City Council Voting on Cutting Curb Pick Up for Glass Recycling

If you buy a bottle of soda or alcohol in the State of Iowa you get charged an extra nickel, but you can get those five cents back when you redeem and recycle that glass. So what about jars that don't have a redemption value?

Right now, the City of Sioux City will pick up those glass products from your curb, and recycle them. Monday the city council gave first round approval to a plan to cut that option.

If the curb-side collection is cut, people would have to collect their bottles or jars and haul them to a drop off location.

Currently, Gill Hauling takes the glass all the way to Omaha where a facility there recycles it. The city says that's not cost-effective, so residents may have to make two trips to recycle glass - one for bottles and one for jars. And if they don't, that glass will just end up in the landfill.

It may be worth it to save your six-pack of beer or that wine bottle you got over the weekend for a little extra cash. But what about the jelly or pickle jars that don't have any recycling incentive?

Right now, you can throw those bottles in with your curb-side recycling but the city is on track to get rid of glass pick-up altogether.

"We're re-using glass, so it's collected curb-side, it's very convenient, I understand that but it's taken to Omaha, where they separate it out and then they reuse it in their landfills," says Jade Dundas, the Public Works Director for Sioux City.

But the Sioux City Public Works Director says getting the recyclables to Omaha is not cost effective and says the new plan will allow the local landfills to reap the benefits of non redeemable glass.

The city says it hopes it can reuse that glass as a gravel substitute to protect the methane lines that run throughout the landfill.

Dundas says the one and only location to drop off the non-redeemable glass items is at the 28th Street Landfill. The future plan is to get more bins around the city to accommodate everyone.

"One of the things that we've had in the past with that type of facility is that you really, unmonitored it's kind of difficult to make sure that people are throwing just glass in there so there's a little bit of difficulty there but it's certainly our intent to try and get these as close to the residents that want to use it as possible," says Dundas.

But unless the council changes its mind residents who want to recycle glass will have to make two separate trips instead of leaving their glass on the curb.

Council members must vote on the change to the city ordinance two more times before it's officially in effect, this gives people the opportunity to voice their opinions on the issue.

Dundas says he welcomes residents to come to the City Council meetings and share their ideas.