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South Salt Lake Journal

Glass recycling may arrive in SSL by April

Mar 10, 2021 12:21PM ● By Bill Hardesty

Finally, a way to recycle your glass. (Gerd Altman from Pixabay)

By Bill Hardesty | [email protected]

Curbside glass recycling is coming to SSL. While the city is working on the details, the program was presented in general terms to the South Salt Lake City Council at their Jan. 27 work meeting. All parties are hoping for the program to start in April.

Momentum Recycling in Salt Lake City presented a program used in 11 cities along the Wasatch Front. They hope to expand into seven additional cities, including SSL, in 2021.

"I am super excited about this program," Sharla Bynum, councilmember District 3 said, "Residents really want it."

Opt-in program

The program is an opt-in program. Residents would sign up on an SSL dedicated Momentum website. Residents can receive a reminder by using the mobile app or by phone, text or email.

A Momentum bin is delivered within 7-10 days. Momentum will collect the glass monthly, most likely not on the regular trash day.

"We have found when we try to match them up, residents complain about too many trucks in the neighborhood," Jason Utgaard, general manager of Momentum Recycling, said.

The service is month by month, and there is no contract. Residents will receive a bill directly from Momentum.

Momentum suggested a monthly fee of $8 and a one-time activation fee of $25. The amounts might change when the program starts. There is no cost to the city.

The city is also providing large glass recycling bins if residents would instead like to bring their glass recycling to a public container for free. Locations are still in discussion.

Participation rate

Momentum believes there will be about 60 subscribers when the program is rolled out. With the city's support promoting the program, the target is more than 100 subscribers. They are hoping for a 0.5% to 1% participation rate. Momentum reported that they already have 40 leads from SSL residents expressing interest through their website. History shows that within six months, the program experiences rapid growth.

How to make it happen

The city will need to sign a contract with Momentum Recycling making them the city's authorized contractor for glass recycling. This contact will not affect the current garbage collection contract with Ace. Currently, Ace has no interest in providing such a service to residents.

Since this is a contract, SSL is required to seek bids from all interested parties, which might mean a more protracted rollout.

Besides, SSL needs to make some minor changes to the city code. Under the city code titled Household Waste Collection (13.72), glass needs to be reclassified from unacceptable to acceptable. Also, section 13.72.200 (A) needs to allow an opt-in service for glass recycling.

How glass is recycled

When the glass arrives at the Momentum processing plant, the first step is the sorting stations. Employees remove non-glass items and sort the glass as clear or colored.

For the next step, glass is broken into coarse particles by 24 hammers, each a forearm's size.

Glass pieces go through a trommel that sorts the glass into 3/8-inch and 3/4-inch sizes. Fans also propel paper labels into a paper recycling bin. Non-glass items that can't fit through the screens, such as corks and caps, are collected and recycled.

Glass particles travel through a bed drier with air heated to 190 degrees Fahrenheit. This process burns off sugars and bacteria. Label glue is loosened. The residue that floats to the top is sucked away by a vacuum system.

The glass goes through the primary rotary screen. Screens are changed to produce different size grades for a variety of customers. Glass particles too big to fit through the screen are sent through the pulverizer. Thirty-six hammers reduce the size. Glass particles are recycled until they fit through the primary screen.

Glass particles go through a secondary rotary screen. Particles are separated into four size grades. The final product, called glass cullet, can range in size from pebbles to sand to even powder.

Some of the glass cullets' uses include glass container manufacturing, fiberglass manufacturing, abrasives and filler for paint and plastics.