Anchorage recycling is in the dumps

Anchorage recycling is in the dumps

As of yesterday, January 5th, glass can no longer be recycled in the city of Anchorage. According to the Anchorage Daily News recycling blog, "[...]the glass drop-off containers at the Anchorage Recycling Center off Dowling Road (Smurfit-Stone Recycling), the Anchorage Regional Landfill and at Brown Jug Warehouse on Old Seward will be removed." Recycling has become less profitable across the country, as costs for transportation have soared in line with gas prices. However, Anchorage is one of the first cities to stop recycling a category as big as "glass." Although glass recycling is said to be "on hiatus" in Anchorage, there is no word yet on when it will resume. This spells trouble for recycling overall in Anchorage, because glass has traditionally been one of the easiest, cleanest, and most profitable items to recycle. Unlike plastics, paper, and cardboard, all of which require a lot of processing, glass simply needs to be melted in order to be recycled. Glass is one of the few products which requires less energy to recycle than it does to make from scratch. In fact, since so little glass is lost in the recycling process, glass is almost infinitely recyclable with no loss of quality. The quirk here is that "from scratch" glass is generally made in the Lower 48 and shipped to Alaska in its various forms. Whereas glass is recycled locally in Anchorage by EK Industries, which is "working through a backlog of processed and unprocessed glass and has sufficient supply for several months."