Arlington County now monetizing recycled glass

Pennsylvania-based Cap Glass Recycling has been purchasing the recycled glass from Arlington County for $15 per ton. (Courtesy Arlington County)

Arlington County, Virginia’s, glass recycling program, launched a little less than two years ago, has hit a milestone. It has surpassed 5 million pounds of recycled glass and has now found a company to buy it.

Pennsylvania-based Cap Glass Recycling has been purchasing the recycled glass from the county for $15 per ton, which may not sound like much. But when several Northern Virginia counties collectively ended residential pick up and started glass recycling collection drop-off points instead in 2019, recycled glass was worthless.

Cap Glass is now hauling it away at its own expense, and using the recycled glass to manufacture new bottles as well as insulation, filler materials and other products.

Arlington County eliminated residential curbside glass recycling pickup in April 2019. But residents quickly took to using the drop-off locations. There are five glass recycling drop-off bins in Arlington County, all within about 2 miles from any Arlington home.

Until recently, Arlington County had been sending the dropped-off glass to a glass crushing and recycling plant in Fairfax County.

Prince William County now also has a similar deal with Cap Glass Recycling.

There are about two dozen glass recycling drop-off locations in Fairfax, Prince William and Arlington Counties, and Alexandria City.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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