Almost two dozen neighborhoods in the South Hills will see a change in their recycling process in the new year.
Because of a contract with Waste Management, people in neighborhoods including Bethel Park, Peters Township and Mt. Lebanon, among others, will no longer be permitted to put glass in their recycling bins.
Some plastics also won't be accepted, because Waste Management officials say it's costing the company too much money.
With Waste Management landing a new contract in all of those communities, letters went home to residents, making it clear that they aren't accepting glass, bottles or otherwise.
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A Waste Management spokesperson said there are two main reasons for the change.
First, they say glass is "heavily contaminated" and must be processed several times. Plus, broken glass pieces contaminate other recyclables.
There's also an economic reason: the market overseas now accepts a very small percentage of contaminated recycled imports.
Other recycling companies are following suit, including Republic in Shaler. Shaler Public Works put out a statement that says:
“the reduction of recycling is not a choice of the township. The issue is that there is no market for the discontinued materials.”
Waste Management also said if people want to recycle glass, it's up to them to find a place to take it.
They say they're going to be doing random spot checks to make sure people are following the rules and in 2020, may start fining residents who aren't.
These are the communities affected:
- Bethel Park
- Castle Shannon
- Jefferson Hills
- Mount Lebanon
- Mount Oliver
- Pleasant Hills
- South Fayetteville
- South Park
- Upper Saint Clair
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