Let's be clear on glass recycling in Federal Way

The city is holding a free recycling event on March 17 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Twin Lakes Park and Ride on 21st Avenue SW. - Courtesy image
The city is holding a free recycling event on March 17 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Twin Lakes Park and Ride on 21st Avenue SW.
— image credit: Courtesy image

I am often asked why our Pierce County neighbors don’t recycle glass bottles at curbside like we do.

Maybe a better question would be, why include glass in the recycling in the first place? Like almost everything, there are pros and cons.

Glass breaks. This is no problem for the actual “recycling” of glass, but it can make problems for other materials. For example, small pieces of glass in the paper and cardboard would reduce the quality and value of that material. Luckily, paper collected in Federal Way goes to a mill that removes these small contaminants.

What about collecting glass separately? Well, efficiency would drop and costs would rise to have separate compartments or trucks just to keep glass out of the rest of the recycling. Garbage/recycling fees are kept lower by collecting the recycling all mixed together.

Remember, since your recycling is collected in a single truck, there is no need to place your “bottles and cans” bin at the curb. It is actually more efficient (and better for our drivers’ backs) to have all the material placed in your cart. That way a machine does the heavy lifting – 600 to 800 times a day.

Are all colors of glass recyclable? Yes! Modern machines quickly sort glass collected in Federal Way by color. Then this glass is recycled into new wine bottles at a factory in Seattle. So keep on recycling glass, and take advantage of the convenience of all-in-one recycling at the curb.

Remember, only food and beverage “container” glass such as bottles and jars are accepted for recycling at curbside. Other glass like drinking glasses, ceramic plates and mugs and window panes are made from a type of glass that melt at different temperatures – please do not recycle these with glass bottles and jars.

Now that you know the trick for recycling glass, you are ready to enter this year’s Recycle Palooza contest. You could win up to $1,000 just for recycling right. Sign up by April 6 for your chance to win. It’s easy to do online:


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