Glass-only Recycling

James City County is pleased to offer glass-only recycling to citizens through drop-off. Glass may be dropped in the purple bins located at the County Convenience Centers.

Why is glass being separated from other recyclables?

The most efficient method of recycling glass is through a process where it is not contaminated with any other materials. When glass is mixed in with single-stream recycling, it can break during collection, transport and processing. This makes it difficult to separate from other materials and achieve successful recycling. 

Oftentimes, the quality of glass from a materials recovery facility (MRF), cannot be recycled into new glass containers, and is reused for alternative daily cover (ADC) instead. ADC refers to the use of a material other than soil as a daily cover for a landfill, which is required by federal regulations to improve health and safety around a landfill.

The glass collected in these purple bins will be taken to the O-I Glass, Toano plant in the Hankins Industrial Park and processed into glass cullet, which is the material needed to produce new glass bottles. O-I Glass will use the glass cullet to produce new glass bottles and containers.

Why is the glass being taken to O-I Glass?

This glass-only recycling program is possible due to investment made by O-I Glass. As a company, O-I Glass wants to increase the amount of recycled glass in their products. As a token of their appreciation for citizen efforts, O-I Glass will be making a charitable donation to the United Way of the Virginia Peninsula, which will invest the donation in our community.

Were Crushing It

What Glass Can Be Recycled? 

Empty and rinsed glass of all colors can be placed in purple containers including alcohol and other glass beverage containers, food jars (baby food, fruit and vegetable containers, soy sauce and spaghetti sauce) and other glass. All types and colors of glass bottles and jars are accepted. Please empty liquids and rinse out food residue. 

Remove lids; metal lids can be recycled; plastic lids should be thrown away. Paper labels are fine to leave on, as they will burn off in the recycling process. 

What Glass Cannot Be Recycled?

Things that cannot recycled are light bulbs, Pyrex, mirrors, windows and ceramics/pottery.

JCC_Glass Bin Signage_Spanish Included

What Are the Benefits of Recycling Glass? 

  • More than 80% of the bottles that are recycled are used to make new bottles with recycled content. Glass is infinitely recyclable without loss of quality, making it a permanent material that can continue to offset the need for raw materials as often as it is recycled. 
  • Recycled glass can be substituted for up to 95% of raw materials during production. 
  • No processing by-products — Glass recycling is a closed-loop system, creating no additional waste or by-products. 
  • Recycling glass has big environmental pay offs. It saves raw materials, lessens demand for energy and cuts CO2 emissions. 
    • Over a ton of natural resources are conserved for every ton of glass recycled, including 1,300 pounds of sand, 410 pounds of soda ash, 380 pounds of limestone and 160 pounds of feldspar. 
    • The container and fiberglass industries collectively purchase 3.2 million tons of recycled glass annually, which is melted and repurposed for use in the production of new containers and fiberglass products. 
    • Lessens the demand for energy — energy costs drop about 2-3% for every 10% cullet used in the manufacturing process. 
    • Cuts CO2 emissions — for every six tons of recycled container glass used, a ton of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, is reduced. A relative 10% increase in cullet reduces particulates by 8%, nitrogen oxide by 4%, and sulfur oxides by 10%. 
    • Extends furnace life — including cullet in the manufacturing mix makes it less corrosive and lowers the melting temperature (from 2800 degrees F. to 2600 degrees F.), prolonging furnace life.

Renee Dallman, JCC Public Information Officer, Cassie Cordova, JCC Sustainability Coordinator, Kate Sipes, JCC Assistant Director of Economic Development and Jim Nordmeyer, Vice President of Global Sustainability for O-I Glass, discuss the new pilot program for glass recycling in James City.


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