Residents and businesses in Fort Collins have several ways to recycle their glass, including some new options!
Recovering glass from single-stream recycling and making it into new glass was a challenge after the introduction of “single-stream recycling” in 2006; for a long time, only 30% of the glass was being recovered for glass-to-glass recycling while the rest went to “beneficial secondary” use as drainage material or alternative-daily-cover at landfills. In other words, for many years, glass was not being remanufactured into new bottes. However, due to the construction of Momentum Glass’ processing plant in Broomfield in 2016, glass from single-stream recycling programs throughout Colorado is now largely being recovered and sufficiently “cleaned up” to meet bottle manufacturers’ specifications.
As long as preparation guidelines are followed, the glass bottles/jars, paper, metal, and plastic you place in your curbside recycle bin will be made into new bottles, goods or packaging. Take a virtual tour of the recycling sorting center in Denver, to learn more about how our recyclables are sorted and sent to market.
This decision is up to you. You can choose to separate glass and take it to one of the drop-off centers in the area that collect only glass and rest assured that the glass will become new glass bottles. However, the opening of Momentum Glass in Broomfield has greatly increased the quantity of glass from single-stream curbside recycle bins that will become new bottles. (What may be a bit confusing is that some trash/recycling haulers specifically ask their customers to take bottles and jars to be recycled at local drop-off centers instead of using the curbside recycling program, in order to control their costs.) Which ever option you choose, it's better to recycle or reuse glass than to put it in the trash, for landfill disposal!
Clear Intentions LLC has created a unique opportunity in Fort Collins to recycle the type of glass used to make drinking glasses. Clear Intentions has placed 10 glass-only recycling “stations” throughout the community at the following locations. You can bring items such as broken wine glasses along with bottles/jars to their stations. However, please do not place any type of glass in the curbside recycling bins or community-sponsored recycling drop-off centers except glass bottles and jars. In another new development in the Colorado recycling industry, a company called Momentum Glass in Broomfield has begun accepting deliveries of window glass.
In 2007, the City collected a total of 32 tons at its Recycling Drop-off Center. By mid-2012, the City collected nearly 250 tons! Glass delivered to the Recycling Drop-off Center is recycled into new glass bottles because it is already sorted and has very little contamination.
Do not place plastic bags or cardboard in the glass recycling container at any of the drop-off stations or recycling centers – the cleaner and purer the glass is, the better! The City urges citizens to remember that plastic bags, in particular, should never be commingled with other types of recyclables because processing plants can’t keep it from tangling up the sorting equipment! Please take plastic bags to one of our many local grocery stores or retailers that accept them to be recycled, or bring them to the pilot program at the Timberline Recycling Center, which accepts a variety of plastic film materials as long as they are clean and dry.
Eleven states already have "bottle bill" systems, where you pay a refundable nickel or dime per bottle at the point of purchase on beverage containers. A number of other states have also been studying this approach. Beverage companies are often opponents to advance disposal/deposit requirements. However, in states that have bottle bills, 85-90% of bottles are recycled. Non-bottle bill states, by comparison, struggle to recover even 50% of their bottles and cans. The clean glass generated by bottle bill states is the major feedstock for local glass-to-glass recycling plants.