as a couple of bins outside of the store escalated to about eight 20-yard roll off boxes filled each week. Some Missoula residents reported to have saved their glass recycling all week and driven into town to deposit it.
The reasons cited behind the program’s shutdown were purely financial. Each shipment of recyclable materials supposedly costed thousands of dollars, and a representative of Four Corners Recycling in Bozeman says it costs $54 a ton to crush up the glass and ship it to its final destination, Utah.
Target spokespeople say that there was not sufficient infrastructure in place at a state level to continue the program or proper facilities on a corporate level. Other problems common to mass recycling programs, like the contamination of shipments by bottle lids and other rubbish caused some glass shipments to be dumped in local landfills.
It may be surprising for some to see a lack of support for government subsidized recycling programs in the wake of the ever-growing green awareness and environmental movements.
Investments in glass, paper, and aluminum recycling plants seem to be a very good investment when it comes to the future. A single ton of paper recycled can save up to 17 trees, 380 gallons of oil, three cubic yards of landfill space and 7,000 gallons of water.
However disappointing the recent news with Target, residents of Missoula and other Montana locals still have options for recycling. Companies like I.E. Recycling specialize in pulverizing glass and selling it for use in concrete building and as a decorative or crafts material. Other companies like Go Green Curbside Recycling will pick up their customers’ recyclables for a monthly fee.
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