HARDY KING - IRMO'S MAYOR

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There seems to be confusion about recycling. I'm not going to address all of the issues but I will address the issue of "glass". 


I'm not sure what our previous garbage company did with anything they picked up in the Town of Irmo, or where they took it, including our recyclables.  What I do know is that recyclables collected in the Midlands go to Sunoco Recycling Center.  It is dumped there, they sort it, plastics, aluminum, cardboard, etc.  They keep what they want to keep, they sell what they can sell.  When a truck is dumped there, and it has glass in it, Sunoco charges the Town x amount of $'s per ton for everything dropped from that truck, if there is a substantial amount of glass in it.  Glass that gets dumped into our recyclable bins gets busted in the truck, and when they dump it at the recycle center. It also gets mixed, the green, the brown, the clear. There is not a market for that type glass, they don't want it, they don't recycle it.  They clean it, wash it and put it into a pile, and someone comes and hauls it off. Because it it is not sorted, broken, or clean, they have to pay someone to come and get it. That is why they charge municipalities because they have to pay themselves. WE cant help that, its the same for everyone that dumps there. 

Yes, Columbia may allow glass to go into their recycling bin, and it goes through the same process at Sunoco.  It gets sorted, it gets piled, and it gets hauled off by that same company.  Sunoco charges the City of Columbia, and the City of Columbia charges their residents.  We chose not to do so. By not dumping glass in your recycling bin in Irmo, there is a possibility that instead of us being charged, and us charging you the resident, we could even get a check from Sunoco which we think is good. 

A lot of people recycle in the US now, and the demand and need for some stuff is not the same as it is for others.  Paper, cardboard, aluminum, tin, some plastics, are all in demand.  Glass is not one of them.  There is an article in the South Carolina Biz Magazine, you can go to at www.SCBIZMAG.com and read Recycling means dollars, study says.  I want to quote one paragraph:

Depending on market conditions, the cost of recycling can be either more or less than the cost of placing items in the landfill.   The relative cost largely depends on the price that recycling firms can receive for processed recycled material on the open market.  The price peaked at $146 per ton in 2011, and dropped to $52 per ton in 2016.  As a result, recycling was $28 per ton cheaper than landfilling in 2011, but was $9 per ton more expensive in 2016.

The cost of private sector landfillling is often 20%-30% less than the cost of public sector landfilling, primarily due to economies of scale.  

Everything that gets picked up in Irmo from Tyler Industries on the Richland County side goes to Waste Management Landfill on Screaming Eagle Road.  Everything that gets picked up in Irmo by Tyler Industries on the Lexington County side goes to Lexington County Dropoff Center, which is then taken by Lexington County to Waste Management Landfill on Screaming Eagle Road in Richland County.  Richland nor Lexington operates a public sector/county landfill.  They both use a waste management-owned private sector landfill.  Other counties in the Midlands also use the same location.  The economies of scale are at work here as well.  

Just want to mention this because people seem to believe that recycling glass has some kind of environmental impact, which it doesn't at this time.  It may in the future, it may come back, but regardless of where you take your glass, put your glass, it may end up in a recycling center somewhere, it may end up in the landfill.  I hope this helps clarify the issue of recycling glass in the Town of Irmo.

Richland County is looking at setting up a drop off center at its C&D Landfill for residents to take their clean glass and drop it into the appropriate bins by color. They are hoping to have that done by the end of October. We as a Town may be looking at doing some recycling bins at our Town Hall location where clean glass, sorted glass, can be dropped off by our Residents and have someone haul it to that location and dump it. If we can do that without a cost, or a minimum charge, then we will be discussing that as a Council. But it would still require Citizens to bring it to the Irmo drop off location, or Richland Drop Off location, and the Lexington Drop off location on Bush River Rd that they can currently use now.

Irmo, South Carolina