Arlington County likely to end recycling of glass

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Arlington County officials say they can save about $58,000 per year by no longer recycling glass, which as it turns out - they are not really doing much of anyway.

In fact, as of now, most of Arlington County's recycled glass ends up in a landfill, according to Solid Waste Bureau Chief Erik Grabowsky.

"Glass in the region is not being beneficially reused. It's not being reprocessed," he said. "It's basically being taken to landfills."

Here's the deal: Grabowsky said that unlike with aluminum or plastic, the county actually loses money when recycling glass. It's largely because it has to be sent to other states, such as Pennsylvania or South Carolina, to be processed. In other words, it gets put in a landfill because no one wants to buy it locally.

"There is no real market for it in this region," Grabowsky explained.

That is why leaders are considering a big change in the coming months when they are likely to announce the county will officially no longer recycle glass.

"At a certain point in time, you just say it doesn't make sense," said Grabowsky.

There would still be a glass recycling drop-off station in the county - so you sort it, you clean it and they recycle it. Also, Grabowsky recommends residents work to change their purchasing habits as a means of becoming more environmentally-conscious. For example, he said he buys soda in an aluminum can or plastic bottle because those materials are easily recycled whereas a glass bottle is not.

For more information about recycling in Arlington County, go to