Stop recycling glass | Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — Glass recycling services and a solid waste transfer station were closed Tuesday as Port Angeles Public Works adjusts to taking over garbage collection and recycling duties from Waste Connections of Washington, based in Texas.

Public Works Director Thomas Hunter’s presentation Tuesday at the Port Angeles Business Association breakfast included an update on the city’s solid waste services and a Lincoln Street safety project that has slowed the traffic on a major thoroughfare in the city – and cost a few parking spaces.

A mediator resolved a contract termination dispute over solid waste collection and recycling services with Waste Connections on January 18, which led to the city taking over the duties of waste collection and recycling on March 1. company recycling.

Blue Mountain’s transfer station on Blue Mountain Road will be closed for about six weeks while the city purchases new equipment, a process slowed by supply chain issues, Hunter said, adding that Waste Connections would not rent or would sell its devices to the city.

Under the broken contract, the company hauled recyclable glass waste from Port Angeles, a service the city will not provide for the foreseeable future until a market is found for the waste, Hunter said. .

As a result, giant dumpsters for recycled glass that stood behind AutoZone Auto Parts and Country Aire Natural Foods in Port Angeles were removed on Tuesday, leaving Port Angeles and Sequim-area residents the chance to reuse the containers glass or throw them away.

Other paper and plastic recycling services will remain, although some changes may be coming for cardboard recycling.

“So at the moment we’re not changing anything, but we see a significant opportunity to improve service, and glass and cardboard are the two we’re working on at the moment,” he said.

Hunter said a major problem with Port Angeles’ recycling program is China’s “China Sword” policy, which prohibits the import of certain recyclable materials and sets strict contamination limits for other materials.

“It really threw recycling nationally into a tailspin,” Hunter said, recalling his Feb. 15 presentation to city council.

“We went before the board and just talked about the fact that the only glass recycler in Washington state wasn’t accepting glass at the time we walked in and made this assessment,” he said. .

“Now I can tell you that we are planning to bring some glass recycling stream options back to council in the next couple of months, and I think there will be some exciting opportunities there, but it does raise a question of which was what happened to glass in the last two years,” he told PABA.

“Really thorny issues that we don’t want to talk about as much as we want to talk about the future.”

Hunter said in a later interview that he “can’t tell how” Waste Connections recycles its glass.

“I can’t comment on what Waste Connections was doing with [the] glass,” Hunter said.

Jefferson County Solid Waste Manager Al Cairns said Tuesday the county successfully operates a curbside glass recycling program that relies on residents to ensure clean glass is recycled, eliminating contamination that can seriously hamper the success of these programs.

Discarded household glass from Jefferson County is recycled by Strategic Materials, a Seattle company that turns waste into new bottles, Cairns said.

Asked about the Jefferson County program, Hunter said after his presentation that Public Works staff are evaluating glass recycling options and will present them to the city council along with operating costs.

“It’s too preliminary to say what it looks like, but we know who uses Jefferson County,” he said.

The 18th Street regional transfer station that had been operated by Waste Connections, taken over by the city for $3 million as part of the mediated resolution, will continue to operate as is and may eventually increase services, with a cost additional to be determined, Hunter said during the meeting.

“I think it’s likely that in the next six to 12 months there will be additional services that we will bring to the board,” he said.

Hunter said the change means more employees in the solid waste division are being hired, turning Public Works’ smaller sub-agency into the larger “pretty quickly.”

Lincoln Street

He said supply chain issues delayed the completion of the Lincoln Street security project, which resulted in narrower traffic lanes near the county courthouse.

He said existing traffic light controllers will be upgraded as part of a $1.6 million project, $1.5 million of which is being funded by the state Department of Transportation.

“One of the things I can tell you about this particular lane is the amount of near-fatalities we’ve had over time that have really informed us about the design, and we’ve been working very, very hard with as many people as possible to make sure we were building facilities that weren’t going to create additional visual congestion,” Hunter said.

“The reality is that slower moving vehicles are safer for pedestrians, and I think we’ve heard clearly from City Council that this is a priority…to make sure we have a walkable community. .”

Asked about the loss of parking spaces along Lincoln Street due to the project, Hunter said parking was critically important.

“Unfortunately, our rights of way just don’t have enough room to meet all the needs,” he said.

“When we go through a project like Lincoln, we do outreach to try to talk to any relevant partners or stakeholders in the corridor and get their input.

“At the end of the day, we’re not going to please everyone,” he said.

“I think parking is a much bigger conversation,” Hunter said.

“In some cases we lost a bit of parking, but at the end of the day I think there was a healthy balance there.”


Lead writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at [email protected].